London’s Landmarks Part 4

London’s Landmarks Part 4


Lambeth Palace

Lambeth Palace on of the most recognisable sights on the bank of the River Thames, the Palace has been the home of the Archbishop of Canterbury since 1200AD. The Palace was originally

Removals South London closer to the waterfront and the Archbishops came and went using the archiepiscopal barge. Many believe that the word Lambeth originates from the word loamhithe meaning ‘muddy bank’.

Access to the palace is gained through the Tudor brick gatehouse, built by Cardinal Morton in 1495. The Fig trees in the garden are thought to have descended from those planted by Cardinal Pole, the last of the Catholic Archbishops, in the sixteenth century. Past the Fig Trees lies the Great Hall, which fell into disrepair under Oliver Cromwell and was rebuilt by Archbishop Juxon. The Chapel and Crypt were built in the thirteenth century with the chapel being damaged during the war, but has now been fully restored. Lollards Tower was originally a water tower but is best known as the prison of Wycliffe’s supporters. Wycliffe stood trial for heresy in the Chapel in 1378.

Architect Edward Bore replaced the two East wings of the Palace with a single block built from Bath stone during the nineteenth century. The Palace Gardens contain a herb garden and rose terrace. They are among the oldest and largest Gardens in London and are open all year round.

Lambeth Palace is not open to the general public though tours can be arranged by writing to the bookings department.

Leicester Square

Leicester Square was originally set out in 1670. The site was south of Leicester House a former royal building that has since disappeared. Leicester square was once a very fashionable place to live and boasted among its residents Sir Isaac Newton, the scientist who theorized the idea of gravity. The famous artist Hogarth was also a resident here and painted many of his society portraits from his studio at number sixty-eight. In 1801 Hogarth’s house was converted into the areas first restaurant; named Hotel de la Sablionere.

The Empire Cinema on Leicester square was formerly a popular music hall with the same name. Towards the end of the twentieth century the Leicester square area had become a somewhat undesirable location until Westminster Council invested heavily in the area during the 1990s. Leicester Square is now home to some of London’s largest cinemas and is the venue for many premiers. The movie influence is apparent from the statue of Charlie Chaplin.

To the North of the square is the Swiss Centre famed for its hourly chiming clock. The Society of West End Theatre’s ‘half-priced ticket booth is located in the Clock tower buildings and sells reduced tickets to many of London’s shows on the same day as the performance.

London Central Mosque

Surrounded by trees on the edge of the beautiful Regents Park stands the magnificent London Central Mosque. Designed by Sir Frederick Gibberd and completed in 1978, the Mosque is instantly recognisable by its breath-taking gold dome. The Mosque was built to cater for the increasing numbers of Muslim residents and visitors in London.


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