History Blog

 RSS Feed

  1. If you walk around near St Paul's Cathedral then chances are you'll stumble on the exposed ruins of the church of Christ Church Greyfriars. Today it's a public space, offering a space for workers in the surrounding offices to sit and have lunch among trailing vines and flowerbeds. But it used to be an important centre of worship in Medieval London, and the final resting place of several Queens of England. 

  2. The church of St Mary Magdalene at Barkway was the first church I went to, as my primary school hosted many nativity shows, Easter ceremonies and harvest festivals in this building over the years. As a child I mostly just remember it being a rather plain and very cold building (especially during the nativity show), but as an adult I have gone back repeatedly to remind myself of it's beautiful memorials and some nice stained glass. 

  3. The High Kirk of St Giles is one of the landmarks of Edinburgh. But despite it's size, the church isn't a cathedral. Before the reformation the Cathedral for Edinburgh was actually at St Andrew's, while the reformed Church of Scotland has no bishops, and therefore cannot have a cathedral. The name "High Kirk" has been in use in Scotland for some time, and so St Giles' is known as the High Kirk of Edinburgh, rather than Edinburgh Cathedral. 

  4. The church of St Mary the Virgin in the village of Brent Pelham in Hertfordshire looks rather unremarkable from the outside. Like a lot of churches in theBrent Pelham Church, Herts local area the walls are flint rubble, while the square tower has buttresses and a Hertfordshire spike. Inside the church is a collection of memorials, including one from the 17th century depicting Mary and Ann, the two wives of a man named John Rowley, and some 18th century marble memorials. 

  5. The town of Leigh on Sea in Essex has become a regular visiting spot of mine over the past year, as my fiancee's parents live there. While walking around the town with my fiancee we had a wander up to the local parish church. A building has stood here since the 13th century, but the current church was built in the 1500's, with additional works carried out in the 19th and 20th centuries. The position of the church means that it virtually looms over the area known as "Old Leigh", but the proximity to the Thames Estuary makes this quite an apt place for a type of memorial that I've never seen before - a Dunkirk memorial.