Category Archives: Architecture

The Merchant’s House, Marlborough, Wiltshire.

After our stay at the Stonehenge campsite last Autumn, Gavin and I made our way to Marlborough, which is a lovely town in Wiltshire, England. This amazing house was built for and lived in by a wealthy seventeenth-century silk merchant named Thomas Bayly. The construction is believed to date from between 1653 and 1700, and the interiors have… Read on

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The Isle of Portland and Portland Castle

Back in August, my husband and I went camping for one week during our travels throughout Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire, and Somerset. Whilst we stayed at the campsite near Bovington in Dorset, we traveled down past Weymouth and to the island of Portland. What possible seventeenth-century connections could be there? Well, quite a lot, as I soon found out.… Read on

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The Basilica di San Marco, Venice, Italy

Two Sundays ago (my how time flies!), I attended the 8am Easter Sunday service at the iconic Basilica di San Marco by the Piazza San Marco, Venezia, Italy. In this, the first of a series of articles from my recent trip to Venice, I would like to briefly cover a fraction of the history of this building and… Read on

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The Queen’s House, Greenwich

The Queen’s House in Greenwich is located in the same area as the Old Royal Naval College, the Maritime Museum, Greenwich Park, and is a short walk away from the Greenwich Observatory and Greenwich Market. Once a royal retreat, it is now a free museum open to the enjoyment of all. I took as many photos as I… Read on

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Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Westonzoyland

This week, I was very fortunate to be able to go to Somerset. My husband celebrated his fortieth birthday last weekend and we were given a two night stay in East Bower, Bridgwater. It couldn’t have been more perfect because, as some of you know, I have been working on a novella about the Duke of Monmouth for… Read on

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Hever Castle

Hever Castle, another beautiful castle in Kent, was home to the Boleyn family. After the Boleyns fell from grace following Anne Boleyn’s spectacularly gruesome demise, the house eventually became the home of King Henry VIII’s cast-off fourth wife, Anne of Cleves. According to the timeline on the Hever Castle site, the house went to the Waldegrave family, which… Read on

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The King’s Stairs at Hampton Court Palace

The King’s Stairs in William III’s State Apartments in the newer half of Hampton Court Palace is a stunning example of Baroque architecture and artwork. The walls were painted (circa 1700) by Italian Baroque painter Antonio Verrio and conjure up mythological and historical figures depicting the strength of William III. Note how many allusions to warfare and might… Read on

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The Little Banqueting House at Hampton Court Palace

The Little Banqueting House was made for King William III for his private entertainment – a place to get away from it all. The beautiful Dutch terraced landscape garden known as the Pond Garden is in the foreground in the picture above, and in the background, the lovely Little Banqueting House. I was able to enter this lovely… Read on

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Canaletto – A Venetian Master

Master Baroque landscape painter, Giovanni Antonio Canal, aka “Canaletto,” was born on this day the 28th of October, 1697, in Venice. His use of colour is remarkable and sometimes even photo realistic. Look at the incredible amount of detail in the boats, in lighting, the distance – everything done to a very high quality. I remember pathetically trying… Read on

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Happy Birthday, Sir Christopher Wren!

One of the greatest architects of the Seventeenth century, Sir Christopher Michael #Wren, was born on this day 20 October, 1632. So, what were some of the structures Wren designed? Hampton Court Palace, Baroque side, for William & Mary Kensington Palace (it was converted from the smaller Nottingham House to Kensington House). Old Royal Naval College (then a Royal Hospital for… Read on

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St Gabriel Fenchurch

Whilst walking through the City of London… St. Gabriel Fenchurch was an Anglican church that stood between Rood Street and Mincing Lane. During the horrific Great Fire of London in 1666, this was one of many casualties. Unlike St. Paul’s, this was not rebuilt, but at least a plaque commemorates the area where it once stood.

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Baroque Weekend at Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace recently had a Baroque Weekend event and I travelled down from my home in Balham to participate in the activities. At 11 o’clock, we were escorted by Sir Christopher Wren from the Clock Court in the Tudor portion of the palace through to the Baroque palace to await the arrival of King William III and… Read on

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Palais Garnier

Since I was a little girl, I had dreamed of visiting this opera house. The Paris Opera was founded in 1669 by the Sun King, Louis XIV, and was housed at various venues throughout the beautiful city of Paris. The structure behind me in the photo below was made in the nineteenth century and is called the Palais Garnier,… Read on

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My Wedding at Blenheim Palace

I married my best male friend twice – once in Florida and again in England. My mother made my wedding dress – she embroidered everything by hand and applied little pearls on my train. The dress was based on a mixture of Queen Victoria’s wedding dress, some 17th Century ornamentation, and was basically a bit of my favourite… Read on

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Wrest Park

Wrest Park in beautiful Bedfordshire, England, was in a state of dilapidation for many years, and connected to a research facility. Now, under the careful and capable management of English Heritage (of which I am a member), the house and its gardens are looking great: I came to visit this building during my search for a suitable venue… Read on

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The Royal Observatory

We went to the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, and it was a wonderful experience. Anyone who loves the Seventeenth Century and science must come here if they can! We were lucky that the weather was good for the outing. It’s quite a trek going up the hill like we did, but great for the old legs! Greenwich is an… Read on

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Ham House & Gardens, Ham

Here I am at the amazing Ham House in Ham, Richmond-upon-Thames.   This magnificent home was built by a courter for James I, and extensively renovated for the Duke and Duchess of Lauderdale and is a fine example of 17th century architecture. Lucky for all of us visiting on that day, it was a beautiful, sunny summer’s day… Read on

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