Ridderzaal, The Hague, Netherlands


Den Haag, Ridderzaal
(Knight’s Hall, The Hague)
Publisher: N.V. Uitg[ever?], Utrecht

Google Street View.

The Binnenhof (Dutch for Inner Court) is a complex of buildings in The Hague (also known as Den Haag) that has been the main meeting place of The Netherlands governance since 1446. Building started in the 13th century, the complex originally functioned as the castle residence of the Earls (or Counts) of Holland. The Main Hall, which has been called the Knights’ Hall since the 19th century, dates from the second half of the 13th century. The famous vaulted wooden ceiling was the largest of its kind for hundreds of years and was inspired by the ship building industry of that time. Since 1904 the Knights’ Hall has been the setting for the reading of the King’s speech at the annual opening of Parliament. In his speech, the King announces the Government’s plans for the coming year to the parliament and to the Dutch people.
(includes text & images tour)

The Ridderzaal is the main building of the 13th-century inner square of the former castle of the counts of Holland called Binnenhof at the address Binnenhof 11 in The Hague, Netherlands. It is used for the state opening of Parliament on Prinsjesdag, when the Dutch monarch drives to Parliament in the Golden Coach and delivers the speech from the throne. It is also used for official royal receptions, and interparliamentary conferences.

In the 13th century Floris IV, Count of Holland bought a piece of land next to a small lake to build a house on. The Ridderzaal, the manorial hall of Floris V, grandson of Floris IV, was built on this estate in the 13th century. Over the centuries, the government buildings developed around this lake and incorporated the Ridderzaal. From the early 17th century, the Ridderzaal became an important trading place for booksellers, as Westminster Hall was in London. In later centuries it served a variety of purposes – as a market hall, a promenade, a drill hall, a public record office, a hospital ward, even the offices of the state lottery. It was restored between 1898 and 1904 to serve its present purposes.
Wikipedia


On back:
Den Haag
Ridderzaal – Intérieur

Publisher: Weenenk & Snel, den Haag (1908-1958)

Haddon Hall, Bakewell, England


Haddon Hall, Banqeting Hall
Dated on back: 12 July 1920
Publisher: Francis Frith & Co, Reigate

Google Maps

Haddon Hall, the private residence of Lord and Lady Edward Manners, is set in the Peak District in the valley of the River Wye. With nine hundred years of history, it is one of the oldest houses in the country and moreover one of the only houses in England to have remained in one family’s ownership for its entire existence.

Haddon is unique as it remained empty for nearly two hundred years. This extraordinary period, when time stood still in the Hall, allowed it to remain unaltered during the modernising period of the Georgians and Victorians. So venturing into Haddon is like stepping back in time, since from the 1700s the family preferred to live at their main seat, Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire.

The Medieval Banqueting Hall remains furnished with its original Dais table, behind which hangs a tapestry gifted to the family by visiting Henry VIII.
Haddon Hall (official website)

That John Manners’ son was John, the 9th Earl, and was made 1st Duke of Rutland in 1703. He moved to Belvoir Castle, and his heirs used Haddon Hall very little, so it lay almost in its unaltered 16th-century condition, as it had been when it passed in 1567 by marriage to the Manners family. In the 1920s, another John Manners, the 9th Duke of Rutland, realised its importance and began a lifetime of meticulous restoration, with his restoration architect Harold Brakspear. The current medieval and Tudor hall includes small sections of the 11th-century structure, but it mostly comprises additional chambers and ranges added by the successive generations of the Vernon family. Major construction was carried out at various stages between the 13th and the 16th centuries. The banqueting hall (with minstrels’ gallery), kitchens and parlour date from 1370, and the St. Nicholas Chapel was completed in 1427. For generations, whitewash concealed and protected their pre-Reformation frescoes.
Wikipedia.

Vicars’ Close & Wells Cathedral, Wells, Somerset, England


Vicars’ Close, Wells
No date or publishers clues (About 1920, give or take a decade.)

