Tag Archive | Borough Market

London 2018: The Globe Theatre

Day 9, Monday, July 2, 2018

Next we wandered over to the Globe Theatre.  The Globe is a replica of the original theatre that was built in 1599 by Shakespeare’s theatrical company.  It opened in 1997 only 750 feet from the location of the original theatre, and is as historically accurate as they could make it, accounting for the fact that they only have incomplete information about what the original theatre looked like, and of course, modern building codes.  They had to get a special exception to top the open-air theatre with a thatched roof.  The theatre once again features Shakespeare’s plays, and you can either get a seat in the gallery, a box seat, or one of the “cheap seats,” in the standing room only section.

Outside of the Globe

The original Globe Theatre was only standing from 1599 to 1613, when it was destroyed by fire.  A second version was built in 1614 and was dismantled after a City ordinance in 1642 banned theatres because of the “inappropriate” content in plays.  It was the Puritans, you know…

We went on the tour of the theatre, and had a bit of time before our tour to check out the exhibits below the theatre.  They have an exhibit on the recreation of the theatre, and the research that went into creating a theatre that was as close as possible to the original.  They also had several artifacts on display that were unearthed from the original theatre, where a partial excavation was done in the late 1980s.  There were also a number of costumes and set display items from the various plays that have been put on at the new Globe Theatre, as well as costumes from Hollywood versions of Shakespeare’s plays.

The tour explained how the theatre would have worked back in the 1600s.  First of all, women wouldn’t be there, neither as actors nor as spectators.  It was not considered acceptable for women to go to the theatre, which was essentially located in the red light district of London.  Additionally, the place would have stank to high heaven!  Bathing wasn’t much of a thing back then, and there weren’t any restrooms in the theatre.  If you had to go to the bathroom, there were buckets.  When you consider that the men watching the show would likely have been drinking a lot of beer, and the buckets were probably getting knocked over by drunk men, ewww…  There was a reason the people in the standing area in front of the stage were called Penny Stinkers.  That area cost a penny.  Only the rich men could afford the box seats.

After our theatre tour, we headed back over to the Borough Market to get lunch.  We all split up and checked out the options; I wanted to try something English, so I looked around and settled on a Scotch Egg.  If you don’t know what a Scotch Egg is, here’s the scoop.  It is a soft boiled egg, wrapped in sausage meat (you can skip the sausage if you are vegetarian) and then wrapped in bread crumbs and deep fried.  Oh my, it was sooo delicious!  My egg came with some salad greens and I bought a Ceylon Earl Grey iced tea to round out my meal.  Street food at it’s finest!  We found a spot on a curb to sit and eat our lunch, and spent some time people watching.  A nice break in the middle of the day!

Costs: Globe Theatre – 17 pounds (free with London Pass), lunch at the Borough Market

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London 2018: Southwark Cathedral and The Golden Hinde

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.

Southwark Cathedral

Excavations at the Southwark Cathedral – that’s a coffin (bottom L)!

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…

The ruins of Winchester Palace, a bishop’s house

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.

The bow of the Golden Hinde

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)