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Saturday, November 24, 2007

Of Churches, Old Houses and Birds

I thought I'd would do something that would please OC. Go somewhere I could take loads of photos ey OC!!

So off to Hampstead. London is odd, you go through areas of obvious poverty and right next door will be somewhere obviously wealthy. Hampstead and its Heath are obviously not short of a few bob but the Heath is one of those lovely parks that to me give London its soul. I would never want to live in London but if I did there are worse places than Hampstead Heath.

Anyway before that we have 658 St John Hampstead. And apologies my flash batteries ran out - darn!!

St John is a "modern" church. It opened in 1747!! Now I'm not a big fan of post reformation church architecture. The outside generally looks so ugly, obviously i'm a goth at heart.

There are a few famous people buried in the churchyard. Constable for instance and John Harrison the inventor of Longitude.

So back to Hampstead Heath.

On a warm summer day it would be lovely but today was cold and grey still there is much to see. It supports a sizeable number of birds. Parakeets and Jays were obvious today. There are a number of ponds.

And where you find ponds you find?

But other than ticking a church why was I here? Ah what's this!

Kenwood House. What you see was remodelled by Robert Adam. Sadly most of the furniture was sold in 1922, luckily it was bought by Lord Iveaghin 1925 who left it to the nation together with its art collection in 1927. The park was incorporated into Hampstead Heath.

Today Kenwood is in the care of English Heritage and it is open to the public for Free! Sadly not all of it was open today but it was well worth the trip. It still lacks furniture but the Libary is magnificent with ceilings by Zucchi. Kenwoods paintings have artists of the first rank. Turner, Van Dyck, Gainsborough, Reynolds, Vermeer and Hogarth.


oldcrow61 said...

The church is very nice indeed. Do you suppose that's real gold on the posts and ceiling, etc. What's the bird with the red on it's head? Great pictures.

Pete said...

Paint I guess.

The bird is a Moorhen

leazwell said...

Paint - gilt surely...

The facade is bland to be sure.

The estate 19c?

Pete said...

yeah gilt!! doh!!

the house is early 17th. but was remodelled by robert adam in the mid 18th

leazwell said...

duh back - over HERE early 19c would have been a good guess.

Tricia said...

Any sightings of Bill on Hampstead Heath?

Pete said...

tricia - no wasn't looking. nice place and the tufties come close!!

Leaz - by the 19th century we were gripped by the Gothic Revival.

Cherrypie said...

Itwas John Harrison, not Harrington.

He invented the chronometer in Barrow upon Humber. He tested it upon the Humber. he is one of my heroes. I apologise for my uncharacteristic pedantry.

c x