Thursday 31 October 2013

London's Haunted Churches

London's Haunted Churches:

Haunted churches can be found throughout Britain. But London does seem to have more than its fair share as I think these reports will show. Not only that but a surprising number of them were built by Sir Christopher Wren.

All Hallows by the Tower, Byward Street, EC3R 5BJ
This, one the the many haunted churches in London is also the oldestchurch in the capital city. It was founded in 675. In the Middle Ages, it was often used as the temporary resting place for the mortal remains of those unfortunates who incurred the Monarch's displeasure and who, as a result, lost their heads on nearby Tower Hill. Those, that is, who were not buried inSt.Peter ad Vincula. However, it is no headless spectre who haunts this place of worship.
In 1920, the choir was practicing Christmas carols when they noticed an old grey haired lady in old fashioned clothes standing looking at them intently. One of the choir boys offered her a chair which she acknowledged with a nod of thanks. The choirmaster thought it was strange to see the lady as he believed that he had locked the church door. When choir practice finished, they saw that the lady was no longer sitting on the chair. A search was instigated but she was no-where to be found and church doors were still securely locked.
Maybe the old woman has found rest because although she was seen on several other occasions, she has not put in an appearance for some time.
Haunted churches don't normally have animal ghosts but hereyou will find details of the one in this church.

St. Bartholomew the Great, West Smithfield, London, EC1A 7DQ
One of my favourite haunted churches in London is also the second oldest. It was founded in 1123 by Rahere, who is said to have once been the pious jester to King Henry I. While on a pilgrimage to Rome, he received a vision of St.Bartholomew who instructed him to build both a church and hospital at Smithfield. This he did as soon as he returned to England and thus was started both St. Bartholomew's Church but also St. Bartholomew's Hospital.
Rahere became a monk and is buried inside the church in an ornate tomb of which he would most certainly have disapproved. Maybe this is the reason that his cowled figure has been both seen and heard many times within the church. He usually stands near the altar but at other times he has been spotted walking towards the Lady Chapel.

St. James Garlickhythe, Garlick Hill, London, EC4V 2AL
Another of the City's haunted churches, St. James church was rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren to replace the original building that was built in 1326 and which was destroyed during the Great Fire of London in 1666.
In 1839 a naturally mummified body of an adolescent who probably died at the end of the 18th century was found buried in a glass panelled coffin. The mummy used to be on public display but although it is still in the church, it has recently been hidden away from prying eyes. It is assumed that it is the ghost of this young man, affectionately known as, 'Jimmy Garlick ', who has been seen many times in the church. Unexplained noises are also heard and objects have been moved.

St. Nicholas's Churchyard, Church Street, Chiswick
The ghosts of two of the daughters of Oliver Cromwell, Mary Fauconburg and Frances Rich appear both dressed in white in the churchyard of St. Nicholasat dawn and disappear into the walls of the church.
It is widely believed that when the body of their father was disinterred from its burial place in Westminster Abbey at the Restoration of the Monarchy and hung in chains at Tyburn, the daughters of Oliver Cromwell bribed a guard, took their father's corpse and had it secretly placed in the family vault at St. Nicholas where they would later be interred.
Unfortunately, St. Nicholas church was rebuilt in 1882 and the vicar decided to investigate if there was any truth to the story. Instead of finding the two coffins he expected, he found three, one of which was very battered. Fearing that, if it were Cromwell's coffin, sightseers would disturb the quiet of the place, the vicar bricked up the vault and now there is no record of where it is. It is the fact that they now effectively lie in an unmarked grave that seems to have upset the two sisters and causes to them to haunt the churchyard.

