Unexpected Treasures

One of the joys of visiting London is finding unexpected treasures whilst wandering about. A visit to the busy, colourful Borough Market, just a stone’s throw from London Bridge is a must.  Having survived a brutal terrorist attack, its stall holders are to be commended for their courage and resilience. Today is a peaceful, happy day.

Nestled on the banks of the Thames, the area yields some surprising historical gems. Tucked away from the crowds you’ll find some sparse but remarkable ruins.

Winchester Palace once welcomed the great and good of England as its guests. Built in the 12th century by a powerful bishop, Henry de Blois, brother to King Stephen. Its Great Hall witnessed the wedding feast of James 1st of Scotland when he married Joan Beaufort in 1424. Today, little remains of the lavish palace compound which included a tennis court, bowling alley and pleasure gardens.IMG_0620

IMG_0615Further on is another intriguing find, especially if, like me, you’ve ever wondered why prisons are referred to as The Clink… then you’ll be surprised to find the remnants of one such place.IMG_0623

The Southwark area, once a place of poverty and prostitution, has witnessed a reformation of sorts and is now a most desirable place of residence.

Continue through the maze of narrow lanes and you’ll come across a replica ship from the days of Sir Francis Drake.

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IMG_0618His exploits brought him fame and fortune and the gratitude of Queen Elizabeth 1st with his strategic conquests in her war with Spain, and the economic and political impetus to explore and conquer the world saw him circumnavigate the globe on her behalf.

Meandering always makes me hungry so it’s time to follow the delicious aromas and return to the market for some delectable treats from the array of stalls.

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Perhaps we should also thank Sir Francis and the many other explorers of the time for the ‘foodie’ treasures they discovered and brought back from the New World which enrich our culinary world today.