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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 – 700+ entries as of October 2019.  Most entries have links for further information.

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The Queen's Chapel of the Savoy

The Queen's Chapel of the Savoy is all that remains of the Savoy Hospital founded by Henry VII, which stood on site of the earlier Savoy Palace, sacked during the Peasants' Revolt of 1381. It is a private royal chapel of Her Majesty The Queen and not subject to episcopal jurisdiction. It is part of the Savoy Estate, the Duchy of Lancaster’s principal London land holding. Since 11 May 1937, by command of King George VI, it has also been the Chapel of the Royal Victorian Order.

Region:
Location/Address: Savoy Hill
County: London
Post Code: WC2R 0DA
Main Historic Period: Tudor
Tip/Nearby: The Strand, Trafalgar Square
Primary Management: Crown
York Watergate

York Watergate marks the position of the north bank of the River Thames before the construction of the Victoria Embankment in 1862. It was built in 1626 by Nicholas Stone, master mason, for George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham, to serve as the watergate to York House which the Duke had acquired from the Archbishop of York in 1624. The arms on the river front and the motto "Fidei cotucula crux" (the cross is the touchstone of faith) on the land side, are those of the Villiers family. York House was demolished in 1675 and streets were laid out on the site. In 1893 the gate having fallen into decay, the London County Council obtained parliamentary powers to acquire and preserve it as an object of public interest.

Region:
Location/Address: Watergate Walk
Victoria Embankment
County: London
Post Code: WC2N 6DU
Main Historic Period: Stuart
Tip/Nearby: Victoria Embankment and gardens
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
NATIONAL GALLERY (The)

The National Gallery houses the British nation's national collection of paintings in the Western European tradition from the 13th to the 19th centuries. Established in 1824, it is regularly in the top 10 most visited attractions in Britain.

Entry is free.

Region:
Location/Address: Trafalgar Square
County: London
Post Code: WC2N 5DN
Main Historic Period: N/A
Useful Website Address: National Gallery website
Tip/Nearby: National Portrait Gallery is next door
Primary Management: HM Government
Trafalgar Square

Laid out in 1830-41 on the site of the earlier royal stables, Trafalgar Square in central London commemorates Admiral Nelson's naval victory in 1805 and has Nelson's Column as its main feature. There are four plinths for statues in the square: General Sir Charles James Napier, Major General Sir Henry Havelock and King George IV. The fourth plinth, empty for many years, now features contemporary works of art. There is an equestrian statue of Charles I to the south of the square, traditionally the original location for Charing Cross and the site of execution of the regicides after the restoration. Trafalgar Square, London's largest square, is surrounded by attractions - like the National Gallery - and has long been a location for meetings, protests and revels. Legend has it there is buried treasure beneath its paving stones...

Region:
County: London
Post Code: WC2N 5DN
Main Historic Period: Victorian
Link to featured article: Exploring Trafalgar Square
Tip/Nearby: Whitehall, Westminster, National Gallery, Covent Garden...
Primary Management: Local Authority
EDITH CAVELL MEMORIAL

Memorial to Nurse Edith Cavell designed by Sir George Frampton (who waived his fee) in 1915, unveiled by Queen Alexandra in 1920. Edith Cavell was born in Norwich in 1865. She was matron of a hospital in Brussels when the Germans invaded in 1914. Though the invaders offered her and other British nurses safe conduct to neutral Holland, she stayed on, eventually helping some 200 British, French and Belgian soldiers escape to Holland. She was arrested in August 1915 and shot by firing squad on 12th October. She said to her American chaplain, "I realise that patriotism is not enough. I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone." The British may well have exploited the propaganda value of Edith Cavell's murder, particularly in the at that time neutral USA.

The post code is for nearby St Martin-in-the-Field church. There is another memorial to Edith Cavell in Norwich.

Region:
Location/Address: St Martin's Place
County: London
Post Code: WC2N 4JH
Main Historic Period: Modern
Tip/Nearby: North-east corner of Trafalgar Square. Next to the National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery, opposite St Martin-in-the-Field church.
Primary Management: Local Authority
NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY (The)

The National Portrait Gallery was founded in 1856 to collect portraits of famous British people. Its collection includes over 200,000 portraits from the 16th Century to the present day in a wide variety of different mediums. These include drawings, miniatures, negatives, paintings, photographs, prints, sculptures and many more.

'NPG' can get very crowded - but it's fascinating. You'll find it on the north of Trafalgar Square, next to the National Gallery.

Entry is free - this is a national collection.

Region:
Location/Address: St Martin's Place
County: London
Post Code: WC2N 0HE
Main Historic Period: N/A
Useful Website Address: National Portrait Gallery website
Primary Management: HM Government
COVENT GARDEN MARKET

London's famous fruit and vegetable market relocated to Nine Elms in 1974. The district, which had been congested and run-down, has been redeveloped and now offers a range of facilities - two extensive areas of market stalls, selling artwork, hand-made jewellery, unique gifts; plus a range of high-end shops, pubs, bars and restaurants. Covent Garden is also famous for its street performers and includes the Royal Opera House, Theatre Royal Drury Lane and the London Transport Museum. In the Middle Ages, it was the garden for Westminster Abbey, developed into a fashionable Italian-style square in the 17th century - and then became a place of ill-repute!

Region:
Location/Address: Covent Garden
County: London
Post Code: WC2E 8RF
Main Historic Period: Stuart
Useful Website Address: Covent Garden's website
Tip/Nearby: Nearest tubes Covent Garden or Charing Cross. Easy walk from Trafalgar Square.
Primary Management: Local Authority
Sir JOHN SOANE’S MUSEUM

Sir John Soane (1753-1837) architect and collector, left his house and museum to the nation. In his lifetime Sir John - whose works included the Bank of England and the Dulwich Picture Library - amassed a collection of architectural drawings as well as classical and medieval works of art, artefacts, sculptures, paintings (including works by Canaletto, Hogarth and Turner) and other items. His house has astonishing interiors and was used almost as a laboratory for his ideas.

Excellent website!

Region:
Location/Address: 13 Lincoln's Inn Fields
County: London
Post Code: WC2A 3BP
Main Historic Period: All
Useful Website Address: Sir John Soane's museum website
Tip/Nearby: Lincoln's Inn. Nearest tube - Holborn
Primary Management: HM Government
CHARING CROSS

The original Charing Cross was the last of 12 memorials erected by Edward I, to honour his dead wife, Eleanor of Castile. A memorial was placed at every spot where her funeral cortege rested on its way south from her place of death, near Lincoln. The Charing Cross once stood in what is now Trafalgar Square, was destroyed in 1647 and replaced with an equestrian statue of Charles I in 1675. A Victorian replica was put up outside the nearby railway station in 1865, where it remains. It was restored in 2010.

Region:
Location/Address: Strand
County: London
Post Code: WC2 5HS
Main Historic Period: Victorian
Link to featured article: End of the line for Eleanor
Tip/Nearby: Trafalgar Square
Primary Management: Local Authority
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