St. Olave’s Church, York


St. Olave’s Church, York
c.1910
Publisher: Valentine

Google Street View (approximate).

St Olave’s Church was founded by Siward, Earl of Northumbria, and is where he was buried in 1055. The church is dedicated to St Olaf of Norway.
St Olave’s is the first church in the world to be dedicated to St Olaf, the former warrior King of Norway, who converted Norway to Christianity and died in battle in 1030. Olave is the old English Spelling of Olaf. The church was given after the Norman Conquest to a group of Benedictine monks who built beside it St Mary’s Abbey, one of the greatest monasteries of medieval England. The ruined nave of the abbey church now forms the boundary to St Olave’s beautiful churchyard.

St Olave’s Church was rebuilt in the fifteenth century but was badly damaged when used as a gun platform during the siege of York in the Civil War (1644). The church was restored in the early eighteenth century. In 1887-9 the east end of the church was extended by the addition of a chancel, and enlarged in 1908. It incorporates the fifteenth century east window. The church is built of magnesium limestone in the perpendicular style. Some original medieval stone can be found in the tower structure.
St Olave’s Church

Balliol College and Matyrs’ Memorial. Oxford, England


Oxford, Balliol College and Matyrs’ Memorial.
c.1910
Publisher: Francis Frith & Co

Google Street View.

Balliol has existed as a community of scholars on its present Broad Street site without interruption since about 1263. By this token it claims to be the oldest college in Oxford, and in the English-speaking world. In 1260 a dispute between John de Balliol and the Bishop of Durham erupted into violence and Henry III condemned Balliol’s behaviour. The Bishop had Balliol whipped, and imposed a penance on him of a substantial act of charity. This he did, by renting a property and creating a house of scholars, which was soon known by his name. After John de Balliol’s death in 1269, his widow, Dervorguilla of Galloway, guaranteed the future of the ‘House of the Scholars of Balliol’ by establishing a permanent endowment and giving it Statutes in 1282 – so bringing into being Balliol College as we know it today.
Balliol College

The Martyrs’ Memorial, designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott and built of magnesium limestone, has stood as a focal point at the south end of St Giles since its completion in 1843, when it replaced “a picturesque but tottering old house”. It was modelled on the Waltham Cross. The Martyrs’ Memorial was erected almost 300 years after the event it commemorates, and says as much about the religious controversies of the 1840s as those of the 1550s. It commemorates three Protestant martyrs (Cranmer, Ridley, and Latimer) who were burnt at the stake in Oxford in 1555.
Oxford History

Portchester Castle, Portchester, Hampshire


Portchester Castle, Saxon tower and wall
1910s
Publisher: A.H.S, Southsea (possibly A.H.Sweasey)

Google Street View.

Wikipedia.

Saxon Shore forts were heavily defended later Roman military installations located exclusively in south east England. They were all constructed during the third century AD, probably between c.AD 225 and AD 285. They were built to provide protection against the sea-borne Saxon raiders who began to threaten the coast towards the end of the second century AD, and all Saxon Shore forts are situated on or very close to river estuaries or on the coast, between the Wash and the Isle of Wight. Saxon Shore forts are also found on the coasts of France and Belgium. The most distinctive feature of Saxon Shore forts are their defences which comprised massive stone walls, normally backed by an inner earth mound, and wholly or partially surrounded by one or two ditches.
Historic England

Portchester Castle was begun as a Roman fort, one of the series of coastal forts now known as the Forts of the Saxon Shore. These forts were built over the course of the 3rd century, to meet the threat presented by Saxon pirates who were then raiding the south coast of Roman Britain.

The walls of the Roman fort seem to have housed a community for most of the long period between the end of Roman rule and the Norman conquest of 1066. Evidence of four huts with sunken floors, a well, and signs of ploughing, datable to the 5th century, has been found. In the 7th to 9th centuries a number of timber houses and ancillary buildings were built, perhaps forming two residences. Around the end of the 9th century there seems to have been a break in occupation, with extensive dumping of rubbish over the sites of earlier buildings. In 904 the Bishop of Winchester gave the fort to the English king Edward the Elder (reigned 899–924). Following this, the fort became a burh – one of a series of fortified places which protected the kingdom from Viking attack.
English Heritage

English Heritage: Floor plan

Following the Norman Conquest, Portchester was granted to William Maudit and it was probably he who raised the castle. The Roman Walls were utilised to form the perimeter around the Outer Bailey whilst a moat and timber barrier were used to separate the north-west corner of the fort which then became the Inner Ward. When William died in 1100 the castle passed to his son, Robert Maudit, but he was killed in the White Ship disaster in 1120. Thereafter the castle passed through marriage to William Pont de l’Arche. William commenced rebuilding the Inner Ward defences of Portchester Castle in stone including raising the Great Tower during the 1120s and 1130s. William also built St Mary’s church to serve an Augustinian Priory he founded within the walls although by 1150 this community had relocated to Southwick.
Castles Forts Battles


Layout of castle. (From Wikimedia Commons.)


