Historic England

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about 6 hours ago
Stand F052/53 on the first floor has undergone a delightful makeover, Rosemary Cathcart and Lilee of Sheelin Lace London have created an ethereal display of beautiful antique lace. It really is a sight to behold. It is the first time Sh...
Stand F052/53 on the first floor has undergone a delightful makeover, Rosemary Cathcart and Lilee of Sheelin Lace London have created an ethereal display of beautiful antique lace. It really is a sight to behold. It is the first time Sheelin Lace have opened in London. Their original shop and museum in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland has become a destination for those looking for antique lace and in particular Irish lace. We asked Rosemary a few questions... What first interested you in lace? I first got interested in lace about 30 years ago and have been collecting ever since, I am interested in all types of antique needlework but particularly lace, the skill involved in making lace has always fascinated me, and I consider it an amazing art form. How did you start dealing in lace? I opened my shop in N Ireland 16 years ago and sold all types of antiques at first, but very soon I decided to specialise in lace and Costume and also developed the lace museum which has the largest collection of Irish lace in Ireland. Is there a special piece in your shop that is a personal favourite? We have many beautiful pieces for sale in the London shop but I particularly love the Irish lace wedding gown and the little pincushion ladies with the antique lace gowns. There are many types of lace do you have a particular favourite? My favourite laces are any of the Irish needlelaces as these take the most skill to make and are made with the finest thread, sometimes as fine as 400 gauge. Do you see any current trends in the antique lace market? Antique lace is always in fashion as the designers are always using it in their new collections, a few weeks ago I had Chanel designers in my shop looking for lace for their up and coming collection. I think people will always love lace. Sheelin Lace London Stand: F052/53 at Alfies Antique Market Phone: 078 9589 5247 Email: rosemarycathcart1@gmail.com Sheelin Lace website Go to www.alfiesantiques.com or visit Alfies Antique Market at 13-25 Church Street, Marylebone, London NW8 8DT
about 7 hours ago
1 day ago
The Barbican is a large complex in the City of London which is home to an arts centre, schools, the Museum of London, and about four thousand residents. It is also well-known for its brutalist architecture and rather disorientating high-...
The Barbican is a large complex in the City of London which is home to an arts centre, schools, the Museum of London, and about four thousand residents. It is also well-known for its brutalist architecture and rather disorientating high-walk geography. An architectural tour offers more insight into this development, now Grade II-listed but still disliked by many Londoners. The City of London suffered badly in the Blitz, and Cripplegate ward was particularly badly damaged. Among the historic buildings which did survive were the parish church, St Giles Without Cripplegate, and remains of the city walls - all of which can still be found within the concrete complex. In the 1950s, discussion began on how to redevelop the area; since the population had dropped from over five thousand to 48, residential development was seen as a priority. After winning an architectural competition, Chamberlin, Powell & Bon began work in 1965. The name of the estate alludes to the fortifications which once stood on part of the site - and that spirit of being fortified and protected from the outer world is fundamental to its architecture. Walk up from its underground car parks, or across the footbridge from Barbican underground station, and you are inside a space which aimed to offer all its residents needed, with its walls protecting them from the noise and activity of the city beyond. There are the homes and cultural amenities, of course, but also a lake, a garden, the arts centre, doctors and dentists, and an area originally intended as a shopping centre. Brutalism is intended to refer not to the brutality of form and colour, but rather to this architectural style's emphasis upon beton brut, or raw concrete. In fact, the apparent rough-and-ready appearance of the concrete is misleading. When poured, it had the smooth surface of the wooden shutters which shaped it. A great deal of work with special hammers was required to give a rough surface which exposed the Welsh granite aggregate within. Did this tour persuade me to join the Barbican's admirers? Not altogether, but it does give a better appreciation of how the complex works, why it is more than just another mass of high-rise concrete, and why so many of its residents are very proud to live there.
1 day ago
On Sunday afternoon the skies above Bedfordshire were awash with vapour trails and echoing with the evocative engine noises accompanying the last flying day of the year at the Shuttleworth Collection. I get very excited by flying machine...