St. Paul's Cathedral, Ludgate Hill, London, EC4M 8AD
The most magnificent of all of London's many haunted churches, we rightly think of St. Paul's Cathedral as being the greatest masterpiece of that prolific church builder, Sir Christopher Wren. However, the site has been sacred for thousands of year and on the hill upon which the church was built was once aTemple to Diana. Any ghosts from the pre-christian era though have long since vanished and it is an unknown clergyman who is sometimes seen.
The 'Kitchener Chapel' is haunted by 'Whistler', an elderly clergyman in old-fashioned clerical garb with long flowing grey hair. Before he makes his appearance, a chill is felt. The spectral vicar then appears and drifts across the chapel, sadly and tunelessly whistling to himself all the time until he disappears into a wall to the right of the chapel gates.
Oddly enough, when workmen were doing work in the church, they uncovered a secret door at exactly the place the ghost vanishes. A tourist took a picture in the Cathedral of what she interpreted as the figure a ghostly monk. But just maybe it is 'Whistler'

Westminster Abbey, London, SW1P 3PA
As befits a place of worship within the walls of which so many of the rich and famous are interred, Westminster Abbey is another of London's haunted churches. But if you are looking for the ghost of a 'royal' or 'aristocrat', you will look in vain. The two ghosts for which the church is known both have very humble origins.
'Father Benedictus', is the name that has been given to the tall, lean and cowled figure who is sometimes seen. He is said to be a monk who was killed in the Abbey at the Chapel of Pyx during the reign of Henry VIII. Father Benedictus appears in the cloisters around five or six o'clock in the evening, floating slightly above the ground as the floor level is lower than it was during his life-time. He has been known to hold a 'very polite' conversation with witnesses before silently vanishing into a wall.
Westminster Abbey also has a far more recent ghost. A soldier in the uniform of a World War One infantryman appears beside the grave of theUnknown Warrior. He stands for a few minutes with his head bowed in respect and then slowly disappears.

St. Botolph, Aldgate High Street, London, EC3N 1AB
The story goes that in 1982, a photographer was working alone in St Botolph's Church when he took what has been described as one of the most famous ghost photos ever. If the picture was taken as reported and the photographer was indeed alone, then St. Botolph must be one of the very few haunted churches for which there is any tangible evidence. This is the clearestreproduction that I have been able to find. It looks to me like a man wearing a ruff but other people see it as a woman. See what you think!

St. Peter ad Vincula, Tower Green, EC3
Called by the poet Thomas Macaulay,'the saddest spot in Christendom', the chapel stands within the grounds of the Tower of London. One of London's most famous haunted churches, it was the place where those executed within the Tower were buried during the Tudor period. Over two hundred unidentified bodies were discovered when the floor was taken up during the reign of Queen Victoria.
One body however was described as, 'a woman of excessively delicate proportions'. There was a tragic Queen of whom this was a perfect description. The discovery confirmed that the ghost of AnneBoleyn was indeed the identity of one of the phantoms which have been seen in the church.
Website of Chapel of St. Peter ad Vincular

St. Magnus the Martyr, Lower Thames Street, EC3R 6DN
This is another of the many haunted churches rebuilt by Christopher Wren after the Great Fire of London in 1666. However, the tomb of MilesCoverdale, the man who gave us the first English Bible and who died in 1535, can be found in the haunted churches south east corner. Many visitors report a great feeling of sadness when near his tomb.
A ghostly figure with black hair and wearing a serge cassock with a cowl, has been seen on several occasions both near the tomb and in other places in the church. A church worker, a rector and a rectors wife all testified that the church was haunted. Churches don't normally admit to playing host to anything supernatural. Miles Coverdale was rector of the original church before he became Bishop of Exeter so perhaps it is him keeping a spectral eye on things.
Ideal Home Show at Christmas
Ideal Home Show at Christmas: Entry For Two from £14 at Earls Court (Up to 51% Off)
Groupon from Ideal Home Show at Christmas London Special

The Event

Festive spectacle abounds as Ideal Home Show at Christmas assembles seasonal produce, displays and live entertainment at Earls Court. Frost fans can book a session at an ice rink to practice graceful glides and comedy falls. A cookery theatre delivers a series of displays, and gourmands can sample and purchase artisan food and drink from local and international suppliers, while a restaurant provides tasty meals. Visitors can browse a wealth of interior and home accessories, seasonal decorations and gifts, and try out technology and gadgets aplenty. Catwalk displays present an array of fashion, while those considering home improvements or self-build projects can browse products and services, and seek expert advice.
Choose from the following options for admission:
  • £14 for two people with a copy of Ideal Home Magazine on Wed, Thu or Fri (52% off)
  • £16 for two people with a copy of Ideal Home Magazine on Saturday or Sunday (52% off)
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Somerset House - November Highlights

© Marco Beck Peccoz
Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore!

