Tag Archives: statues

Statues at St Pauls Cathedral

The day started out as Leanne and I going on a walk about to explore London with our cameras, but we actually just ended up finding weird and wonderful things such as strange food in china town, I think the weirdest thing I found was roasted coconut juice……… we stumbled upon Ripley’s believe it or not which had a scary animatronic band in the doorway and a real life guy juggling knives excitedly telling the watching audience ‘that’s it, come closer, closer!’….. The rainforest cafe where I asked Leanne what a huge round ball of a cuddly toy was, apparently it was a turtle, (this was agreed by the lady in shop that asked if we needed help)…..it so wasn’t a turtle!  A five (six?) warehouse/shop dedicated solely to M&M’s and merchandise, I had no idea they were so popular, and I don’t think anything warrants the kind of price tags on the stock.

Anyway at St Paul’s we found a statue that stole our attention and they are the only photos I took! We also got to go in, something Leanne was very excited about!

These statues sum up our day for me, interesting but bordering on the creepy/sinister!

Left Statue

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Cast Courts

My latest visit to London led us to stumble upon the Cast Courts in the V&A Museum. Originally Leanne (see her post on the Cast Courts here) and her sister Shannon went to see the Ballgowns and Hollywood Costumes exhibition but after seeing what it was from the outside and finding out the price we decided to veto it and wander instead, leading us to our discovery.

The Cast Courts were a sight to behold – ‘Opened in October 1873 The Builder compared the experience of seeing them for the first time with a first glimpse of Mont Blanc, creating one of those ‘impressions that can scarcely be effaced.’

Since it was Halloween yesterday, I think this post is quite apt, most of the figures in the architecture were very eerie.

After the Cast Courts we stopped off at a nice pub…… after that we went to the Grant Museum of zoology. Photos will be posted tomorrow!


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Painshill Park

Took a trip to Painshill Park (situated in Cobham, Surrey) after discovering it in my ‘501 greats days out in the uk’ book. It was the perfect day for photography in this type of place as the sky was blue and there were nice fluffy clouds!

Painshill Park today comprises of 158 acres, reduced from it’s original 200 acres. The park was created and owned by Charles Hamilton (a british politician) in the 18th century. ‘Painshill was created as a romantic landscape to stimulate the senses and emotions of the visitor. Hamilton was in the vanguard of the picturesque movement.’ He ‘eventually ran out of money and sold the estate in 1773.’ After 1948 Painshill gradually fell into decay until around 1981 when restoration started.

The statue below stands in the Ampitheatre. The Ampitheatre comprises of ‘Six tiers of evergreen planting, mixing European and “exotic” trees and shrubs are arranged in a semi-formal rhythmic pattern which reminded Sir John Parnell of an amphitheatre in 1763.  The limited palette of plants gives the border a unity and attention is paid to the shape and growth habits of each tree or shrub in its position to keep the tiering.’ The statue is a copy of the ‘Sabine Group’ by Giambologna, which is made from marble and stands in Florence. The replica in Painshill Park however is made from lead.

Beyond these trees stands the vineyard. The vineyard produces white, rose and sparkling wine. This is also one of three entrances to the Ampitheatre.

This is the Gothic Temple. It was designed to offer a preview of the buildings around the park so that you could visit them at a more close-up and intimate level later.

The ‘Ruined Abbey’ was the last ‘ folly’ created by Charles Hamilton. It was designed this way to start off with. It is constructed out of brick but made to look like stone (on the other side, not pictured here).

The chinese bridge that leads to the Grotto.

The upper walls and ceiling of the Grotto are covered in gypsum, quartz, calcite and fluorite. The lower walls are made of clinker stone to give contrast. The tunnel and outer structure is made from brick which is covered by blocks of limestone. All of this gives the impression of a natural crystal grotto. The grotto is built across two islands in the lake and from the outside looks like a rocky outcrop.

The holes through the limestone are completely natural.

I am not really sure what kind of ‘duck’ this is. I haven’t really seen a duck perched in a really tall tree before, if anyone could let me know what it is id be happy to know!

Painshill is one of the most stunning parks I have been too. I think we covered most of it, though there is not enough light this time of year to spend the entire day wandering and exploring which is a shame. Though I couldn’t have asked for anything better from the light and sky that we did have on the day!


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Highgate Cemetery

I had an amazing day touring Highgate cemetery. The cemetery consists of an east and a west side. In the east side you can walk freely around, but the west side which is older, requires a tour for you to access it. Outside near the cemetery entrance were these interesting chimneys, each having its own individual pattern.

Straight away the entrance looks imposing. Our tour lady told us lots of interesting things about the place such as to get the body across the road (where im standing) to the east cemetery, they had an underground tunnel so that they didn’t have to cross the road. It is currently waterlogged but they are trying to restore it.

It was very overcast all day and with all the trees overshadowing the cemetery it made it hard for photography. Wasn’t allowed tripods, and even if you was, at the speed the tour was going I wouldn’t have been able to use it anyway. This was the only bad thing really, the tour was interesting and i’m glad I learned some interesting facts about the place but I would have liked to wander off afterwards and taken photos without being rushed. I could have easily spent all day in the place. The one time I did lag behind I got called to ‘are you coming?!‘ To which she explained later she wasn’t allowed anyone out of sight as some people book tours and wander off with the intentions of scattering ashes of their loved ones in the cemetery without permission, which I found quite amusing to be honest.

Some parts of the cemetery had a very ‘Indian Jones’ feel to them.

This pyramid-shaped grave was the 11th grave put in the west side cemetery.

This is the grave of Thomas Sayers, who was a bare-knuckle prize fighter. There were no weight divisions back then and his final fight against an American, John Heenan, is regarded as the world’s first boxing championship. This match lasted 40 rounds, a match only ended when a fighter was knocked down, so between them they had been knocked down 40 times! The match ended in a draw when the crowd flooded the ring. The dog guarding his tomb was Sayers’s constant companion called Leo, or Lion.

Highgate cemetery is well worth visiting, though it is rather annoying that you are forced to have a tour to see the west side. The tour is only an hour long and I feel we only got to see a fraction of the place. Despite this I thoroughly enjoyed myself, I would love to have the opportunity to explore the west side of the cemetery and discover at my own leisure.


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