Filed under 18th century architecture

St Thomas’s Old Operating Theatre

St Thomas’s Old Operating Theatre

This is a wonderful, haunting but small museum, a place that should make you fall down and give thanks to whoever you believe in that modern medicine exists. It’s in the attic to provide maximum light for operations. Everything is so small, especially the operating table which I doubt would be long enough for me. … Continue reading

Public Dissections

Modern medicine tends to be divided between doctors in general practice, and those in hospitals who specialise in various fields. But for centuries there were two groups: Physicians who were educated, elite and well educated, and barber-surgeons who were mere tradesmen and often treated people by bleeding them. Apparently this in turn dates to when … Continue reading

Octagon Chapel Bath – Update

This chapel was the first subscription chapel in England. William Herchell was organist there and his sister was in the choir. It is one of he most beautiful Georgian buildngs in Bath, but when the Royal Photographic Society moved out it struggled to find new purpose, especially after the main street entrance was sold for … Continue reading

Strawberry Hill House

Strawberry Hill House

This country house at Twickenham is often mentioned in literature of 18th century England, but I thought it had been lost long ago. Incredibly, it has been rescued and is now open to the public. This gem was built by Horace Walpole, youngest son of Britain’s first Prime Minister. It was the first modern gothic … Continue reading

William Wallace’s Kirk Found?

This is from the latest Current Archaeology: The remains of a medieval church, recently discovered in Selkirk, may be the remains of the ‘Kirk of the Forest’ where William Wallace was made Guardian of Scotland following his victory at the Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297, archaeologists suggest. Chris Bowles, Scottish Borders Council archaeologist, together … Continue reading

Newcastle’s Castle

Newcastle is a large, ancient city in the north of England, the birthplace of Sting and Eric Burdon, but despite the name, few people probably think about its namesake. This is from Highways & Byways of Northumberland: The castle occupied an area of 3 acres enclosed by a curtain shall through which the chief entrance … Continue reading

Byzantine Acoustics

This may seem to be a piece that’s gone way of the obscurity meter even for my posting, but sound in churches is intriguing, because it shows how much ancient people could figure out and get acoustics right without our modern technology. There is a general consensus that religious music and architecture are interconnected, but … Continue reading

After the Fire

Last year one of the nation’s most important 18th century mansions went up in flames. When I saw it on the news I thought that was the end of it, but miraculously, parts of it survived and the National Trust is now restoring it. Not to its full original state, as too much was lost … Continue reading

Bath Pump Room

Bath Pump Room

This is where visitors to the spa used to come in the mornings for a large drink of the famous waters. You can still try the stuff – tastes rather metallic, but I’ve had worse. Cheltenham water is said to be truly awful. This is now an upmarket tea room, and if you are lucky … Continue reading

The Beefsteak Club

Eighteenth century London became famous for its many chop houses, coffee houses and especially clubs whree gents could drop by to catch up with the latest news and gossip whilst chowing down to some seriously carnivorous food, mostly beef. This is from a wonderful magazine, reduced from a full size book by English Heritage, Images … Continue reading