Food, Days Out and Travel stories from Brighton, London and the Rest of the World


Spitalfields Market, modern architecture and a monument in London

This is a shared post, serving as a recommendation to go check out Spitalfields Market and some other places nearby and at the same time is a chance to give a shout-out to a really great book to take with you.

Taking its name from the hospital and priory, St. Mary's Spittel founded in 1197, Spitalfields lies in the heart of the East End of London and right beside Liverpool Street station.

At the opposite end lies Hawksmoor's Christ Church, consecrated in 1729 its striking white facade is due to the Portland stone that was used. Luckily this beautiful building has survived despite going through a period of neglect when the roof was declared unsafe and the then Bishop proposed its demolition in the 1960s.

Hawksmoor Christ Church and goat sculpture, Spitalfields

Scattered about are interesting sculptures to look at. I Goat, won the Spitalfields Sculpture Prize in 2010, of a hand-sculpted goat standing on top of a stack of packing crates by artist Kenny Hunter.

Marigold Hodgkinson’s yellow water-lily, Spitalfields

Just round the corner another stunning sculpture shimmered on top of a water feature. Marigold Hodgkinson’s classical inspired Greek yellow Nymphaea or water-lily represents the capacity for revival after a period of inactivity.

Spitalfields Market, London

Spitalfields Market, London

Spitalfields Market, London

Spitalfields Market, London

Spitalfields Market, London

Pear and Fig sculpture, Spitalfields Market, London

Further along towards Hawksmoor's church is Ali Grant's Pear and Fig bronze sculpture.

Spitalfields Market, London

Inside the market, Lola's Bakery enticed with colourful creations

Spitalfields Market, London

Spitalfields Market, London

PoppyDaisy, Spitalfields Market, London

and flower garlands by PoppyDaisy brought the girls flocking to try on Midsummer bands.

Jewellery by Melody, Spitalfields Market, London
Jewellery by Melody
Spitalfields Market, London

Spitalfields Market, London

Christ Church, Hawksmoor

Huguenot Summer, London

Spitalfields, London

20 Fenchurch Street, London

After leaving Spitalfields we headed to Monument tube and found ourselves staring up at 20 Fenchurch Street, designed by the architect Rafael Viñoly. Dwarfed by its scale, the buildings beside it made a stunning contrast.

Monument to the Great Fire of London

And finally to Monument, made to commemorate the Great Fire of London, 1666 (London burnt like rotten sticks).

Dipping into my Guide of London, Galleries, Palaces and Tea, by David Backhouse, I found out that the monument had been built on the site of the first church St Margaret's that was burnt down by the fire. Its base is 202 ft from where the fire broke out and is 202 ft tall.

It also commemorated the huge success of Londoners who rebuilt their city within the space of just a few years. Designed by Sir Christopher Wren and Robert Hooke, they disagreed as to what should go on the top. Wren thought there should be a statue of King Charles II and Hooke, a crown of fire.

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