Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Paternoster Chop House - Guided Walks with Sunday Lunch - event organised by MissB

This Sunday 23rd September - 'City Sampler' taken by Miss B. 11.30am .
Please book in for lunch via the web site.

Sunday 21st October - Celebration of Sir Christopher Wren - born 20th October 1632!
A fabulous talk and walk by David Thompson - a notable expert on the subject.
The talk takes place in Temple Bar - do not miss out on this unique opportunity which includes a special C17th menu researched and prepared by the Head Chef.

Make a note to check out the restaurant web site for reservations.

http://www.paternosterchophouse.co.uk/offers - to book a table, the guide will be paid for separately £10.00 plus concessions.

Enjoyable Preparation for Walks to come

It was wonderful to return to the City of London last weekend, holidays are all well and good, but I have missed walking the streets and alleyways of the City.

Here are some photographs that I took on my stroll.

G F Watts Carving - Postmans Park

Christchurch Greyfriars - Festooned with Flags

Autumn Planting at Postmans Park

Parade of New Bollards Dowgate Hill

Bollards Dowgate Hill following ancient river bed?

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Farley Hill Great House, St Peter, Barbados

Front elevation
Miss B never tires of visiting this park which is the site of the great house of Farley Hill, (previously Grenade Hall) the ruins of this once fine Georgian Mansion evokes romantic notions and thoughts of how it must have been to live in such splendour and wealth. The site is 900 feet above sea level and is laid out in approximately 17 acres of shady forest. A  cool and welcoming place from the heat of the island, with wonderful views over the East Coast. The house is built of coral stone and finely crafted.

View of Atlantic Coast

There are remains of what was once a splendid garden, possibly a large pond with a fountain fed from natural sources. The original owners and descendants were keen botanists and planted many unusual trees and plants from around the world. Some long since gone, firewood during the wars of Europe and/or destroyed in ignorance when clearance was carried out when Farley Hill became a national park in1966.

The bare bones of the house was begun in 1818 (date found on internal parapet). Joseph Lyder Briggs  came into possession of the mansion circa 1850. He never lived there and gave the house to his son, Thomas Graham Briggs, upon his marriage, who added a South Wing and library, billiard room, bedrooms and it is said there were as many as 99 windows. On his death his wife returned to England.

The house was sold to a cousin, Benjamin Courbank Howell, who found it too far away from Bridgetown to be anything but a weekend retreat. Finally it was rented out and by 1940 was beginning to show signs of decay. The Caribbean climate does not allow for neglect of any kind of property, it needs constant attention. The local idea of conservation also does not bear thinking about, it would not do for English Heritage, but I feel they do their best with limited funding.

Pediment with Coats of Arms
The mansion was used in 1956 as the 'Belfontaine Mansion' of the fictitious island of Santa Marta in the film 'Island in the Sun' - not long after it suffered a huge fire which all but destroyed it; perhaps caused by the inflammable materials left by the Hollywood crew. We will never know.

Possibly remains of pool with fountain

However the government of Barbados saw the ruins as a heritage spot and  took it over as a national park and it was opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1966. Several of her relatives had, over the previous 100 years been guests at the mansion.

Rear elevation with original carriageway

On my return to the island, I plan to visit the local museum and try to discover more about the house.

It would seem the Briggs family were likely with or just behind the first settlers to arrive at Jamestown (now Holetown) 1627.

Extract from the Archives of the Briggs Family

(5.) Joseph Lyder, esq- of Briggs, Majmards, and Farley Hill'
Barbados J. P. Col. of the St. Lucy reg't of militia, b. 7, July
1792, m. 1832, Elizabeth dau. of Benjamin Hinds, esq. of Hinds-
bury Treasurer of Barbados, and widow of John Abel Jackman,
esq. of Rockless, and d. 17 Sept, 1866, leaving an only child, the
present Sir Thomas Graham Briggs, Bar't. 

Creation. — 27. Nov. 1871.

Arms. — Arg., three bars, gemelles, az. a canton of the last
thereon a bridge, of the first.

Crests — Upon the stumj) of a tree, erased and couped, and charged
with a trefoil, ppr. a pelican, vulning herself, wings elevated arg.

Mottoes. — "Virtus est Deo'' over the crest ; "Ne traverse pas le
pont," under the arms. ,

Seats. — Briggs-Dayrell, Maynards, and Farley Hill, Barbados ;
Old Manor, Stoney Grove, and Round Hill, Nevis.
Cannot see details to clearly from my photographs, but there is a definite 'Ne' under the arms!


Bricks of Barbados

A visit to the Wildlife Reserve found  me somewhat distracted by the paths and patios being made of recycled bricks. Not any old bricks you understand but very old bricks imported to the island during the C17th and C18th from England and Scotland and used in the construction of the boilers for the sugar cane mills.

As with most things there are collectors of bricks and blogs and websites, giving great detail of the manufacturing history, sizes and uses.

The centuries I mention above are from the pamphlet given out at the reserve and upon a quick and by no means definitive search, it would seem that most of the bricks were likely to be early C19th, this based on the information gleaned from expert and collector sites. However also discovered that bricks travelled far and wide, not only to Barbados but the Yukon and Pennsylvania, strong connection with mining communities.