Portchester, Castle [keep from inside]
Dated & posmarked 1906
Publisher: J. Welch & Sons

Read more

Hastings Castle, Hastings


Hastings | The Castle
c.1910
Publisher: J. Davis, 24 Queen Victoria St, E.C.

Google Street View (approximate).

Hastings Castle is a keep and bailey castle ruin situated in the town of Hastings, East Sussex. It overlooks the English Channel, into which large parts of the castle have fallen over the years. Immediately after landing in England in 1066, William of Normandy ordered three fortifications to be built, Pevensey Castle in September 1066 (re-using the Roman Saxon Shore fort of Anderitum), Hastings (prior to the Battle of Hastings) and Dover. Hastings Castle was originally built as a motte-and-bailey castle near the sea. Later that year, the famous Battle of Hastings took place some miles to the north of Hastings Castle, in which William was victorious. In 1070, William issued orders for the castle to be rebuilt in stone, along with the St Mary’s Chapel.
Wikipedia.


Motte under construction Wikimedia Commons

Hastings Castle is one of the few Norman structures that can be dated with certainty. Not only is there is a picture on the Bayeux Tapestry, its narrative states William the Conqueror “commands that a castle be dug at Hestengaceastra”. The castle is also mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and the Domesday Book (1086). Finally the Chronicle of Battle Abbey stated William I built a “wooden castle” at Hastings. Together these sources strongly suggest the castle was started before the Battle of Hastings (which wasn’t fought until 14 October 1066) using wooden prefabricated parts imported from Normandy. William was probably accommodated within its walls prior to the battle and in the immediate aftermath it would have been crucial as a secure logistical hub ensuring his sustainability in the south east.

The original castle consisted of a motte, which would have been topped by a timber palisade and tower, with a large broadly rectangular bailey to the west. An outer bailey, probably used for livestock, was located to the east. The castle was built on top of a cliff overlooking the Saxon settlement, markedly different from elsewhere which saw Norman castles stamped on top of former urban settlements (good examples can be seen at Exeter, Totnes and Wallingford).

In 1216, during the latter days of the turbulent reign of King John, the castle was deliberately slighted to avoid it falling into the hands of Prince Louis of France. Louis had invaded at the request of the Barons opposing the King and the Royalist faction was keen to deny them a strong base near a significant harbour facility. The damage done is not known but some sources suggest only the timber elements (floors and internal buildings) were destroyed. Regardless the damage was rectified in 1220 when Henry III ordered the re-fortification and repair of the castle. Throughout its history the castle suffered from coastal erosion and during the thirteenth century particularly acute weather caused much damage. As early as 1287 the sandstone cliffs on which the castle was built started to fall into the sea along with a portion of the bailey curtain wall. The harbour also suffered resulting in a general decline in the economic worth, and thus the military importance, of Hastings. This led to infrequent repairs and, by the fourteenth century, the castle was ruinous. The situation was further exacerbated by French attacks in 1339 and 1377.
Castles Forts Battles


Hastings Castle
Dated & postmarked 1904
Publisher: The Philco Publishing Company, London

Read more

Kelvingrove Art Gallery, Glasgow


The Art Galleries, Glasgow
1910s
Publisher: Valentine

Google Street View (other side).

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is a museum and art gallery in Glasgow, Scotland. It reopened in 2006 after a three-year refurbishment and since then has been one of Scotland’s most popular visitor attractions. The museum has 22 galleries, housing a range of exhibits, including Renaissance art, taxidermy, and artifacts from ancient Egypt. . . . The construction of Kelvingrove was partly financed by the proceeds of the 1888 International Exhibition held in Kelvingrove Park. The gallery was designed by Sir John W. Simpson and E.J. Milner Allen and opened in 1901, as the Palace of Fine Arts for the Glasgow International Exhibition held in that year. It is built in a Spanish Baroque style, follows the Glaswegian tradition of using Locharbriggs red sandstone, and includes an entire program of architectural sculpture by George Frampton, William Shirreffs, Francis Derwent Wood and other sculptors.
Wikipedia.

Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh


The Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh
c.1920
Publisher: Valentine

Google Maps.

The Palace of Holyroodhouse, commonly referred to as Holyrood Palace or Holyroodhouse, is the official residence of the British monarch in Scotland, Queen Elizabeth II. Located at the bottom of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, at the opposite end to Edinburgh Castle, Holyroodhouse has served as the principal royal residence in Scotland since the 16th century, and is now a setting for state occasions and official entertaining. . . .The palace as it stands today was built between 1671–1678 in a quadrangle layout, approximately 230 feet (70 m) from north to south and 230 feet (70 m) from east to west, with the exception of the 16th-century north-west tower built by James V. Sir William Bruce designed the 3-storey plus attic classical palace for Charles II, upon the restoration of the monarchy.
Wikipedia.


The Fountain, Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh
c.1920
Publisher: Valentine

The sundial to the north of the palace was carved in 1633 by John Mylne, while the fountain in the forecourt is a 19th-century replica of the 16th-century fountain at Linlithgow Palace.
Wikipedia.

The Builder of 6 March 1858 reported that ‘Sir Benjamin Hall, before he quitted the post of Chief Commissioner of Works, directed that the old fountain of Linlithgow Palace, erected in the time of James II., and which is celebrated for having run with wine on high festive occasions, be restored to its pristine form; to be placed in front of Holyrood Palace.’ According to The Art-Journal of 1860, the design of the fountain was drawn from ‘fragments of the old fountain which stood in the quadrangle of Linlithgow Palace [restored by Historic Scotland in 2005], so that the fountain is more a reproduction than an original design, the details having been taken from the fragments found’.
Cranmore

Read more

Selby Abbey, Selby, North Yorkshire


Tower & South Transept, Selby Abbey

Street View

It is one of the relatively few surviving abbey churches of the medieval period, and, although not a cathedral, is one of the biggest. It was founded by Benedict of Auxerre in 1069 and subsequently built by the de Lacy family.

On 31 May 1256, the Abbey was bestowed with the grant of a Mitre by Pope Alexander IV and from this date was a “Mitred Abbey”. This privilege fell in abeyance a number of times, but on 11 April 1308, Archbishop William Greenfield confirmed the grant, and Selby remained a “Mitred Abbey” until the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Archbishop Walter Giffard visited the monastery in 1275 by commission, and several monks and the Abbot were charged with a list of faults including loose living, (many complaints referred to misconduct with married women). In 1279 Archbishop William de Wickwane made a visitation, and found fault with the Abbot as he did not observe the rule of St Benedict, was not singing mass, preaching or teaching, and seldom attending chapter. Things had not improved much in 1306 when Archbishop William Greenfield visited and similar visitations in later years resulted in similar findings.

The community rebuilt the choir in the early fourteenth century, but in 1340, a fire destroyed the Chapter House, Dormitory, Treasury and part of the church. The damage was repaired and the decorated windows in the south aisle of the Nave were installed. In 1380-1 there was the abbot and twenty-five monks. In 1393 Pope Boniface IX granted an indulgence to pilgrims who contributed to the conservation of the chapel of the Holy Cross in the Abbey.

The fifteenth century saw more alterations to the Abbey. The perpendicular windows in the North Transept and at the west end of the nave were added and the Sedilia in the Sanctuary was added. One of the final additions was the Lathom Chapel, dedicated to St Catherine, east of the North Transept, in 1465.
Wikipedia.

Website

Canterbury Cathedral, Canterbury


Canterbury Cathedral, S.W.
Publisher: Photochrom Co., London & Tunbridge Wells

Street View.

Christchurch Gate postcards

UNESCO World Heritage Listing
The Precincts of Canterbury Cathedral, City Trail Number 3 (pdf)
Plans.

Founded in 597, the cathedral was completely rebuilt between 1070 and 1077. The east end was greatly enlarged at the beginning of the 12th century and largely rebuilt in the Gothic style following a fire in 1174, with significant eastward extensions to accommodate the flow of pilgrims visiting the shrine of Thomas Becket, the archbishop who was murdered in the cathedral in 1170. The Norman nave and transepts survived until the late 14th century when they were demolished to make way for the present structures.
Wikipedia.

