A BLATANT REGARD FOR HISTORY PART ONE
So this is my first post about this year’s Open House London, which took place last weekend (Sept 20-21st 2008). Amazingly, the weather was spectacular: bright blue sky and quite warm. We had a shitty August so it wasn’t guaranteed that it would be nice. As with other years, I wanted to go places I’d not been to before so Saturday I decided to go to the Wimbledon Windmill and the Banqueting House on Whitehall. I’d never seen a windmill in the flesh before and I’d also heard that the Banqueting House was pretty spectacular so both seemed like interesting picks. It took forever to get to the Windmill: myself and my mate Andy drove towards Hammersmith and all the way down Fulham Palace Road and across Putney Bridge and the traffic was terrible until we got the other side of Putney. This is the disadvantage of picking places miles from home. But when we got to the Windmill, it was pretty interesting. A post mill built in 1817, it’s not in use now and is a museum and it was quite something to climb up the rickety stairs to the centre of the windmill. But what was even nicer was the fact that it sat on the edge of Wimbldeon Common. We didn’t see any wombles (joke for my English readers) but it was truly a beautiful place with a lake/ large pond a few minutes walk from the Windmill. Apart from a plane passing overhead every two minutes (it’s on the flight path from Heathrow) you could have almost been in the country. It was a shame to leave the Common and it made us realise how much beauty there is in London. Being a North Londoner, I didn’t know about Wimbledon Common and this is part of what Open House is about…
So we headed north of the river through Victoria towards Whitehall. The Banqueting Hall is the only remaining part of the Palace of Whitehall, built and designed by Inigo Jones around 1622 and I had never seen it so I thought ‘Why not?’ We found somewhere to park and walked across the Mall towards it, through Horse Guards (another fabulous building that I still haven’t seen inside because the queues are always huge) and we had to wait to cross Whitehall because there was a parade from Northern Ireland going across. I’m not sure what the parade was for but I did get some great shots of people in colourful regalia. But we made it after a short wait and went inside. The Banqueting House is elegant, magnificent and well worth a visit with its high walls and exquisite ceiling. Here are some photos from Saturday. I did even more on my own on Sunday but that’s for another post…