The body of Vicars Choral has been in existence since the 1100s, singing the daily round of divine services in the Cathedral in place of the canons. Initially they lodged among the townsfolk rather than on Cathedral grounds, allowing them to succumb to worldly temptation. To rectify this unsatisfactory situation, in 1348 Bishop Ralph of Shrewsbury founded a College of Vicars, of whom there were more than forty, and provided a communal hall and buildings for accommodation grouped around a quadrangle, in much the same manner as an Oxford or Cambridge college. Bishop Ralph also endowed the Vicars with a landed estate which provided them with a small income. In the early fifteenth century a chapel was built for the Vicars, and the quadrangle was converted into a street, now known as Vicars’ Close. Largely undisturbed, Vicars’ Close is the oldest continually inhabited street in Europe and still houses the organists and the men of the choir, as well as other employees of the Cathedral.
Wells Cathedral

The first houses on this attractive street, close to Wells Cathedral in Somerset, were constructed during the mid 14th century and the street was completed about a century later. The area was initially used to house a group of chantry priests. Although changes and improvements have been made over the years, the properties are still essentially the same as they were centuries ago. Almost all of the 27 houses on Vicars’ Close are protected as grade 1 listed buildings. The street derived from a significant land grant by the canon of Wells Cathedral, Walter de Hulle. The chantry priests were supported by the rents from tenants who lived on the land.

During the 12th century, the group of clergy who served the cathedral were responsible for chanting the divine service eight times a day and were known as the Vicars Choral. At the end of the street is the Vicars’ Hall which housed several communal and administrative offices relating to the Vicars Choral. In particular, was a room associated with the collection of rents used to support the clergy. This hall contains a gateway that links Vicars’ Close to St Andrew Street.

Atlas Obscura

The residences are built of stone from the Mercia Mudstone Group. There were originally 22 houses on the east side and 20 on the west. They line each side of a quadrangle which appears longer than it is because of false perspective achieved by building the houses at the upper northern end nearest the chapel 9 feet (2.7 m) closer together than those at the lower southern end closest to the Vicars’ Hall. Each house originally comprised a ground floor hall of approximately 20 by 13 feet (6.1 by 4.0 m) and an upper floor of the same size. Both had a fireplace in the front wall. Washing facilities and a latrine were outside the back door. The date of some of the buildings is unclear but it is known that some had been built by 1363 and the rest were completed by 1412.
Wikipedia.


Wells Cathedral  [View] from North West

Street View

Commandery, Worcester, England


Worcester–ye Antient Commandery–Interior of the Hall shewing Oriel Window
c.1910
Published: Joseph Littlebury, The Commandery, Worcester

Wikipedia

Street View

Tradition has it that the building was founded as a hospital around 1085 by Saint Wulfstan, the then Bishop of Worcester. The hospital was built around a much earlier Saxon chapel dedicated to Saint Gudwal – which was located to the South of the present building. The building attributed to Saint Wulfstan was a monastic institution designed to act as a hospital. It seems to have been established with the needs of travellers in mind. Its location, just outside the city walls beside the Sidbury gate, put it at the junction of the main roads from London, Bath and Bristol. Here it could provide travellers with aid should they arrive after the closing of the gates at night.

After serving its original function for nearly 500 years, the hospital was among the last monastic institutions to be dissolved by Henry VIII in 1540. From this date onwards The Commandery was to fulfil a number of vastly varied roles, from peaceful family home, to site of the final bloody battle of the English Civil War. The building itself would undergo a range of improvements, repairs and renovations throughout its history as each successive owner sought to leave their mark on this fascinating structure.

The Commandery was given a dramatic new purpose in 1651 when Charles Stuart (later Charles II) marched into Worcester on the 22nd August 1651 at the head of 13,000 men and set up his Headquarters in the city. William, 2nd Duke of Hamilton, was the Royalist Commander in Chief and he and other officers were billeted at The Commandery.
Museums Worcestershire


Worcester–ye Antient Commandery–The Apostle’s Bedstead in the Prior’s Room
c.1910
Published: Joseph Littlebury, The Commandery, Worcester

Westminster Abbey, London


Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey, formally titled the Collegiate Church of Saint Peter at Westminster, is a large, mainly Gothic abbey church in the City of Westminster, London, England, just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is one of the United Kingdom’s most notable religious buildings and the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English and, later, British monarchs. The building itself was a Benedictine monastic church until the monastery was dissolved in 1539. Between 1540 and 1556, the abbey had the status of a cathedral. Since 1560, the building is no longer an abbey or a cathedral, having instead the status of a Church of England “Royal Peculiar”—a church responsible directly to the sovereign. According to a tradition first reported by Sulcard in about 1080, a church was founded at the site (then known as Thorn Ey (Thorn Island)) in the seventh century, at the time of Mellitus, a Bishop of London. Construction of the present church began in 1245, on the orders of King Henry III.
Wikipedia.

