Category: Middlesex

Taking a look inside the mausoleum of an eccentric earl and his tragic mistress

Most of the grand mausolea we see in Victorian cemeteries are private spaces, accessible only to the families of those interred within or blocked off and sealed forever to keep vandals out.  However, today we are visiting a mausoleum with an unusual story attached…

The centenarian in Brentford’s workhouse: piecing together the life of Mary Hicks

When I visited the churchyard of All Saints, Isleworth, earlier in the year, I’d gone in search of the plague pit there.  However, whilst exploring the burial ground, I also came across a headstone that commemorated a person who would probably have disappeared into…

Moving a church tower from the Square Mile to Twickenham: the story of All Hallows

It’s a little known fact that more of the City of London’s churches were demolished during peacetime than were destroyed during the Blitz.  As London expanded, the population of the Square Mile declined.  Fifty one of the eighty-seven churches consumed by the Great Fire of 1666…

A plague pit by the Thames: All Saints, Isleworth

London’s many plague pits have a certain dark allure – they’re mysterious because so many of them lie unmarked, hidden and forgotten under the city’s streets, buildings and parks.  We’ve seen pictures of archaeologists excavating long-lost mass graves uncovered on building sites, with huge jumbles of…

Strawberry Hill: the eccentric house that inspired the Gothic Revival

Among the smart suburban homes of Twickenham is a very strange house.  Gleaming white walls, battlements, Gothic pinnacles and a round tower stand out against more restrained neighbours. Strawberry Hill House, home of the eccentric man of letters Horace Walpole during the second half…

The ruin next door: exploring the Brick Church of St John the Evangelist, Stanmore

London is home to a number of ruined churches – in the City of London alone there are several, victims of the bombing raids of the Luftwaffe in the Second World War.  However, not all of the ruined churches of Greater London are victims of…

Eel Pie Island: hippie commune, legendary music venue & artists’ enclave

The River Thames has long attracted artists, and today many of them have made their home on Eel Pie Island in Twickenham.  This narrow island, also known as Twickenham Ait, is only accessible by boat or footbridge and is not usually open to the…