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Greenwich 4

 

Chesterfield Gate, Queen Caroline's Bath, Ranger's House, Macartney House, Tumuli,
Reservoir Conduit, Herb Garden, Water Features, National Maritime Museum, Discover Greenwich Visitor Centre

Greenwich Park - Chesterfield Gate Blackheath - Folly Pond or Long Pond

44. Chesterfield Gate is on the south-west corner of the park. Here it is a lot quieter, as it is away from the main attractions. Outside the gate is Folly Pond, sometimes called Long Pond. A century ago this was much larger with an island and was used as a boating lake, real as well as models. It is a seasonal pond and is filled artificially by the Council whenever it is in danger of drying up. There are three other ponds on Blackheath, Prince of Wales* Pond, Hare and Billet Pond and Mounts Pond, all named after the adjacent roads. They are most likely* gravel workings that became filled with water, and would have served to water the stagecoach horses and cattle being driven through.

* "Wales" Distinguishing outline, the place name "Wells" is written normally with the hooked WL stroke

* Omission phrase "mos(t) likely"

Greenwich Park - remains of Montague House Greenwich Park - Queen Caroline's bath

45. Montague House was the residence of Caroline of Brunswick who married George Prince of Wales* in 1795, later to become King George IV. Caroline became estranged from her husband and so she was never crowned queen but lived a separate life here and occupied herself with artistic endeavours and beautifying the house and gardens. Less genteel were her boisterous parties and indiscreet relationships which caused an even greater rift between her and the royal household. Montague House was demolished in 1815 and this wall with blocked up windows is all that now remains of it. The land was returned to the park in the mid 1800's. The tiled plunge bath was part of a glazed bathhouse and greenhouse attached to Montague House. It is surrounded by a low yew hedge, planted to mark the boundary of where the bathhouse once stood. Next to the site of the former Montague House is the Ranger's House, managed by English Heritage and now housing an extensive art collection. In front of the house is a large semi-circular rose garden. All the rose names are given on a notice board, enabling visitors to not only enjoy the roses but also take note of their favourite varieties for future reference.

* "Wales" See note on previous para

Greenwich Park - Ranger's House  Greenwich Park - Macartney House  Greenwich Park - rose garden in front of Ranger's House

46. Further along the perimeter path is Macartney House, which was the boyhood home of General James Wolfe, whose family moved here from Westerham, Kent, when he was 10 years old. There is also a statue of Wolfe on the village green in Westerham. On the grassy area just beyond the house is a group of early Bronze Age tumuli or burial mounds, which were re-used by the Anglo Saxons in the sixth century. Excavations in the 18th century turned up shields and spears, which suggests the community was a pagan one. There were* originally 50 mounds but only 20 now remain. They are quite shallow and to the uninformed eye this would just appear be uneven ground. In the photo you can see that the grass has grown longer at the base of each circle, probably due to water runoff from the bumps. The area is on the very edge of the escarpment, obviously a sacred spot far removed from daily life below. The high ground would also have been strategically important with a commanding view over the river and all the surrounding land, both beyond the Thames below and the plateau of the heath to the south. No doubt the safety and future success of the community were also entrusted to their deities and ancestors in this special place. These are the burial places of real people, even though they died a long time ago, and one does not feel inclined to walk over the mounds but around them.

* Omission phrase "there (w)ere"

Greenwich Park - Bronze Age and Anglo-Saxon tumuli

Greenwich Park - Standard Reservoir Conduit House

47. Halfway down the hill is the Greenwich Hospital Standard Reservoir, as described on its carved plaque above the arch, but it is also called the Conduit* House. There are several brick-built conduits* (underground tunnels) in the park, to channel the natural groundwater down to the former Royal Hospital for Seamen. The conduits were rebuilt at the end of the seventeenth century but it is possible* that the engineers re-used earlier ones, possibly constructed for the Tudor palace or earlier medieval manor houses. Lead pipes carried the water into the reservoirs, which were* replaced with iron in the middle of the nineteenth century. This building is all there is to be seen, as there is no access to its interior and the tunnels are sealed.

* "conduits" can also be pronounced without the diphthong = "kondits"

* Omission phrase "it is poss(ible)"  "which (w)ere"

Greenwich Park - Herb garden Greenwich Park - Herb garden pond and fountain

48. At the bottom of the hill is the herb garden, with traditional box hedging compartments filled with culinary* and medicinal herbs. Interestingly the inside edges of the hedging are lined with woven hurdles, giving the shapes a neater appearance and probably reducing the amount of clipping necessary. There is a small fountain in the centre. The circular pond is full of large pebbles, all covered in a thin film of bright green algae*, although the water is clear. From a distance it looks like the pond is filled with water lily leaves. This is a good place to rest before proceeding to the museums and the village.

* "culinary" can also be pronounced "kew-LIN-ary"

* "algae" The singular "alga" (downwards L) and adjective "algal" both have hard G sound. The Ell on "algal" goes upwards to allow it to join the hooked stroke

Greenwich Park - Statue of King William IV Greenwich Park - Water feature by National Maritime Museum 1 Greenwich Park - Water feature by National Maritime Museum 2

49. At the head of the avenue to the south side of the National Maritime Museum is a granite* statue of King William IV, who was succeeded to the throne by his niece Queen Victoria. Along the edge of the avenue are two plain marble rills of water, both running downhill towards the centre and discharging into a grille. The water entering the rill at the top gate issues* from a wide slit within the slab pillar, coming in regular waves with a sound very reminiscent of a thundering Victorian toilet flush. However, as one wanders down, such thoughts are erased by the cleanness of the smooth creamy white marble and the clear water. The water feature is most refreshing on a hot day of visiting as many attractions as possible in a limited time.

