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» Listings for September 2013

  1. All Saints Margaret Street

     All Saints Margaret Street Church spire - at 227 feet tall it's 2 feet higher than Westminster Abbey's western towers 

    London has some beautiful Victorian Gothic style buildings, amongst its most popular are Charles Barry and Augustus Welby Pugin’s Palace of Westminster (Houses of Parliament) and George Gilbert Scott’s St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, my own personal favourite. However hidden away, behind busy Oxford Street, is the smaller, less well known but equally magnificent architectural masterpiece of All Saints Margaret Street designed by William Butterfield. It’s in a style also known as gothic revival which was popular in the 1800s and it draws its influence from the great gothic religious buildings of the Middle Ages.

    The spire which stands at nearly 230 feet (70 metres) tall rises high above the surrounding buildings and is 2 feet taller than the western towers of Westminster Abbey.

  2. Grahame-White Watch Office RAF Museum

     The original wooden cantilevered staircase - note the carved decoration on the newel post (the vertical post at the bottom of the banister)

    Last week I made a return visit to the RAF Museum London this time introducing its delights to my twitter friends. During our visit we were shown around the Grahame-White Watch Office by one of the museum's volunteers.

    The office which was built in 1915 was part of the Grahame-White factory, the UK's first purpose-built aircraft factory. It was located at the time on the London Aerodrome in Hendon. During World War I the site was used by the military and after that by the RAF until it closed in 1987. Both the factory and Watch Office were later dismantled and re-constructed on its present site. A clip of “Brick By Brick: Rebuilding Our Past” a television documentary featuring Dan Cruickshank showing the restoration of the buildings can be seen here.

  3. Floral Hall - Royal Opera House

    Floral Hall - Royal Opera House, Covent Garden 

    Next time you’re in Covent Garden take a walk down Bow Street and have a closer look at the Royal Opera House complex.  Looking at the facade you will notice that it’s made up of two adjacent buildings. On the right hand side is an elegant cream coloured stucco building with a magnificent portico and on the left hand side a glass and iron structure which is known as the Floral Hall. It emulates the design of the Crystal Palace at Great Exhibition. Both buildings were designed by E.M. Barry in the mid 1800s.