Month: August 2016

Selly Manor 2

In the priest hole

Church, State and Monarch in Elizabethan England were as consubstantial as the Trinity. To hold religious views that did not conform to the established religion was to court danger, disaster and death. The modern, secular distinction between a public and private sphere was unimagined, and outlawed rituals carried out within the walls of one’s own home were viewed as a direct threat to that trinity of the English state.

Rochester Wheel of Fortune

Fortuna smiles

Sloppy workmanship, you could call it. Or maybe half-hearted iconoclasm. The alteration men of the Reformation or Puritanism, whichever it was, only removed half the image. The other half of this depiction of the Wheel of Fortune was hidden behind a pulpit. 

Stonehenge

A Neolithic bucket list item

On his way back from the 2014 NATO summit at Newport in Wales, Barack Obama made a surprise visit to Stonehenge. The president was helicoptered in to Boscombe Down airbase and then motorcaded to the site, where he was given a guided tour by an English heritage curator.

Italian procession Clerkenwell

An Italian procession in Clerkenwell

A muggy Sunday in July, with a most un-Mediterranean heat and light bathing Clerkenwell. We are gathered outside St. Peter’s Italian Church, waiting for the start of London’s longest running Italian spectacle. This is the day of the one hundred and thirty first Procession of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, otherwise known as the Italian Procession, which has paraded through this same small circuit of streets since the 1880s.