Filed under housing

Punishment for Milan’s Plague

This is a miscellaneous tract from the university of Chicago, and a fascinating one on many levels The great plague of Milan in 1630 was alleged to have been set in motion by the actions of a Milanese barber and the Commissioner of Public Health. The two were executed. The officials of Milan then erected … Continue reading


Jack London’s London Journey Begins

Against all the advice of his friends and the authorities, Jack London purchases some dirty, frayed, working man’s clothes and sets forth on his journey, with some money seemed inside his singlet in case of emergency. He bids farewell to his friends and : No sooner was I out on the streets than I was … Continue reading

Jack London on London’s Poor

The horrors of life for the poor in London are so well documented by Charles Dickens that his surname has become synonymous with them. Together with the exhortations for change by The Times, and the work of social reformers, the Salvation Army and others, I thought things would have improved. I knew that many men … Continue reading

Sutton House

Sutton House

This is a National Trust property and the oldest home in East London. It was built by the courtier Sir Ralph Sadleir in 1535. His wife was a cousin of Oliver Cromwell. Instead of tapestries or wallpaper, the walls were covered with panels carved into ‘linenfold’ shapes, all of which were different. Some were painted. … Continue reading

Sale of ‘Village that Time Forgot’

Britain, especially England, is in the grip of a massive housing crisis with shortages and roaring prices making all but the very rich suffer. Here’s an article that reminds us that there were once rich landlords who cared for and about their tenants. This is from the i, 5 April: Estate agents dealing with the … Continue reading

Tudor Merchant’s House, Tenby

Tudor Merchant’s House, Tenby

This is a wonderful National Trust property in the centre of the old town, just up the hill from the main beach. As always, the staff are incredibly friendly and informative. The kitchen fireplace The “necessary House” in the kitchen, with a drop onto a gravel and reed bed to filter and flush away all … Continue reading

Selkirk’s French PoWs

This is some more from Highways & Byways on the border. I knew some Pows were kept in prisons, such as on Dartmoor, but officers were often let out on parole and some made lasting friendships with fellow educated folk in these islands, as they often came from good families. In their dealings with the … Continue reading

Architectural Anorak Corner

Architectural Anorak Corner

Victorians loved adapting old styles of architecture and playing with them. It makes their buildings far more interesting though they were breaking all the classical rules. This is a house I spotted in Central Cardiff that makes use of what was called Gibbs details, after the early 18th century architect/artist patronised by Lord Burlington who … Continue reading

The Plague and the Borders

This is from Highways & Byways in The Border, Away back in the evil ties when the Plague ravaged through Scotland very many its victims were buried in a common grave in Linden churchyard. But the church was demolished after the Reformation and the churchyard gradually feel out of use as a pace of burial … Continue reading

Border Towers Came in Threes

This is from Highways & Byways in The Border, Up the glen- the Fairy Dene, or Nameless Dene – formed by this stream [the Tweed] lies Glendearg, the ver described in the opening scenes of the Monastery [by Scott]. there are in fact, 3 towers in the glen Hillslap (now called Glendearg), Colmslie, and Langshaw. … Continue reading