29 September, 2009

Epping Upland Church

A short walk from Epping station to Epping upland to see the picturesque church, unfortunately it was not open. This is the ancient church of Epping.

On the way there I disturbed a small flock of goldfinshes- I don't think I've ever seen so many.

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It was well worth the trip and maybe I'll go back on Sunday for tea there.

20 September, 2009

London Open House

This weekend is always a rush around to see some great places and, of course a weekend’s never long enough to see what you really want to see. I spent my weekend in the North East corner of London, Barking, Havering and Redbridge boroughs.

First port of call was Barking Town Hall where there was access to the council chamber Mayor’s parlour and committee rooms. Designed in the 1930s and built in the 1950s it was opened by Dame Evelyn Sharpe. After this I went to see the Barking Parish Church dedicated to St Margaret of Antioch, which incorporates the ruins of Barking Abbey in its churchyard. There was a lot going on here and I was taken into the only building left standing of the old Barking abbey – the curfew tower. This tower incorporated a little chapel and on old stone reredos. I went back to have a look at the church with its new extension as cafe and bookshop. This new extension looked exactly as the church must have looked when it was new and was a marvellous addition to the church. The friendly members of the congregation took me round to see the high points, including a window dedicated to fishermen and some carvings of figures from Barking’s history. I followed that up with watching a demonstration of bellringing.

I eventually left the church just after 11 and walked to the East side of barking to see St Patrick’s church. I was expecting a Roman Catholic one but it was Church of England, with a very unusual tower that reminded me of a gun emplacement!

The glory of the church was the reredos which was beautiful. Three bands of ornament run up to the ceiling and the paintwork in blue was glorious.
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The outside was similar to St Saviours Eltham and the clergy and congregation very welcoming.
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After seeing the ultra modern church it was back to the past with Eastbury Manor. A fine Tudor house in the middle of a council estate. There were some wall paintings and a turret staircase that was made of large blocks of ancient oak. All the Tudor stuff was there with chimneys and bottle glass windows in the turret, some old rafters in the roof space etc.
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After Eastbury off to Romford to see the Havering Town Hall. The council chamber here had been modernised but still pleasant but the Mayor’s parlour was a bit better than Dagenham, with lots of gifts presented on the opening of the place in 1937.
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After that I went off to Dr Barnardo’s Childrens village in Barkingside. Built in a cottage homes style it looked rather like a well ordered model village complete with childrens church
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with small pews and good examples of biblical children in the stained glass including David, and Moses being found in the reeds. There are even bells in the church rung by a chiming mechanism and very nice they sounded. The church was given by an anonymous donor whose name is now lost to history.
The village is no longer a childrens home but does house retired or sick Barnado’s staff and is their main head office. A display in one of the cottages gives information on the village work and shows the rather spartan living conditions the children had although this was no doubt much better than the living conditions they would have had if they were not in the home.

Another visit this weekend was to St Mary’s church Wanstead with its 18th century box pews and stained glass Royal Arms. This was a great treat to see.
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From Travels around London