Opens 20 November 2013
Embankment Galleries, South Wing
Step inside the fantastical world and extraordinary wardrobe of the late, great British patron of fashion and art, Isabella Blow. Exquisite garments byAlexander McQueenPhilip Treacy and Julien Macdonald will be displayed amongst stunning installations by celebrated set designer Shona Heath. Experience what Kate Lawson for Huffington Post calls “the exhibition of all exhibitions”.
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Isabella Blow, 1997 © Mario Testino
Skate at Somerset House presented by Coach
Skate at Somerset House presented by Coach
Opens 14 November 2013
“The coolest rink of all” The Sunday Times
Celebrate the festive season in style. Club Nights are back by popular demand, skate to a live soundtrack spun by DJs from some of Europe and the UK’s leading clubs, festivals and labels, including Joe ‘Hot Chip’ Goddard taking residence with Greco-Roman, classic style from Vintage Festival and a one-off special for Movember.
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Stanley Spencer: Heaven in a Hell of War
Opens 7 November 2013
Terrace Rooms, South Wing
Free admission
Leading up to the 100th commemoration of the outbreak of the First World War, this exhibition features a series of large scale canvas panels from one of the most original and acclaimed British painters of the 20th century, Stanley Spencer. The paintings which were completed in 1932, focus on the domestic rather than combative and evoke everyday experience in which Spencer found spiritual resonance and sustenance.
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Bedmaking, Stanley Spencer at Sandham Memorial Chapel © National Trust /John Hammond
The Christmas Arcade, © Charlotte Fielding
The Christmas Arcade
Opens 14 November 2013
West Wing
The premier pop-up shopping mall returns overlooking the ice rink. Stock up on luxury gifts, yuletide treats and bespoke products from the very best of British brands and independent artisans. Each Tuesday night different events will be hosted in the Arcade for Glad Tidings Tuesdays, with inspirational talks, demonstrations and tastings, plus shoppers and ice skaters will also be entitled to selected discounts.
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The O2
NBA Global Games London 2014
NBA Global Games London 2014
16 January 2014
The Atlanta Hawks and Brooklyn Nets will square off in a regular-season game as part of the NBA Global Games London 2014. The Nets, featuring Kevin Garnett, Deron Williams and Paul Pierce, are undefeated at The O2. They'll face a young, exciting Hawks team who are hungry for a win to help with their playoff push. Get pre sale tickets from 9am on Thursday 31 October.
More infoBuy
Drake - Would You Like A Tour 2014
Drake - Would You Like A Tour 2014
24 - 25 March 2014
Grammy Award-winning artist Drake will be joined by special guest TheWeeknd when he brings his biggest ever arena tour to the UK next March. His new platinum-selling album, Nothing Was The Same, was one of the most critically acclaimed records of the year and his latest single, Too Much, is due to be released on 9 December. Beat the crowds and get pre sale tickets from 9am on Thursday 31 October.
More infoBuy 
Dolly Parton - date added
Dolly Parton
28 June 2014
In a career spanning over 45 years, Dolly Parton has achieved legendary status as a songwriter, musician and actress. She brings the Blue Smoke show to The O2 next year, and a second date has been added due to popular demand. Dolly says, "We had not planned to come back so soon, but we got so much fan mail and such a great reaction that I thought, 'Well, why not.'" Grab your tickets from 9am on Friday 1 November.
More infoBuy
Barclays ATP World Tour Finals
Barclays ATP World Tour Finals
4 - 11 November 2013
Roger Federer has just qualified for his 12th straight appearance at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, where the world's top eight singles players and doubles teams will battle it out to take the crown. The tournament is only days away and it's your last chance to guarantee your place at the tennis calendar's storming end-of-season showdown, right here in London. Grab your tickets now.
More infoBuy
Lisa Stansfield
8 November
Buy Tickets
Lil Kim and Eve
22 November
Buy Tickets
23 November
Buy Tickets
Barenaked Ladies
30 November
Buy Tickets
Magic Sparkle Gala
3 December
Buy Tickets
The O2Do more at The O2
Climb of the Cursed18 October - 3 November
Up at The O2
In Conversation: Fish and Mark Wilkinson
18 November 2.30pm

British Music Experience
Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa
Now showing

Halloween Spooktacular! Halloween Spooktacular!
31 October

Frankie & Bennys

London 'home to three of UK's top ten restaurants' - London - News - London Evening Standard

London 'home to three of UK's top ten restaurants' - London - News - London Evening Standard: "London is home to three of the top ten restaurants in the UK, according to Trip Advisor.

