Gun Salute at Woolwich Barracks

April 10, 2021
Gun Salute at Woolwich Barracks
Today gun salutes marked the death of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, took place across the UK and at sea. Saluting batteries fired 41 rounds, one every minute in cities including London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast. The Royal Artillery Barracks, Woolwich was the home of the Royal Artillery from 1776 until 2007. The artillery fired field guns dating from the First World War – the same guns fired for Philip’s wedding to the Queen in 1947 and at her Coronation six years later in 1953.

The impressive Georgian façade of the Woolwich Barracks is said to be the longest of its kind in Europe at 1,000 ft long. It used to house as many as 4,000 people, although now the modern facilities behind the frontage accommodate 700 members of the Royal Regiment of the Artillery.
The complex was laid out on a grid with internal roads, like a military Roman town, think Roman London. To the south, there were two soldiers’ barracks, both with flanking officers’ quarters. Behind the links there was a military chapel, a regimental library and reading room above the guard room and prison cells, an officers’ mess, and battalion and senior commanders’ offices. Cooking houses and privies were ranged to the rear. There was another rank of ancillary buildings that included the barrack-master’s house, offices, canteen and engineers’ yard.
A school was built in 1808–10. Around 1,000 to 1,200 soldiers were married, some permitted to bring in their families, others forced to pay ‘exorbitant rents for miserable lodgings’. The proximity of civilian life in Woolwich, ‘alehouses and houses of resort’ brought ‘serious inconveniences’ to the management of the barracks, as Macleod and Hayter complained in 1806. Altogether, 3,210 men and c. 1,200 horses were housed at Woolwich barracks during the 1820s.

London's First Theatre

April 10, 2021

Well, London's first two theatres were built in Shoreditch. The first theatre was built in 1576 and was called The Theatre, not only London's first ever permanent Playhouse. And it was also Britain's the benefit of shortage, much like Southern was that it was just outside the walls of the city of London.

Even though plays were highly censored. The mayor of London had banned players from being performed within the City walls, but he couldn't ban them out of it. Before specific theatre buildings...

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Why did the Globe theatre close?

April 10, 2021

Shakespeare's and John Fletcher's Henry VIII was originally a script called "All is True", which was a historical thriller. The play was based on the divorce of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon. Sir Thomas Lovell is a minor in the play. He's present at the Duke of Buckingham's trial and execution, and also at the festivities at Wolsey's residence. Later on in the play, Lovell is accosted by Bishop Gardner while he's on his way to inform the King that queen Anne is in labor, but may not su...

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Medieval Shoreditch

April 10, 2021

Medieval Shoreditch was still mostly rural. The doomsday book shows that 'shore ditch' had been part of the parish of Stepney before becoming its own parish.

After the building of the first version of St. Leonard's church in the 13th century. And for many years, it was the main focal point of Shoreditch. Indeed. Many of you may be not aware that St. Leonard's church is actually featured in the nursery rhyme, Oranges and Lemons. 

Oranges and lemons

Say the bells of Saint Clements

You owe me five f...

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Richard Tarleton - An Elizabethan Clown

April 10, 2021

Richard Tarleton was the most famous clown of the Elizabethan age. 

He had a gift of pleasing the groundlings of the Curtain theatre in Shoreditch and royalty alike. He was Queen Elizabeth I’s favourite clown and became her Court Jester and Groom of the Queen’s Chamber. In this rôle he: …told the Queen more of her faults than most of her chaplains, and cured her melancholy better than all of her physicians. 

The date of his birth is not recorded but he died on 3 September 1588. He wrote ...

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Holywell Nunnery, Shoreditch

April 9, 2021

1158 Holywell nunnery was founded just West of Shoreditch High Street. By the time of its demise in 1539 (due to the dissolution of the monasteries) it had become the ninth wealthiest nunnery in the country.

In total, the area was about eight acres with the church. As I said, founded in 1158, just South of where New Inn Yard is today and the museum of London's archeological department, MOLA have done excavations there. You're able to buy the report for £22 pounds and there they found a number...

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