Thursday, July 18, 2024

St George's Garrison Church

St George's Garrison Church Entrance
St George's Garrison Church.

I had read quite a bit about St George's Garrison Church and its history, but I had never been to visit it, until now.

As it is only open to the public on Sundays, unless for an exhibition or special event, it has always been difficult to find the time to get there. Fortunately, I was in the area as I had just visited Severndroog Castle, just down the road, which has a viewing platform that is only accessible on, you guessed it, a Sunday.

St George's Garrison Church Gate
One of Church gates.

It was beautiful noon day as Keilyn and I wandered through the gates into the garden of this ruined church, the sun illuminating the gold mosaic above the altar, ahead of us. The canopy, above the remains, filtered the light making the whole place glow.

St George's Garrison Church Canopy
The canopy protecting the ruins.

The mosaics are stunning, with the St George mosaic being my favourite along with the Victoria Cross Memorial.

St George's Garrison Church Altar
The mosaics glinting in the diffused light.

The walls, pillars and columns are all still in place creating a wonderful place to reflect.

Monday, July 15, 2024

'Demon with Bowl' by Damien Hirst

Demon with Bowl by Damien Hirst
'Demon with Bowl' by Damien Hirst.

Walking around the Greenwich Peninsula you will discover that the area is full of Public Art. Whether it be a small sculpture, interactive installations, a slice of a ship or a signpost, there is a lot to discover. 

Many of these are created by internationally renowned artists, that include Anthony Gormley, Alex Chinneck, and Damien Hirst.

Demon with Bowl by Damien Hirst
Keilyn with the 'Demon with Bowl' sculpture.

It is the latter that has installed an 18 metre (60 foot) sculpture on the peninsula, outside the Greenwich Peninsula terminal of the London Cable Car.

Thursday, July 11, 2024

'Staff Letters' Boxes

Staff Letters Box
A 'Staff Letters' box on the Piccadilly line - photo © Keilyn J. A. Morrissey.

Normally I only spot interesting things when walking the streets of London. 

On this occasion I was travelling on the Piccadilly line when I noticed these boxes, as we stopped at various stations. As the boxes were never opposite where we were sat, it took a while to work out what was written on them. 

Fortunately, as we pulled into one station, the box was almost directly outside the carriage, so Keilyn jumped off the train, took the photo and jumped back on, all with a big grin on her face.

It took a bit of research, when we got home, but theses boxes are exactly what they say they are... Letter boxes for staff.

Monday, July 08, 2024

More Than Just a Statue to a Great Man

James Henry Greathead statue
Greathead's tunnelling shield in action.

Across the road from the Bank of England, on Cornhill, there is a statue of a man, atop a tall plinth, which allows him to gaze down on to the street below. The man is wearing a fedora and appears to be holding some sort of map, giving him a kind of 'Indiana Jones' appearance. The man is James Henry Greathead, who was born in South African in 1844. 

So what is it about him that demands a statue on such a large plinth in this area of the City of London? 

Well. James Henry Greathead moved to England in 1859, where he studied under the civil engineer Peter W. Barlow. This was a great era for tunnel diggers, what with Marc Brunel and his son, Isambard, having tunnelled beneath the River Thames and created the first tunnel beneath a navigable waterway, in 1843.

Brunel had designed and patented an 'Iron Shield', for his tunnelling, which Greathead, along with Barlow, greatly improved upon. Their project would be London's second tunnel beneath the River Thames and was called, unsurprisingly, the Tower Subway, as it would carry 12 passengers along a narrow-gauge railway from Tower Hill to Tooley Street.

The tunnelling shield was an immediate success, considering that the majority of London's underground lines had been built with the 'cut-and-cover' method, up to this point.

Thursday, July 04, 2024

Severndroog Castle and Tea Room

Severndroog Castle
Severndroog Castle.

Sunday June 30, 2024.

It was a beautiful summer morning as Keilyn and I visited Severndroog Castle and Tea Room, in the Royal Borough of Greenwich. It was a place that I wanted to visit for a while, but finding a Sunday when we were both free, plus ensuring that we picked a clear day, had always been tricky. 

We took the Metropolitan line to Finchley Road, where we changed to the Jubilee line to North Greenwich. From here we clambered aboard the 486 bus towards Bexleyheath, grabbing the front seats on the top deck, at which point the heavens opened and it began to rain... hard.

Fortunately it stopped as we stepped from the bus, at Memorial Hospital and walked the 10 minutes to Castle Wood and Severndroog Castle.

Severndroog Castle
A covered area to enjoy tea and cake.

We stopped for a hot drink in the Tea Room before we ascended the spiral stairs to each of the floors, checking out the shop and various rooms, before we went up on to the viewing platform.

View from Severndroog Castle
Looking out across London.

Although the rain had stopped it was still slightly overcast, but the views were quite impressive. 

Keilyn atop Severndroog Castle
Keilyn is Queen of the Castle.

A volunteer was on hand to point out various locations, relating to the James family, along with pointing out the landmarks that could be seen. There was even a box of binoculars, which Keilyn enjoyed looking through.