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Britain, places to visit, attractions, heritageThis is the place to search for places and things of interest to visit in Britain, by name, location, type, keyword – or just have a browse.  It is a growing directory – 670+ entries as of June 2019. 

Curiosity

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49 BANKSIDE

A Queen Anne house, situated on the south bank of the Thames between the Globe Theatre and Tate Modern, which has a plaque on the wall declaring that both Christopher Wren and Katherine of Aragon lived in it (not simultaneously). Both assertions are false. The plaque is of unknown date. The house is a private residence.

Region:
Location/Address: 49 Bankside
Southwark
County: London
Post Code: SE1
Main Historic Period: Stuart
Link to featured article: Christopher Wren did not live here
Tip/Nearby: Borough, Southwark Cathedral, Globe, Tate Modern
Primary Management: Private - not open to the public
64 Baker Street

From 1940 - 1946, 64 Baker Street was the world headquarters of the Special Operations Executive, SOE, a clandestine organisation ordered to be set up by Churchill with the instruction to 'set Europe ablaze' by helping local resistance movements and conducting espionage and sabotage in enemy-held territories. A plaque was unveiled on the building in May 2010 by Margaret Jackson MBE, who was PA to Brigadier, later Major-General, Colin Gubbins, head of SOE from 1943 known by the initial 'M'. Margaret Jackson, herself a remarkable woman, was just 23 years old in 1940; she died in Croydon on 2 June 2013.

Region:
County: London
Post Code: W1U 7GB
Main Historic Period: Modern
Link to featured article: I spy - Secret London
Tip/Nearby: Madame Tussauds
Primary Management: Private - not open to the public
Bramley Apples, large, green and great for cooking

The Bramley apple originated from a pip planted by a young girl, Mary Ann Brailsford, in Southwell in c1809. There is an annual Apple Festival in Southwell, in October. Bramley apple trails are available all year round.

Location/Address: Tourist Information Centre
Minster Chambers
Church Street
Southwell
County: Nottinghamshire
Post Code: NG25 0HD
Main Historic Period: Georgian
Link to featured article: The tale of the Bramley apple
Tip/Nearby: Southwell Minster, Southwell Workhouse
Primary Management: Local Authority
Britain's smallest police station?

Found in the south-west corner of Trafalgar Square, this former police observation post is often wrongly claimed to be Britain's - or the world's - smallest police station. It was never a police station - but it is an interesting curiosity!

Region:
Location/Address: Trafalgar Square
County: London
Post Code: WC2N 5DN
Main Historic Period: Modern
Link to featured article: The world's smallest police station
Tip/Nearby: Right in the middle of London...
Primary Management: Local Authority
Cowan Bridge Schoolhouse

What used to be Cowan Bridge School for clergymen’s daughters, attended by the Bronte sisters, is now a row of cottages, one of which has been restored and is available as a holiday let. The school appears to have been a horrendously cruel and unhealthy place - the two older sisters, Maria and Elizabeth, died aged 10 and 11 in 1825 having allegedly contracted tuberculosis there. Charlotte drew on her experiences at Cowan Bridge to create Lowood School in Jane Eyre. There is a plaque marking the association on the gable end of the building, by the side of the A65.

Location/Address: Bronte Cottages
Cowan Bridge
County: Lancashire
Post Code: LA6 2HS
Main Historic Period: Georgian
Link to featured article: Our Bronte Tour Begins In Haworth
Tip/Nearby: Yorkshire Dales, Kirkby Lonsdale
Primary Management: Private - not open to the public
BUCKINGHAM HOUSE, Portsmouth

Buckingham House, Portsmouth, is a former inn where George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, was murdered by a disgruntled naval lieutenant, John Felton, on 23 August 1628. It was on the market for £1.5M in March 2017 and as of October that year was being run as Ye Spotted Dogge guest house - a return to its past. The building possibly dates from the late 15th century and is certainly Tudor in origin. In 1523 it was Le Greyhound Inne. By the time of Buckingham's murder, it was known as Ye Spotted Dogge Inne and owned by a Captain John Mason. Mason was an explorer and credited with naming New Hampshire. Felton was executed in London - his body was brought back to Portsmouth and left to rot near Clarence Pier. The property was later owned by Dr William Smith, who died in 1732 and left a bequest to found Portsmouth Grammar School - now located next door.

