Last Friday I was in Temple walking through Fleet Street and come upon St. Dunstan in the West. So I thought I would head inside for a look. It’s an impressive church in the heart of the city but sadly it also felt very neglected.
There was an eerie feel to the place, the pollution from all the passing traffic outside had soaked its way deep into the church. This effect darkened the place which would of been a lot brighter if had been looked after.
The bench cushions looked well used and could do with replacing, so I sat at the back on a bench that didn’t have one looking across hoping for someone to rescue this place. They are trying to raise millions to repair the church tower, I can’t spare that much, but I did donate a few quid in the collection box on the way out.
I’ve just been down to Euston to visit the Wellcome Collection and see their new exhibit titled Bedlam: the asylum and beyond. (till 15th January 2017)
I was expecting something more macabre but instead I found a strange collection of art and what I would say footnotes of the subject. There didn’t seem any depth to the exhibit, instead as you walk around the first installation you see some poor girl’s arm sticking out from underneath. This was followed by some explanation of what they were trying to say however I zoned out and my thoughts didn’t really focus too well on what was there.
A few paintings, prints, art and books. It seemed to be a very small part of the subject matter and a very small collection. All I can remember is that Bedlem derives from Bethlem Royal Hospital, and the name Bethlem from Bethlehem, Israel.
It’s not a subject I’ve ever really been interested in and unless you have interests in the subject matter I wouldn’t recommend a visit.
On Wednesday I was in Primrose Hill and had what I would say is one of the nicest meals I had this year. I had the Angus fillet which was cooked to perfection. For those in London who want exceptional food this is one of the places to visit.
13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London, WC2A 3BP
How many people have heard of Sir John Soane or know who he is? An architect born in the 16th century the son of a brick layer established himself as one of the greats of British architecture. He went on to collect many paintings, various pieces of architecture, different types of curious objects and even managed to acquire the sarcophagus of Seti I when the British Museum couldn’t afford it.
The museum is his old London home next to a nice little park in Holburn. It’s free to visit and I would recommend it is well worth it.
Hertford House, Manchester Square, London W1U 3BN
In the heart of London is another museum you can walk in for free like the British Museum or the National Gallery, but unless you have a tourist book you might not even know it exists.
Once you walk around Manchester Square you might not notice on first glance as there doesn’t look like much activity next to the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street. But you will see the banner behind the open cast iron gates to see the collection. You can join the free tour or view the house in your own time.
Once inside you will see treasures the biggest galleries in the world would love to get hold of.
This collection acquired over the years by the Marquesses of Hertford then additions added to the collection from Sir Richard Wallace the son of the 4th Marquess. In 1897 his wife Lady Wallace with no heir bequeathed the collection to the British nation.
Unlike a National Trust property the house doesn’t look lived in as there are no bedrooms, sitting room of any type. Instead you will see that it’s one big museum gallery with a weapons room, display rooms and an art collection with rooms that rivals the National Gallery.
In you go on the tour you will learn more about parts of the collection and see painting done by masters such as Sir Anthony Van Dyck, Titian, Rembrandt, Velázquez and others.
I was highly impressed with the collection and recommend everyone who have an interest in history, art or ancient weapons to have a look.