I've decide to continue on with bees for a bit and am going to start stitching "June" from the Prairie Schooler's "A Prairie Year II".
Today we took a walk in the Clerkenwell district of northwest London. My Mom was the tour leader.
The walk began at the Smithfield meat market.
In the middle ages this was "Smooth field" - a broad grassy area outside the London Wall along the river Fleet. Because of the access to grazing and water, it was used as the city's main livestock market for centuries.
One of the oldest markets in London, meat has been traded in Smithfield for 800 years.
This present day market is the results of Victorian reforms as the conditions of the animals, the smells, and garbage were appalling. The market was destroyed near the end of WWII, and this current market was built.
The wholesale market is most active in the very early morning hours, but even at 11:00am we could see a butcher or two.
Next up on our tour was St. Bartholomew the Great. It is a Norman church built as part of St. Bartholomew's Priory in 1123. Rahere, the jester of King Henry provided the monies after miraculously surviving a dire illness.
I like the fact that as big and touristy as London is, you can still find something off the beaten track that is quiet and contemplative.
This is Rahere's tomb inside the church.
The Smithfield area has a very bloody history. Executions took place near the market. It is here that Sir William Wallace, among others, was done in.
As we walked along I was pleased to see several street food vendors set up on Grenville Road.
This one, serving Ghanaian food is called "Spinach and Agushi".
I was totally lost (directionally) as we meandered about on our walk. Thus, I was pleasantly surprised to see the Shard and St. Paul's make an appearance.
No walk about the city is complete without noticing a pub or two.
This was my favorite. The Bleeding Heart pub is named after nearby Bleeding Heart Yard. The yard appears in Dicken's "Little Dorrit" home to the Plornish family. Legend has it that Lady Elizabeth Hatton danced with the Spanish Ambassador at the Winter ball of 1626. She was later found dead with her heart still pumping away. How gruesome is that? She actually died of old age.
And hey, look here!
I think this is a Great Tit. Please feel free to weigh in if you thing otherwise.