A statue or other structure dedicated to or associated with a famous British person or event.

IBCC – Recognition, Remembrance, Reconciliation

IBCC, Lincoln

In 2015, a rust-weathered steel spire was erected on the skyline above the City of Lincoln.  It is 102 feet, more than 31 metres, high – by no coincidence equivalent to the wingspan of a Second World War Lancaster bomber.  The spire is the dramatic centrepiece of The International Bomber Command Centre, which commemorates the …

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A walk round Montgomery

Montgomery, Powys

We went to the small town of Montgomery, in Powys, for some much-needed peace and quiet – and found it.  Girdled by lush landscape, the old county market town of Montgomeryshire has a Georgian appearance and is a peach, a place to mentally recharge.  There is little to attract the seeker of brash entertainment, or …

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A bit about Bede

Bede, an embroidered kneeler

A Bit About Britain often refers to ‘Bede’.  It occurred to me the other day that some of my readers may not know who – or what – this means.  Which, frankly, is fair enough.  Thus, for the benefit of the mildly interested, here is a bit about Bede.  If you already know this, look …

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The bones of the king

Where are King Alfred's bones

King Alfred the Great is a national hero.  At least, he is to the English – though, to be fair, we have always been very generous about sharing our heroes with the rest of Britain and, at the slightest opportunity, with the rest of the world too.  Yet, somehow, we have managed to mislay King …

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A visit to Whitby

Yorkshire coast

Whitby, one of Yorkshire’s go-to seaside towns, conjures up so many images: the ruined abbey, dominating the skyline and old harbour, tales of Captain Cook, Dracula, the semi-precious Whitby Jet, days by the seaside – and, of course, fish ‘n’ chips.  On the other hand, maybe you are familiar with the place from the evocative …

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English Heritage or the National Trust?

English Heritage or National Trust

People often compare the relative merits of Britain’s two largest membership heritage organisations, the National Trust and English Heritage.  In fact, there are several heritage organisations in the United Kingdom that offer membership, the main ones being Cadw, Historic Houses, Historic Scotland and the National Trust for Scotland – as well as English Heritage and …

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Tales of Lincoln Cathedral

Eleanor of Castile, Lincoln Cathedral

I will never weary of wandering round medieval cathedrals.  The motivation and faith behind these places, as well as the financial and temporal power, is astonishing. I gaze in awe up at soaring arches, bathed in coloured sunlight, filtered through exquisite stained glass and dappling across old stones, absorb myself in the memorials and lap …

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The outcast dead

The railings at Crossbones, Visit London

This is Cross Bones Graveyard, surely one of the saddest places in London.  Its story belongs within a wider narrative about poverty and prostitution, an important aspect of the two-thousand year history of the Borough of Southwark.  Just an unfashionable step from busy Bankside in Redcross Way, Cross Bones is part of a very old …

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Update – Flying Officer James Tillett

Occasionally, things on A Bit About Britain need to be updated.  It doesn’t normally warrant a mention.  However, some time ago, I wrote a piece about a simple memorial to a 22-year old Battle of Britain pilot, James Tillet, or Tillett. I couldn’t help wondering about this young flyer who gave his life long before …

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Some corner of a foreign field that is forever Turkey

Turkish flag, Gosport

The small south coast town of Gosport is an interesting, rather than a pretty, place.  Optimistic residents may believe it was once known as ‘God’s port’, though the Oxford Dictionary of Place Names’ more prosaic and likely explanation is that the name derives from ‘Goose port’.  What we do know is that Gosport developed as …

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Sifting through the ashes of the Great Fire

Great Fire of London

Of all the thousands, or millions, of memorials in Britain, there aren’t many one arrogant enough to be known by the definite article.  The Monument in London is one and, for the benefit of those bursting to know, it is the monument to London’s Great Fire of 1666.  The Great Fire is so much a …

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