Official Website


London, Westminster Abbey (West front).

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St Nicholas Church, Bramber, England


Bramber Church
1900s
Publisher: Valentine

Google Street View.

Images on Wikimedia Commons

When William de Braose, one of William the Conqueror’s most powerful barons, built Bramber Castle shortly after the Norman invasion, he also built a church, making St Nicholas the oldest Norman church in Sussex. Though the castle is in ruins today, the church is very much in existence and stands immediately downhill of the castle gatehouse on a slope looking out over the village.
Britain Express

Built in the later C11 for a college of priests, it was parochial by 1250. It was originally cruciform, though small for this plan, and the capitals on the western crossing arch are C11. It was ruinous in the C17, but the tower and crossing were rebuilt in the C18 as a chancel and it was again altered in 1931. . .  All the arches were repaired on one or other occasion, with new abaci for all capitals, and the roofs were boarded.  In 1960 the eastern arch was found to be of brick, so it may be entirely C19.  Stencilled decoration inside has not survived.
Saxon Parish Churches

Great Yarmouth Minster, Great Yarmouth, England


Yarmouth Church
Publisher: Valentine

Google Street View.

The Norman-era Minster Church of St Nicholas in Great Yarmouth remains, due to its floor-surface area (2752 m2), England’s third largest parish church, behind Beverley Minster in East Yorkshire (3489 m2) and Christchurch Priory in Dorset (2815 m2). It was founded in 1101 by Herbert de Losinga, the first Bishop of Norwich,[2] and consecrated in 1119. Since its construction, it has been Great Yarmouth’s parish church. It is cruciform, with a central tower, which may preserve a part of the original structure. Gradual alterations effectively changed the form of the building. Its nave is 26 feet (7.9 m) wide, and the church’s total length is 236 feet (72 m).
Wikipedia.

Phoenix Tower, Chester, England


King Charles Tower, Chester
Postmarked 1908
On back: “This beautiful set of Fine Art Postcards is supplied free exclusively by Shurey’s Publications comprising “Smart Novels”, “Yes or No” and “Dainty Novels”. The Publications are obtainable through Great Britain, the Colonies and Foreign Countries”

Google Street View.

Phoenix Tower stands at the northeast corner of the city walls in Chester, England. The tower is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade I listed building. It has also been known as Newton Tower and King Charles’ Tower.The structure probably originated in the 13th century. During the later part of the 16th century the tower was leased to two city guilds, the Painters and Stationers, and the Barbers and Chandlers, who sublet it to other guilds. By 1612 the fabric of the tower was in a poor condition, and the lead had been lost from its roof. It was restored by the two guilds, and above the door they placed a plaque containing the date 1613 and a carving of a phoenix, the emblem of the Painters. In the Civil War, during the Siege of Chester in 1645, the tower had a gun in each storey, and it was damaged in the conflict. A plaque on the tower states that King Charles I stood on the tower on 24 September 1645 as he watched his soldiers being defeated at the Battle of Rowton Heath. The historian Simon Ward has expressed doubts about this and has suggested that the king may have stood instead on a tower of Chester Cathedral, which he considers is confirmed by evidence that a captain standing beside him was killed by a stray shot.

The guilds resumed possession of the tower in 1658, and repaired it. They ceased possession by about 1773, after which the city carried out repairs. However, by 1838, the tower was described as being in a dilapidated condition. By this time, the city was promoting it as a tourist attraction because of its reputed connection with King Charles. In the late 1850s, the lower chamber was being used by a print-seller, and later in the century the tower was made a private museum.
Wikipedia.

