It’s easy to turn into the grounds of the Old Royal Naval College at Greenwich. The gates on the Thames Path are open daylight hours.
From Saturday it will again be possible to go into the magnificent Painted Hall. Its not laid out for dinner because a £8.5m restoration is under way.
Instead a temporary platform, held up by 8,000 temporary pole fittings and just below the high roof, will allow a close up view of the ceiling painting which is being painstakingly cleaned.
This is a unique opportunity to see the painting undertaken by Sir James Thornhill three hundred years ago.
One of the restoration team says that being up so close is both “eerie and disorientating”.
Thornhill completed the work called The Triumph of Peace and Libertyover Tyranny in 1714. It had taken him seven years.
Three hundred years ago this year he submitted revised designs for the upper hall, or west end higher level, which he eventually finished in 1722.
The tours are available from April 10am-5pm (last admission 4pm); £10 (child £5). Profits go towards raising the final £2m needed. The scaffolding is expected to remain in place until late 2018.
The Painted Hall is one of the oldest tourist attractions. It was intended as the dining room for Naval pensioners but was soon only used for special occasions to allow for the growing number of visitors.
“This is a splendid Norman church in a village within the city of Oxford,” says the author.
“And it is worth visiting for its rich interior and the story of its anchoress (or pious hermit) named Annora, but its particular glory is that it serves as a perfect destination for a walk along the Thames from the centre of the city. ”
The Norman church dates from around the year of Thomas Becket’s murder.
The Duke of Gloucester has unveiled a river view interpretation panel outside Southwark Cathedral to mark the 40th Anniversary of the Jubilee Walkway.
The Queen inaugurated the Silver Jubilee Walkway during her 1977 Silver Jubilee year. The route has been known as just the Jubilee Walkway since Her Majesty’s Golden Jubilee.
The 1977 route follows the present Thames Path, which dates from 1996, between Tower Bridge and Westminster Bridge.
The highlight of the interpretation panel, depicting the river view from Cathedral Square, is a reproduction of the seven phases of London Bridge from 1209 to 1831 drawn by Gordon Home.
This first appeared in Gordon Home’s book Old London Bridge published in 1931. Gordon’s son Gospatric Home was present with a copy of the book.
The panel is dedicated to Sir James Swaffield who in 1977 was both Greater London Council director general and Chairman of the Jubilee Walkway Trust. His three children and a grandson were also present.
Jeremy Paxman’s Channel 4 programme on the River Thames in his Rivers series seems very short.
The hour goes quickly. It is a pleasant drift downstream but a lot seems to be missing.
This is because the River Thames is so rich in heritage, beauty and interest that all four programmes in the series could easily have been devoted to just the Thames.
It would be interesting see what was left on the cutting room floor.
It is maybe a pity to make fun of Cricklade’s court leet since it is one of few remaining manorial courts with a serious function. The court officers safeguard one of the most important water meadows in the country.
A pause to talk about the Thames Super Sewer is topical and probably right as the tidal river is not yet clean enough.
When the riverside path at Nine Elms, just south of Vauxhall, reopens the great landmark will not be Dolphin Square in Pimlico across the water but the new US Embassy.
Later this year the Embassy is relocating from Grosvenor Square in Mayfair to Nine Elms.
The striking design by KieranTimberlake of Philadelphia resembles a crystalline cube.
The last ambassador said farewell on the eve of President Trump’s inauguration and it is expected that the incoming ambassador will present his credentials shortly before the building opens.
The building will attract lots of attention for an embassy. Taking a snap this week whilst on the diverted Thames Path I was stopped by a security guard. He wanted to check the photo and know why I wanted to photograph the new building.
I did not help him. You are free to take a photo from the public highway.
The police advice, known as the Trotter guidelines, is: “There are no powers prohibiting the taking of photographs, film or digital images in a public place. Therefore members of the public and press should not be prevented from doing so.”
It is still necessary to follow Nine Elms Lane and Battersea Park Road past Battersea Dogs Home and walk through Battersea Park.
However, there is glimpse of the future. From Battersea Park it is possible to walk under Chelsea Bridge, on a new footbridge over the water, and enjoy the new riverside path each side of Grosvenor Railway Bridge.
But there is still much work to be done before this new path joins upstream Tideway Walk.
Temporary Closure: Elm Quay which links St George Wharf at Vauxhall with Tideway Walk next to Battersea Power Station is closed for resurfacing and landscaping. The path is diverted along Nine Elms Lane and on to its south side to pass the new Waitrose .
But the good news is that Waitrose has a cafe and toilets. Lunch today was pork, lentil and kale soup followed by croque monsieur. Coffee is free!