Day 9, Monday, July 2, 2018
We started our morning early and headed down to the London Bridge area of London. We had only a few days left on our London Pass, and we wanted to get our money’s worth! We did so much that day that I will be doing several posts!
Our first stop was the Old Operating Theatre Museum. I really wanted to see it, because it is such an eclectic and kind of morbid museum. Of course, I forgot that it was closed on Mondays – oops! Don’t worry though, we did manage to get back there a few days later…
We then decided to wander over towards the Globe Theatre. On our way, we ran into the Borough Market as they were setting up. What a great market! They had fruits, tarts, cakes, and all sorts of seafood, plus every kind of street food imaginable. We decided to come back for lunch and continued on our way, so I’ll save the photos for our return visit.
Taryn and I stopped in at the Southwark Cathedral for a few minutes. The Southwark Cathedral was built beginning in 1106 and up until 1538 it was the church of an Augustinian priory; a priory is a monastery. Then came that period in English history when the monasteries were dissolved by Henry VIII, and the priory became a regular parish church. In 1905, the Southwark Diocese was established in the Anglican church and the Southwark Cathedral officially became a cathedral. Like most of the buildings in London that are almost 1,000 years old, the cathedral was built in stages and experienced a few fires along the way.
The cathedral is largely built in the Gothic style, with flying buttresses and other Gothic features. It is stunning! Unfortunately there are no photos permitted inside, and the narrow streets make it impossible to get a good view outside, but you can get a free guidebook with the London Pass.
London has so much incredible history, so while we were walking we passed the ruins of Winchester Palace, which at one time was the home of the Bishop of Winchester. Yes, please, I would live there…
Our next stop was the Golden Hinde. The Golden Hinde is an English galleon that became famous for circumnavigating the globe between 1577 and 1580, while captained by Sir Francis Drake. Surely you have heard of Sir Francis Drake. The ship was originally named the Pelican, but Drake renamed her the Golden Hinde to honor his patron, Sir Christopher Hatton. Hatton’s family crest was a golden hind (a red deer). Apparently hinde is spelled both ways, with the “e” and without, but the ship in London has the “e” on her name. The original Golden Hinde was broken up in the late 1600s; the ship that is now dry-docked in London was launched in 1973. Although it is a replica, it is sea-worthy and sails from time to time.
As for Drake, the expedition made him a rich man. It wasn’t without its disasters though. Only the Golden Hinde completed the entire voyage out of the five ships that originally started it; the others either turned back or were lost. That isn’t very good odds! Drake did make it all the way around the world though, crossing from the Atlantic to the Pacific at the Straight of Magellan in what is now Chile, docking near what is now San Francisco to complete repairs to the ship, and sailing across the Pacific and around the Cape of Good Hope. He was even knighted for his accomplishment.
The ship was interesting – we got to climb up and down the ladders, see the replica guns, experience the low ceilings and imagine what it would have been like to sail in the 1500s!
Tube Stations: Earl’s Court to London Bridge
Costs: Southwark Cathedral – free (free guidebook with London Pass), Golden Hinde – 5.00 pounds (free with London Pass)