The King Charles Tower, otherwise known as the Phoenix Tower, or the Newton Tower, it is one of the impressive towers on the circuit of Chester’s city walls. The tower is of medieval origin and occupies the site of, or is very close close to, the original Roman North East Tower. The tower is a grade I listed building. The present structure probably originated in the thirteenth century. The red sandstone tower stands to a height of around 70 feet (21 metres) and is in four stages, the lower two of which are below the walkway on the wall. Each of the upper stages contains a chamber. At the level of the walkway, in the third stage, is a round-headed doorway.
The Guide to Cheshire, Derbyshire, Lancashire and the Wirral

As late as 1571, Braun’s map of Chester shows that the walls boasted no fewer than seventeen towers. Sadly, a mere handful survive today and of these, the Phoenix Tower is probably the best known. By the mid-17th century, the tower was in a ruinous condition, but was nontheless taken on as the meeting place of two of the city guilds- the Company of Barber Surgeons, Tallow Chandlers and Wanchandlers, the other was that of the Painters, Glaziers, Embroiderers & Stationers- on the understanding that they would put it in good order and subsequently maintain it. Because of the battering it had received during the Civil War siege, the upper parts of the tower had to be largely rebuilt.
. . .
The Phoenix Tower was, in earlier times, generally known as the Newton Tower, that being the name of the suburb overlooked from the wall at this point, and, more notably, later as the King Charles Tower to commemorate the events of September 1645, during the English Civil War, when King Charles I, together with the mayor, Sir Francis Gamul, stood on the roof and witnessed the rout of his army by Parliamentary forces after the Battle of Rowton Moor (or Rowton Heath). The inscription upon the tower states: ‘KING CHARLES STOOD ON THIS TOWER SEPT 24th 1645 AND SAW HIS ARMY DEFEATED ON ROWTON MOOR’. Actually, it would have been impossible to see the field of battle from here- what they probably witnessed was later action on Hoole Heath and fugitives from the fray being pursued and harried through the eastern suburbs.
Chester: A Virtual Stroll Around The Walls

Abbot’s Kitchen, Glastonbury Abbey, Glastonbury, England

Postcards of Glastonbury Abbey


Abbot’s Kitchen & Refectory, Glastonbury
c.1920

Google Street View.

In the 14th century, as the head of the second wealthiest abbey in Britain (behind Westminster Abbey), the Abbot of Glastonbury lived in considerable splendour and wielded tremendous power. The main surviving example of this power and wealth is to be found in the Abbot’s Kitchen – part of the magnificent Abbot’s house begun by John de Breynton (1334-42).
Glastonbury Abbey

To the south-west of the cloister, a separate complex of rooms provided grand accommodation for the abbot and his guests. Today, the standing buildings consist of the kitchen and one corner of the giant hall, begun after 1322 and completed by 1342. They formed parts of a palatial residence of three ranges, arranged around a central walled garden.
Glastonbury Abbey Archaeology (includes digital reconstruction)

The Abbot’s Kitchen is a mediaeval octagonal building that served as the kitchen at Glastonbury Abbey in Glastonbury, Somerset, England. It is a Grade I listed building. The abbot’s kitchen has been described as “one of the best preserved medieval kitchens in Europe”. The stone-built construction dates from the 14th century and is one of a very few surviving mediaeval kitchens in the world.

Historically, the Abbot of Glastonbury lived well, as demonstrated by the abbot’s kitchen, with four large fireplaces at its corners. The kitchen was part of the opulent abbot’s house, begun under Abbot John de Breynton (1334–1342). It is one of the best preserved medieval kitchens in Europe and the only substantial monastic building surviving at Glastonbury Abbey. The abbot’s kitchen has been the only building at Glastonbury Abbey to survive intact. Later it was used as a Quaker meeting house.
Wikipedia.

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Baptistery, Cathedral & Campianile, Pisa, Italy


PISA – Duomo, Battistero e Campanile dell alto

Baptistery, Cathedral & Campianile (bell tower)

The Pisa Baptistery of St. John (Italian: Battistero di San Giovanni) is a Roman Catholic ecclesiastical building in Pisa, Italy. Construction started in 1152 to replace an older baptistery, and when it was completed in 1363, it became the second building, in chronological order, in the Piazza dei Miracoli, near the Duomo di Pisa and the cathedral’s free-standing campanile.
Wikipedia: Pisa Baptisery
Wikipedia: Pisa Cathedral

The square of the Cathedral of Pisa represents the best example of the Pisa Romanesque style through its magnificence and perfection, a harmonious fusion of classical, early Christian, Lombard and eastern motifs. The buildings maintain a stylish unity. The Cathedral, the Tower, the Baptistery and the Camposanto represent together the allegory of human life.
Piazza del Duomo


PISA – Il Campanile
The Bell Tower

Wikipedia: Leaning Tower of Pisa