Sunday, November 08, 2015

Crossbones Graveyard, everyday heroes, and a cathedral cat

On a beautiful sunny Autumn day about a month ago we went into London to explore some hidden gems. Ever since we did our recent street art tour of Camden we've taken more notice of the art we see - the below BT box was painted by Morganic (click the name to go to their website).

The first place we visited was Crossbones graveyard which is not far from London Bridge station. Crossbones was a graveyard as far back as medieval times for prostitutes and what were considered the dregs of society

On the 23rd of each month a vigil is held to remember the people who died. People leave tokens of remembrance on the gates.  The area behind the gates is being turned into a beautiful memorial garden.

We then wandered back down towards the Thames, coming across an art installation that was part of the Merge festival going on around the area. The Chamber of Wishes was a wishing well that involved writing a wish on a card, and then visiting the wishing well which used bio-luminescent sea water. There were hanging glass baubles with sea water in them that when tapped glowed for a few seconds - it was very magical. We then hung our wishes up with everyone else's.

The sign for the wishes was made out of marbles
Many wishes - let's hope the majority come true
I thought the picture below shows the two sides of London quite well - the old and a war memorial shadowed by the ever present shard.

We then went through Borough Market on the way to visit Southwark Cathedral.

Beautiful flower stall
Spooky gingerbread men for Halloween
Spooky cakes
Boy playing a saw - yes we had stepped back in time

As the sign above states, Christians have worshipped on this site since AD 606 and Southwark Cathedral is the oldest gothic church in London.  It's a really beautiful building, but as it is in the middle of a really built up area and surrounded by the market and train lines, it's impossible to get a picture of the building to show it's true splendour.  Instead, enjoy shots taken inside the church.

The above is a prayer map for Zimbabwe
Squirrel trying to get away from the Cathedral cat

Above is the cathedral cat who has a very impressive name - Doorkins Magnificat!!  He turned up at the cathedral in 2008 and has become a regular fixture since - often to be found in the cathedral or enjoying the sun in the garden.  Or, as he was the day we were there, keeping the local squirrels in line.  I love that the cathedral has adopted him, and there are even things to buy in the gift shop that represent him.

The below carved boulder is to commemorate Sachem Mahomet Weyonomon a member of the Mohegan tribe in North America who died in London in the 1700's when he had come to meet with the King about the tribal lands being stolen from his people.

After we left the cathedral we found a lovely old pub called the Mudlark which was based near the Thames - if you read my last post you will know what a mudlark is, and that is why we chose to eat there.

Ken chose our table and without realising, he'd sat beneath the great Australian flag.  They had the flags up as it was during the Rugby World Cup.

One of the features of this pub is that they sell real ales from local brewery's.  To commemorate the world cup they had several with a rugby theme, like the one below.  Rather fitting as that is how the final ended up, just not quite the result I would have liked.

Another great piece of street art - where not sure what the artist is trying to say with it, but it's very striking.

Wherever you go in London you always come across buskers - these two gentlemen were from the more high class type of street performer.

View of the north side of the Thames with St Paul's dominating the skyline.  Then a selfie taken on the millennium bridge with St Paul's behind us.

As we walked towards St Paul's we passed the below building - perhaps this is where Michael and Kitt are spending their retirement (fans of 80's TV will know what I'm talking about).

The sculpture below is The Nail, by Gavin Turk and is 12 metres high.  It was unveiled in 2011.

An old police phone box - they aren't in use anymore but I'm glad they've been left as a feature in London.

Our next stop was Postman's Park which has a rather unique memorial within.  It is the Watts Memorial to Historic Self Sacrifice - beautiful ceramic tiles detailing acts of bravery by ordinary people that unfortunately resulted in their deaths.  I've included pictures of a couple of the plaques, along with some lovely headstones resting against a wall.

A different view of the Nail which shows St Paul's behind it - apparently the sculpture is meant to represent the difference between the old and the new of London and the hundreds of years between them.

Our final stop on our wander was Selfridge's, which is a very posh department store in London on Oxford Street.  I love the displays they have inside.

Skull shaped Tequila bottles
Very expensive alcohol - the biggest bottle is £59,000!!!  We could nearly buy a house for that - some people obviously have more money than sense.
Docking station and speakers, shaped like a French Bulldog, for a smart phone.
The goat was actually moving - it was to demonstrate the head camera that he's wearing - something for the thrill seekers.
Lovely Jelly Beans
Even lovelier Macaroons.
The one thing that you can always rely on Selfridge's for is their window displays - every window had huge flowers in them and they were advertising the Apple Watch which is the very small black dot in front of the middle flower.

So that was another day out in London discovering more of the quirky things that this city has to offer - you can never get bored.

Until next time, keep smiling, stay safe, and have a fantabulous week.

Pamela & Ken


  1. ☀ Excellent album and very interesting history, beautiful church indeed. Thank you for sharing. =0)