On Sunday afternoon the skies above Bedfordshire were awash with vapour trails and echoing with the evocative engine noises accompanying the last flying day of the year at the Shuttleworth Collection. I get very excited by flying machines and the magnificent men who fly them so well, but you can probably guess by now what it was that had me running about pointing with childish enthusiasm. This is a 1913 McCurd, a 5 ton box van that is very likely the only survivor of its kind. Look at that stunning script flowing over the top of the radiator, marvel at the beautifully drawn packs of sugar and the Afternoon Tea box. It is, quite simply, one of the the best signwritten vans I've ever seen, and apparently it still belongs to Tate & Lyle. Imagine it, rumbling on its solid tyres out over the cobbles at the Silvertown Refinery in the East End of London. Very sweet.
1 day ago
1 day ago
{On the granite plinth:}In honour of those who served in the World Wars 1914 - 19181939 - 1945 {On the black stone attached below:}3312 men and women of the Great Western Railway gave their lives for King and country. {Inscribed on the...
{On the granite plinth:}In honour of those who served in the World Wars 1914 - 19181939 - 1945 {On the black stone attached below:}3312 men and women of the Great Western Railway gave their lives for King and country. {Inscribed on the base of the statue:}C Sargeant Jagger Sc.A. B Burton, Founder, Thames Ditton
1 day ago
2 days ago
Regular readers will know that I've been researching George Jennings, the plumber who installed WCs for the Great Exhibition of 1851, sometimes described as the inventor of the public toilet. There's been a lot of misinformation ...
Regular readers will know that I've been researching George Jennings, the plumber who installed WCs for the Great Exhibition of 1851, sometimes described as the inventor of the public toilet. There's been a lot of misinformation about this subject in the past, largely stemming from The Good Loo Guide which misattributed the opening of the first underground toilets in London to Jennings, and gave the date as 1855 rather than 1885.For a while, I assumed this was just pure confusion - not least because Jennings' firm, after his death, went on to install and run many public toilets in London in the early 1900s.Then I found Jennings' letter to the City of London from 1858, actually offering to build an underground public toilet - so there was some fact behind the mistaken attribution. But, tragically, the accompanying illustration was missing from the City archives ... or so I thought.It was only after some more digging that:i. I found a useful reference to Jennnings' underground toilets in the Science Museum Archiveii. I then remembered that Sarah McCabe had remarked upon the same reference in her master's thesis on late Victorian public toilets (generously emailed for my perusal - many thanks again, Sarah)The illustration was not lost at all ... indeed, here it is, courtesy of those lovely people at the Science Museum:Copyright: Science Museum ArchivesThe background, I think, is a generic City-scape, although I'm willing to be corrected. This is surely the same plan sent to the City of London, although this copy was sent to Capt. Francis Fowke, Director of Works at South Kensington Museum, with a view to it appearing in the 1862 International Exhibition (Jennings would also design and run the toilets at the 1862 Exhibition).The seat on the left is the attendants room, not a toilet (as the fact that it is unconnected with the drainage, and the overview shows):Copyright: Science Museum ArchiveWhat's fascinating about this drawing is that all its key features would eventually appear in Victorian underground public toilets, some twenty years later - right from the City's first effort in 1885 (see here for a full description). William Haywood, the City's Engineer, seems to have happily copied the key features of Jennings' unused 1858 plan - from the 'inner ring' of urinals around a central column, to a gas lamp above ground providing a draught for ventilation - and put them into his Royal Exchange toilets which opened in 1885.No wonder, then, that people have latterly been keen to attribute the work to Jennings himself (who inconveniently died in 1882). Nor that Jennings is reputed to have nurtured a grievance against the City authorities.Note also the public drinking fountain at the ground level - the latest thing in sanitary improvement in 1850s London when the toilets were designed (Haywood did not bother to copy this in the 1880s).The best bit of the drawing, of course, is the mid-Victorian gentleman nonchalantly emerging from the WC.Copyright: Science MuseumIs this the only picture of a Victorian leaving a public lavatory, immediately after the act?Victorian urinals would have the instruction 'Please adjust your dress before leaving' painted upon the wall (or, in the case of cast iron urinals, even embossed upon the metal - as one rare surviving example at Twickenham shows). At least our gentleman has paid heed to that injunction.[thanks to JL for the image]But can anyone help me with the trousers, as it were? Would there have been buttons at the front, round the waist, where?Possibly I am already in too deep.But - if you have good pics of mid-Victorian trousers and their buttons, I'd like to see them.
2 days ago
2 days ago