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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 – over 780 entries as of June 2020.  Most entries have links for further information.


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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.

Location/Address: 49 Bankside
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.

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

Along a small private road to the south of East Grinstead are the ruins of what was once a fine Jacobean house.  This is Brambletye House.  There had been a Brambletye Manor at the time of the Domesday Survey, on a now deserted moated plot nearby.  This house was built in 1631 by Sir Henry Compton and allegedly destroyed during the civil wars by Parliamentary troops. Of course, there are stories…

The ruins can be viewed from the road, but there is nothing to actually visit – the old house is on private land.  That said, the listing on Historic England suggests the ruins might be viewed by appointment – contact details on their site.

Directions - off the A22 about 2 miles south of East Grinstead. There is very limited parking just inside the entrance to a westbound farm entrance and private road.  From there, you need to walk.

Location/Address: Brambletye Lane
Forest Row
County: East Sussex
Post Code: RH18 5EH
Main Historic Period: Stuart
Tip/Nearby: Ashdown Forest
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
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

Oxford’s so-called Bridge of Sighs (Hertford Bridge) was completed in 1914 and links two halves of Hertford College.  It has become something of a landmark and is much-photographed. It was never intended to be a replica of the Venetian Bridge of Sighs, and looks more like a considerably smaller version of the Rialto Bridge.

It is not generally open to the public.

Location/Address: New College Lane
County: Oxfordshire
Post Code: OX1 3BW
Main Historic Period: Modern
Useful Website Address: Hertford College website
Tip/Nearby: It is opposite the entrance to Bodleian Library.
Primary Management: Educational establishment
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!

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, 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.

Location/Address: 11-12 High Street
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

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.

Location/Address: A361
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

Carfax Tower is all that remains of the 12th century church of St Martin's Church, the official civic church for the city situated at the centre of the old medieval town. St Martins was demolished in 1820 after the building had become unstable, but the 13th century west tower was spared. The replacement church wasn’t around for long; it was pulled down in 1896 when the road was widened and, again, the tower was spared.

The name ‘Carfax’, or ‘carfoukes’ in older English, is said to be derived either from the French ‘carrefourges’, ‘carrefour’ – or ‘crossroads’ – or from the Latin ‘quatuor furcas’ - ‘four forks’. So ‘carfax’ refers to the location; technically, the tower is St Martin's Tower. A climb to the top (it is 74 feet high) provides wonderful views over the city. And no building in central Oxford is permitted to be built any higher than Carfax Tower. On its east side is a copy of the old church clock, with mechanical ‘quarterboys’ hammering out each quarter hour.

Location/Address: Junction of St Aldate's, Cornmarket, Queen Street, and High Street
County: Oxfordshire
Post Code: OX1 1ET
Main Historic Period: Medieval
Tip/Nearby: Centre of Oxford
Primary Management: Local Authority
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