Welcome to my blog

This is it! I've given up work -retired from the rat race and am about to start on a 10 year adventure, doing all those things I've been meaning to do but never had the time to do them. I've offloaded my responsibilities and it is now my time. So follow my adventures and see whether I actually manage anything!

Monday, 1 February 2016

Museum of St John

St John's gate is the entrance to the former Priory of the Knights of St John.  The Museum of St John tells the story from  the order of St John in Jerusalem to the role of St John's Ambulance  today.

It is a small museum but very informative charting the history of the order. The order of St John was founded in Jerusalem to care for pilgrims travelling to the Holy land. As the order grew they were given lands in England and other parts of Europe which provided food, money and people for their work. The order of St John has occupied land here in Clerkenwell since 1140 when the land was donated to the Knights for the building of their Priory which became the Knights English headquarters. Three religious communities resided here - the Priory of St John, the Nunnery of St Mary and later the Charterhouse.

Near to St John's gate and the museum  is the Priory Church of the order of St John of Jerusalem. It was consecrated in 1185 but destroyed by enemy action in 1941. However the 12th cent crypt still remains.
When Henry VIII  broke from the church of Rome and became Head of the Church of England in 1534 he began to close religious houses and communities throughout England and Wales with all their wealth transferring to the Crown.

In 1540 King Henry VIII took the order's property including the Priory at Clerkenwell.

In 1874 Sir Edmund Lechmere, a member of the modern British order of St John's, bought St John's Gate and had it renovated. It was from here that the work of the Order and St John Ambulance around the world began. In 1888 Queen Victoria granted a Royal Charter to the British Order of St John and it became a Royal Order of Chivalry.

The founders of St John wanted the organisation to resume the original ethos of caring for the sick as well as being an order of chivalry. The organisation was the first to give medical knowledge to the public in the form of First Aid classes. The founders also set up Britain's first system of care and treatment for victims of accidents. In 1877 St John Ambulance Association was formed.

Today the headquarters of St John Ambulance is  next door to St John's Gate.

Sharing with Our World Tuesday

Friday, 29 January 2016

St John's Gate

This is an old photo of St John's Gate, Clerkenwell London from the Museum of St John( more about that in a later post). The Museum window is reflected just where the gate used to be.  

 This is how the gate looks today.

Sharing with James at Weekend Reflections

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Hercule Poirot's home

In Charterhouse Square on the boundary of the City of London is this block of art deco apartments.

Some of you might recognise it as 'Whitehaven Mansions', Hercule Poirot's home in the TV series  'Poirot'. Built in the mid 1930s it makes the perfect location for Poirot which is set during that period.

Monday, 25 January 2016

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Fairlop Underground station

As part of my 'Above the Underground' challenge I visited Fairlop Underground Station, home to the the Fairlop Oak and Fairlop Water. More info and photos from the station visit  here

Sharing with James at Weekend Reflections

Monday, 18 January 2016

Bury St Edmunds

Bury St Edmunds is a small market town in Suffolk. Named after Edmund the last King of East Anglia who was martyred here at the hands of the Danes in 870AD.

In the centre of the town are the extensive remains of the Abbey which was founded in 1060. It became one of the richest and largest Benedictine monasteries in England. Access to the Abbey church itself was through the Norman Tower(pictured here) which dates from 1120-48.

You enter into the gardens and the first thing you notice are these post medieval houses with a statue of St Edmund in front.

The Abbey was mainly destroyed in the 16th C with the Dissolution of the Monasteries.
It was here in 1214 that King John was persuaded to accept the Charter of Liberties, the forerunner of the Magna Carta.