Note - the building is not a tourist attraction or generally open to the public. See their website.

Region:
Location/Address: 11-12 High Street
Portsmouth
County: Hampshire
Post Code: PO1 2LP
Main Historic Period: Stuart
Useful Website Address: Website for Ye Spotted Dogge
Tip/Nearby: Cathedral, Old Portsmouth, Naval Dockyard
Primary Management: Private - not open to the public
BURROW MUMP

A natural hill rising out of the Somerset levels, with the ruins of a church, St Michael's, on top, giving the place an evocative feel. There was probably a castle on the site once. Burrow Mump also has possible associations with King Alfred, who hid in the marshes around nearby Athelney to escape the Danes.  It is now a war memorial, dedicated to all those from Somerset who died in the First and Second World Wars.

Post Code is for the nearby King Alfred pub. Small free car park at the foot of the hill.

Region:
Location/Address: A361
Burrowbridge
County: Somerset
Post Code: TA7 0RB
Main Historic Period: Georgian
Tip/Nearby: Willow and Wetland Visitor Centre. Glastonbury and Wells aren't far.
Primary Management: National Trust
CENTRE of SCOTLAND

A stone marks the spot claimed to be the centre of Scotland. It is on the Glen Truim road, between the A889 and the A9, part of the 250 mile network of military roads built for the Government by General Wade after the Jacobite rising of 1715. This section was built in 1719 and is a section of the road between Fort Augustus and Ruthven Barracks at Kingussie. The stone replaces an earlier marker and was unveiled on 5th June 2015.

Post code is approximate.

Region:
Location/Address: Glentruim Road
3 miles south of Newtonmore
County: Highland
Post Code: PH20 1BE
Main Historic Period: Modern
Link to featured article: In the middle of Scotland
Useful Website Address: Newtonmore Community website
Tip/Nearby: Highland Folk Museum, Macpherson Clan Museum, Ruthven Barracks
Primary Management: National Park
Cerne Abbas Giant

The Cerne Abbas Giant is one of Britain’s best known hill figures, cut into the hillside near the pretty Dorset village of Cerne Abbas. It is formed of a cut trench about 1 foot deep and across, stands 180 feet (55 metres) high and depicts a nude male wielding a large club. Possibly its most noticeable feature is its prominent erection – so the figure is often associated with fertility. Some people think the giant represents a Celtic deity, or Hercules. In fact, the age of the Cerne Abbas Giant is uncertain – though listed by A Bit About Britain as prehistoric, it may date only from the 17th century. There is a viewing area a short distance from Cerne Abbas village and there are walks nearby.

It is hard to photograph the Giant. The image here is from Google Earth.

Region:
Location/Address: Cerne Abbas
County: Dorset
Post Code: DT2 7AL
Main Historic Period: Prehistory
Tip/Nearby: Dorchester
Primary Management: National Trust
CHIDING STONE

Block of smooth sandstone which allegedly (but probably not) gives the village of Chiddingstone its name and which has a mysterious past. One story is that it was used as a place of judgement in ancient times - hence 'chiding stone'. The village is a peach - most of the buildings are owned by the National Trust and are over 200 years old.

Chiddingstone is located on a minor road between Edenbridge and Tonbridge; the River Eden flows just to the north.

Region:
Location/Address: Chiddingstone
Nr Edenbridge
County: Kent
Post Code: TN8 7AH
Main Historic Period: Prehistory
Link to featured article: Chiddingstone's Chiding Stone
Tip/Nearby: Chiddingstone Castle, Penshurst Place, Hever Castle
Primary Management: National Trust
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