London Open House Weekend: Part 1 Saturday 21 Sept
- A bit of a shock to realise that I've now been doing these weekends for ten
years - since they started.
As good as ever, taking in:
A walk round the ancient (cattle) market town of my birth, Romford, Essex.
(Alright, I know its not exactly Venice - what can I say?)
Now a shrine to suburban nite spots and shopping, though I still remember
the cow pens, if not the cows. Including a visit to the Victorian gothic
church of St Edward the Confessor. 1850, Johnson. I went to the primary
school associated with the church, so must have spent many hours here, with
absolutely no recollection of the 1541 monument from the previous church on
the site to Anthony Cooke, tutor to Edward VI. Though living up what was
then a dimly lit path at the back of the churchyard now a car park and ring
road)I do have vivid memories of running as quickly as possible along it to
Next door for a quick look around the 15C former chantry house and inn.
Behingd this the 1908 Wykeham Hall, site of the best jumble sales in
Romford, now gentrified into something unrecognisable.
Back into town to see a couple of churches close by the South side of the
river. First stop Rotherhite. A quick look at Brunel's engine house for the
Rotherhite tunnel, a designated ancient monument and now a museum, along the
old cobbled stree past the wharfs and the old Mayflower pub, (said to have
timbers from the ship in its construction) and round the corner to St
Mary's. 1715, John James. Very atmospheric and interesting. The captain of
the Mayflower buried here; Grinling Gibbons reredos; an altar table and
bishops' chairs made from wood from Turner's 'Fighting Temarare'; beautiful
1746 Byfield organ.
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