The consumer travel website places Gordon Ramsay’s Petrus at number three in the list while The Ledbury in Notting Hill takes seventh place and Michel Roux Jr’s Le Gavroche in Mayfair comes in tenth.

Elsewhere in the UK, Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons comes out on top, with restaurants in Suffolk, Devon, Gloucestershire, Jersey and two in Scotland making up the rest of the list."

Six injured in rush hour as number 15 bus 'slams' into bollards at Cannon Street - Transport - News - London Evening Standard

Six injured in rush hour as number 15 bus 'slams' into bollards at Cannon Street - Transport - News - London Evening Standard:
Six people were injured today after a double-decker bus crashed into bollards outside a busy London rail station at rush hour.

Eye witnesses said the vehicle careered across the road before “slamming” into the bollards at Cannon Street station in the City shortly after 7am.

Rush-hour workers watched in amazement as driver of the double decker then reversed off the pavement - straight into another stationary bus."

Record numbers took to London's buses in storm instead of stricken Tube - Transport - News - London Evening Standard

Record numbers took to London's buses in storm instead of stricken Tube - Transport - News - London Evening Standard:
London's buses carried a record number of passengers on Monday as commuters switched from the stricken Tube network during the worst storm in recent years.

Official figures showed an unprecedented 7.54 million took the bus with a huge surge in the evening peak - a 30 per cent rise on the average Monday - as Londoners battled to get home following the extreme weather.

The rise bucked the normal trend half-term week in when bus journeys normally drop during by ten per cent, TfL said.

Tube journeys fell by nine per cent to 3.86 million as six lines were suspended at the height of the storm due largely to fallen tress at the extremities.

Wednesday 30 October 2013

ONE CHANCE Movie Trailer : the true story of Paul Potts

Philomena TRAILER 1 (2013)

The re-opening of Tate Britain

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You're invited to our Tate Britain House Warming Party

Celebrate the re-opening of Tate Britain with our House Warming Party on Saturday 23 November.Join us for a free live programme of performance, film, talks, artist commissions from the best of British creative talent, including a DJ set  from Hot Chip's Alexis Taylor. Explore the new and renovated spaces and Tate Britain’s unparalleled collection, newly re-arranged to showcase its full historical range.
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We look forward to seeing you soon,
Leanne Griffin, Tate
Join us for a photography Hangout on AirPainting Now at Tate BritainBP Family Festival: Timeloop

Journalist Miranda Sawyer is joined by photographer Miles Aldridge, artists, critics and online contributors for a lively discussion about photography and art.

This exhibition focuses on the recent work of Tomma Abts, Gillian Carnegie, Simon Ling, Lucy McKenzie and Catherine Story, each of whom has developed their own distinctive approach to painting today.

Come on a time-traveller’s journey through 500 years of British art. A free fun weekend of live music, performance, sound and dance for families of all ages, from 0 to 100.
Wed 30 Oct, 8pm Watch onlineOpens 12 Nov   Book nowSat 2 & Sun 3 Nov Find out more
Book now for Art Turning LeftAmerican Artist Lecture Series: Richard TuttleExplore Everything at Tate Modern

Art Turning Left is the first exhibition to examine how the production and reception of art has been influenced by left-wing values, from the French Revolution to the present day.

In this talk artist Richard Tuttle asks the question ‘when people say art and life are one, why does it make me angry?’
Hear urban explorer and author Bradley L. Garrett talk about how he brings abandoned buildings, bridges and rooftops, bringing these hidden spaces to the public view.
Opens Sat 8 Nov Book nowMon 4 Nov  Book nowThu 31 Oct Book now
Give a little Tate - Membership is the perfect Christmas gift