Kings College Chapel is located in London on the Strand, it’s open to everyone and not very well known. Built in 1864 by the famous neo-gothic architect George Gilbert Scott who was also responsible for St Pancras station and hotel, the Albert Memorial among many things.
King’s College University was founded in 1829 by King George IV and the Duke of Wellington. The original building also included a chapel for praying but it was deemed too humble and was decided to build a new one. Gilbert Scott practically had to insert this chapel into an existing building, not an easy task.
The chapel is extremely opulent with a lot of use of red and gold colors, it has also been recently restored and you will see it at its best. Also take a look at the organ which dates back to around 1860 and produced by the Messrs Wills company. In the 1930s the organ was in poor condition and was repaired by Mr. Wills’ nephew who had built it 70 years earlier. In the 1970s it was completely renovated again, so what you see now is an organ that is over 150 years old.
Here you can see a 360 degree virtual version. There are regular religious rites in the chapel that are open to all, the chapel only works during the academic year. The chapel is located on the first floor of the Kings building directly above the Great Hall.
Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese – a pub with a literary history
The historic Kensington pub where Dickens and DH Lawrence used to drink
A traditional pub in South Kensington, famous for being patronised by Charles Dickens (who lived on this street at number 11 for a while) and DH Lawrence.
Even now it is a pub that is often packed with people in the evening and you won’t always find a seat if you don’t eat. If you want to experience the atmosphere of a historic pub but without the crowds, you can do it in the afternoon when you will also find a seat.
The pub also offers food and has a garden for nice days or you could go downstairs where you can find tables to eat in an area not too crowded. To get there you have to find a side door. The menu is typical of a pub, but if you are passing through and want to have traditional fish & chips or a pie with a pint of beer, this is a great place to do it. It is not far from the museums of South Kensington so we are in an area where many tourists will be passing through.
In Hampshire looking for Jane Austen
Many people when they think of Jane Austen, they think of Bath, in fact, the well-known British writer lived for 25 years in the county of Hampshire.
This county appears relatively little in her novels, but if you go to Hampshire, you can visit some places related to the writer. In particular we can visit a museum dedicated to her which is located in a small brick cottage where the writer lived from 1809 to 1817.
This after having lived in Southampton and Bath. Clearly these larger places gave her ideas and inspiration that she would not have had in the country but it is only after returning to a quiet place that Jane Austen resumed writing.
The museum is located in Chawton and you can still see the original furniture such as the desk where Austen àwrote some of her works.
Edward, the writer’s brother had become rich and while Austen frequented wealthy circles, she was not from a wealthy family. The brother lived nearby and visiting him meant frequenting a wealthy and fashionable environment. His brother’s house still stands today and is called Chawton House, a 16th century Tudor-style house.
The house now houses in its library a collection of books written by women if you go just outside the house of St Nicholas church you will see the graves of Austen’s mother and sister. If you want to continue your Jane Austen tour in Hampshire you can take the scenic railway called Watercress Line to Aston where the Jane Austen festival is held every June. Aston was where Austen used to shop regularly.
The Vyne is a house definitely worth visiting, it is located near Basingstoke and was a house from the Tudor times, where Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, Catherine of Aragon and many others also stayed. Jane Austen was a friend of the family who lived here at the time and therefore she used to come often and participate in the dances and other social gatherings.
Jane had to leave her beloved cottage when her health deteriorated and so she went to live in Winchester to be near her doctors. That is why her grave is in Winchester Cathedral. Originally her grave did not say she was a writer because all of her books were published anonymously when she was alive
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