St Augustine, the first Archbishop of Canterbury, arrived on the coast of Kent as a missionary to England in 597AD. He came from Rome, sent by Pope Gregory the Great. It is said that Gregory had been struck by the beauty of Angle slaves he saw for sale in the city market and despatched Augustine and some monks to convert them to Christianity. Augustine was given a church at Canterbury (St Martin’s, after St Martin of Tours, still standing today) by the local King, Ethelbert whose Queen, Bertha, a French Princess, was already a Christian.This building had been a place of worship during the Roman occupation of Britain and is the oldest church in England still in use. Augustine had been consecrated a bishop in France and was later made an archbishop by the Pope. He established his seat within the Roman city walls (the word cathedral is derived from the the Latin word for a chair ‘cathedra’, which is itself taken from the Greek ‘kathedra’ meaning seat.) and built the first cathedral there, becoming the first Archbishop of Canterbury.

Since that time, there has been a community around the Cathedral offering daily prayer to God; this community is arguably the oldest organisation in the English speaking world. The present Archbishop, The Most Revd Justin Welby, is 105th in the line of succession from Augustine. Until the 10th century, the Cathedral community lived as the household of the Archbishop. During the 10th century, it became a formal community of Benedictine monks, which continued until the monastery was dissolved by King Henry VIII in 1540. Augustine’s original building lies beneath the floor of the Nave – it was extensively rebuilt and enlarged by the Saxons, and the Cathedral was rebuilt completely by the Normans in 1070 following a major fire. There have been many additions to the building over the last nine hundred years, but parts of the Quire and some of the windows and their stained glass date from the 12th century. By 1077, Archbishop Lanfranc had rebuilt it as a Norman church, described as “nearly perfect”. A staircase and parts of the North Wall – in the area of the North West transept also called the Martyrdom – remain from that building.
Canterbury Cathedral

In 1093, a man named Anselm became Archbishop of Canterbury. Anselm was a quiet scholarly type, known for his wisdom and piety. But it is to him, along with the priors Ernulf and Conrad, that we owe much of the Romanesque architecture and art that survives today. Most notably, Anselm built the huge and beautifully decorated crypt beneath the east end, which still survives fully intact. An extensive choir with ambulatory, consecrated in 1130, was then built over the crypt.

Critical to the history of Canterbury Cathedral was the murder of St. Thomas Becket on Tuesday, December 29, 1170, by order of King Henry II. The king later performed penance there in 1174. On September 5 of that same year, the great Romanesque choir was devastated by a fire. The income from pilgrims visiting the Shrine of St. Thomas, which was reported almost immediately to be a place of miraculous healing, largely paid for the subsequent rebuilding of the cathedral.
Sacred Destinations.


Canterbury Cathedral, W.
c.1910
Publisher: E. Crow & Son, Canterbury


Canterbury Cathedral, Gate of Dark Entry
Publisher: Photochrom Co., London & Tunbridge Wells

The ‘Dark Entry’ is a passage which joins the Green Court and the cathedral buildings. It runs beneath the building known as the Prior’s Lodging (Image 1-3). According to a cathedral legend, made popular by Richard Barham in his Ingoldsby Legends, the passage is haunted by the ghost of Nell Cook. Nell worked as a servant girl for an elderly canon and became annoyed when he engaged in an affair. When the canon and his lover both died from poinsoned food, the finger of suspicion pointed at Nell. Her punishment was to be buried under the flagstones which pave the Dark Entry.
Canterbury History and Archaeological Society

Read more

Chedworth Roman Villa, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire


Chedworth Roman Villa, North Wing looking East

Google Maps.

Chedworth Roman Villa is a Roman villa located near Chedworth, Gloucestershire, England. It is one of the largest Roman villas in Britain. The villa was built in phases from the early 2nd century to the 4th century, with the 4th century construction transforming the building into an elite dwelling arranged around three sides of a courtyard. The 4th century building included a heated and furnished west wing containing a dining-room (triclinium) with a fine mosaic floor, as well as two separate bathing suites – one for damp-heat and one for dry-heat. The villa was discovered in 1864, and it was excavated and put on display soon afterwards.
Wikipedia

The villa at Chedworth was discovered in 1863, when a workman found fragments of paving and pottery on the site. Originating in the first half of the 2nd century AD, it was progressively enlarged over the next 250 years before being abandoned after the collapse of the Roman government in Britain in the 5th century. Excavations have revealed colourful mosaic floors, including one in the dining chamber which depicts the four seasons, and several mosaics in the bath complexes.
National Trust

Photo (blank back) of one of the bath houses. Undated.