The reserve is an excellent example of recycling on the island. The coral stone walls were collected from the surrounding cane fields, the small concrete and iron wheels are from the tractors when rubber was not available during WWII. Chains were salvaged from the conveyor systems in the sugar factories, which fed the chopped cane to the mill rollers, also a huge iron wheel which drove the crushing rollers. Also iron plaques are used to decorate various buildings, assume they came from tractors or mill machinery.


Nelson in Barbados - Update 2017

Statue of Nelson in Bridgetown, Barbados

The Bridgetown monument was erected 22 March 1813 in an area known as Trafalgar Square.  This statue predates Nelson’s Column in London by nearly 30 years. Trafalgar Square in Bridgetown was renamed National Heroes Square in April 1999.

Horatio Nelson was stationed at Nevis in the Caribbean in 1785. Here he met and later married Fanny Nesbit (1787).

During 1786 Nelson moved to Barbados where he was engaged in legal struggles with the Prize Courts.

[In 1784 he received command of the frigate HMS Boreas with the assignment to enforce the Navigation Acts in the vicinity of Antigua.[52]The Acts were unpopular with both the Americans and the colonies.[53] Nelson served on the station under Admiral Sir Richard Hughes, and often came into conflict with his superior officer over their differing interpretation of the Acts.[54] The captains of the American vessels Nelson had seized sued him for illegal seizure. Because the merchants of the nearby island of Nevis supported the American claim, Nelson was in peril of imprisonment; he remained sequestered on Boreas for eight months, until the courts ruled in his favour.[55] Wikipedia

Nelson and his new wife, Frances Nisbet, left the Caribbean to live in England shortly afterwards.

A devoted and loving wife she nursed him through his convalescence after he lost his arm at the Battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. He returned to active duty in 1798 and met Emma Hamilton, the rest is history.

At the top of Nelson's Column
Trafalgar Square, London

Monument to Lord Nelson in the Guildhall
Commemorates Battle of Trafalgar 1805

Hunte's Gardens, Barbados 2017
Supposedly a 'whole' Nelson

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Rothschilds Bank - New Court

Update: Had a message back from the Archives at Rothschild Bank - sadly the drawing by SRJ of New Court cannot be published as it is the property of the Bank. They kindly sent me an attachment of the picture, but not allowed to use.

Large Arched entrance to court yard, cobbled and paved. Rusticated throughout ground floor, arched windows. pilasters between each.  Main door with semi circle series of steps to main double door (nearly has high as windows) to left of arch. Balustrading to first floor oblong, tall windows with pediment over, top floor small square windows. Would imagine this side is reflected on the opposite side of the court. Section facing arch has massive Tuscan columns raised on a platform with stone steps either end. The eaves of the roof are stepped and decorated (Italianate?). Indication of a deep basement by tops of window lights apparent below yard level. An elegant fortification.  A booklet is one its way to me with details of the three buildings erected on this site. Request a copy via therothschildarchive@rothschild.com  Please note the details/pictures therein are not for publication.

Rothschild Building - New Court - View to back of St Stephan Walbrook, showing landscaped garden, courtesy of the bank. Difficult to gain access, the security is fierce as it is private land.

Look out for the enamel sign of the Five Arrows,  the original sign from the 1860's building. An interesting history, please see link below.


Also see Sydney R Jones Page where he comments about New Court whilst preparing a pen and ink drawing for the Bankers.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Next Week - 11th August 2012

An Invitation from Lime Ward : A rarely seen church interior and organ recital!

St Peter upon Cornhill
Copyright 'KnowledgeofLondon.com'

Lime Street Ward Club thought that you might like to know that St Peter upon Cornhill is going to be open to the Public (unfortunately a rare experience)  on Sat 11th August from 10.00am to 4.00pm – hopefully with the Old Organ being played throughout.

This event is being run by Lime Street Ward Club  see www.lstwc.org.uk  for more about the Club, their church  and the “Hymnathon” to try to raise money for both the Organ Fund and their Master’s own chosen charity.

Any members and their friends would be more than welcome to come and visit the Church.
(Tea and coffee will be available)

Thanks to my friend Peter Twist for this information.

Special thanks to knowledgeoflondon.com 

St Peter's Cornhill
 Courtesy of Ash Rare Books
SHEPHERD, George Sidney, 1784-1862 : ST. PETER'S, CORNHILL.

London : J. Booth, 1811. A handsome antique print - an attractive view of the Wren church from the churchyard - the tower of its neighbour St. Michael's beyond. Engraved by William Wise (fl.1790-1818) from an original drawing by George Sidney Shepherd. Originally produced for the part-work series "Architectura Ecclesiastica Londini; being a Series of Views" (London : 1810-1823) - "the first artistically competent and exhaustive illustration of the golden age of London church building" (Adams). Below the image are several lines of explanatory text.
Copper line engraving on paper. Engraved surface 269 x 165mm (approx. 10-5/8" x 6-1/2"). In very good and clean state. A guaranteed genuine antique print. Adams 129/105. SOLD