Sunday, 20 April 2014

Two Go Adventuring Again.

This time it was up to Old London Town in search of jewels, not just any jewels either.
We were there to see the amazing Cheapside Hoard.

The exhibition has been on for quite a while now, in fact it is almost over, but we didn't manage to coordinate ourselves before now. (We being Soo and I, I can't imagine Himself getting excited about seeing jewels!)
To give an overview this is an amazing collection of  priceless 16th and 17th century jewellery with a huge mystery attached to it. The hoard was found in 1912 by some workmen renovating a house in Cheapside. No one has ever been able to establish who it belonged too or why it was hidden beneath the cellar floor. It seems back in those days what a workman found a workman could keep, no treasure trove laws to worry about so the workmen whisked the chest of jewels off to 'Stoney Jack' an antique dealer/pawn broker who also happened to work for a couple of London museums. He at once recognised the collections great importance and bought the lot, to be split between 3 museums. This is the first time the collection has been seen whole in 100 years.

Now as you can imagine security was tight, no bags and no coats allowed in the exhibition and certainly no pictures!
But the beauty and fine, fine detail of some of the work was just jaw dropping. They actually provide magnifying glasses so you can examine up close and really it is just incredible, especially when you see the fairly basic tools of the trade from the time and the fact they worked by the naked eye alone.

It was also fascinating to see how styles and tastes changed over the decades, especially in the Elizabethan Era and there were many items that would not look at all out of place in a jeweller's shop today. 
Seriously just google images of the Cheapside Hoard and feast your eyes on it's splendour. There were a couple of crosses, a stunning huge square cut sapphire ring and a Moonstone ring carved into an angel that were my top choice.

After all that glory what else can you do but go and have lunch? We had a sandwich in the museum cafe before having a 'speed tourist' zip round the rest of the collections. The place was packed mostly with school groups and families where due to the noise level most found they simply must shriek louder and louder to compete with each other, we left before our eardrums burst.

With no particular plans and a glorious spring afternoon ahead of us we decided to head towards St Paul's and see where our feet took us.
We meandered down Fleet Street where all eras jostle together, medieval, victorian, art deco, 20th century
Tudor, squirrels

 As Bill Bryson says, walk down any British high street and it pays to look up!

 We ended up at The Temple and what a beautiful and serene area of London this is, it's hard to believe you are slap bang in the middle of the city. They had the most delightful set of courtyard gardens, each different, god I would love to have the job of maintaining them!

 We ambled along the embankment for a bit before heading back to the underground and home. We decided to round the day off with dinner at the pub, just perfect.

Other than that I have done nothing more exciting than take a trip to the garden centre with my parents and then, well, garden. It's starting to take shape even if I haven't started tackling the main flowerbeds yet. Now the weather has changed and I am stuck indoors with plenty of jobs to do but no inclination.


  1. Liking the sound of that hoard! Still haven't seen the Staffordshire one - terrible when it was dug up in my car booting field! Hope you've got some gardening down between showers! xxx

  2. Central London is such a wonderful place to meander, you never know what you'll find and it pays to take a camera - thank you for sharing your pics and look at that beautiful wisteria! You're very lucky to have seen the exhibition, what a wonderful back story! xoxo

  3. I'll go and google the Cheapside hoard as soon as I have commented, sounds brilliant. Yes, there is always something to see in any city is you keep your eyes peeled.
    Tell me about the list of jobs and lack of inclination... xxx

  4. How can anyone not get excited over jewels? MAKES NO SENSE. I'd love to see the Cheapside hoard, though I don't think I'll make it to London in time for the exhibition, though I did enjoy seeing the photos on the Museum of London's website.

    I love that part of London, and it looks like you had brilliant weather for your trip.