* "granite" The outline for "garnet" uses Ray

* "issues" If you prefer to use the Ish pronunciation (ishoos), insert the vowel so it is not misread as "shows"

National Maritime Museum - Water feature and Sammy Ofer Wing National Maritime Museum - Water feature

50. Facing the avenue is the Sammy Ofer wing of the museum and the café. A second water feature refreshes the air, and the ear, for those* sitting at the tables outside. This looks just like the incoming tide on a smooth sandy beach and I am sure that is what the designer intended, after testing every stone for colour change when wet. The tiny object in the centre of the water is an elastic band, providing extra interest in the form of* a widening wake as the water flows over it, just like a pebble on the sand – unplanned and not accounted for in the £36 million budget for the new wing, but effective nonetheless! Both these water features would be very interesting when the leaves begin to fall, and visitors can decide which is their leaf that they want to win the race against the others, or feel sorry for those leaves that get beached at the sides.

* "for those" Essential to insert the vowel, as "those" is now out of position and could be read as "these"

* Omission phrase "in the f(orm of)"

National Maritime Museum - ship sculpture on roof 1 National Maritime Museum - ship sculpture on roof 2
Battering ram warships on the roofline of the front of the National Maritime Museum, smothered in symbols of naval supremacy

National Maritime Museum foyer National Maritime Museum - Voyagers room

My 30-second movie showing the projection in action:
Greenwich NMM Voyagers display WMV  2MB

51. "I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky. And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by." – from Sea Fever by John Masefield. This wall is in the Sammy Ofer wing which is the main entrance to the museum. The spotlights in the ceiling look just like the stars that sailors relied on for navigation. Behind the blue wall is the room "Voyagers – Britons and the Sea" with a representative display of seafaring artefacts* in glass cases. However, the most spectacular part is the display in the centre of the room, a series of angled surfaces with illuminated projections of pictures and words travelling in waves along its length, representing the undulating surface of the sea, accompanied by a sea-themed sound-track. The streaky marks are in fact words repeated over the screens, changing their angle and positions as if they were highlights on the water. It is an artwork in itself and the designers deserve to be congratulated on their creativity.

* "seafaring" Dictionary gives this as one outline, but this takes it too far into the lines below

* "artefacts" can also be spelled artifacts

National Maritime Museum - sextant National Maritime Museum - armillary sphere National Maritime Museum - astrolabe

52. The museum has a collection of navigational aids and nautical equipment of every type displayed in the glazed courtyard in the central part of the older buildings. The sextant was used to find the angle between two objects, primarily between the horizon and celestial* objects. The second picture is an Italian armillary* sphere of 1624, which is a three-dimensional model of the universe. This one has the earth at its centre but later on they were made with the sun at the centre. The third photo is a Persian (Iranian*) astrolabe made in 1659. Astrolabes are a type of inclinometer, used to locate and predict the positions of celestial* bodies, to determine the user's location and time, as well as for triangulation for surveying land and map-making. A mariner's astrolabe is a version developed for easier use in the unstable conditions at sea.

* "celestial" Omits the T

* "armilla" means ring or bracelet

* "Iranian" can also be pronounced "eye-ranian" and you would join the I diphthong to the stroke Ar

National Maritime Museum - ship's biscuits  National Maritime Museum - can and spoon  

53. These inscribed ship's biscuits from the 18th and 19th centuries are examples of "hard tack" meaning hard food. The biscuits were made by cooking them several times to remove all moisture and they could last for years if kept dry. Hard tack has always been a staple provision for sailors, soldiers and explorers throughout history. It had a host of names, either descriptive or disparaging, such as pilot bread, sea biscuits, dog biscuits, worm castles and molar breakers. The sailor would dunk them in his beer or they might be stirred into a stew. They were kept in cool dry conditions to minimise infestation by pests. Canning of food was developed in the early 1800's, although the reasons why the food remained preserved were not* known until Louis Pasteur's* discovery in 1859 of the causes of fermentation and bacterial growth. Before his discoveries, it was generally believed that many living things emerged through "spontaneous generation" from non-living substances. The first cans (short for "canisters") were made of thick sheets of metal and had to be opened by piercing with a knife, sword, bayonet or hammer blows, but as the process was improved and the metal became thinner, the invention and use of can openers was possible.

* "were not" Hook N and halving to represent "not"

* "Pasteur's" Thick dash written sideways to the stroke represents this French vowel, similar to English "sir"

National Maritime Museum - model ship National Maritime Museum - model warship National Maritime Museum - ship's journal/log

54. There are many models of ships, and a large collection of model warships. Often these were made by prospective shipbuilders to illustrate their designs to their clients. The models complemented* the paper plans and made it easier for both sides to discuss design features. Letters, notes and ship's logs are also fascinating to see, and bring a human* touch when one sees the faded brown ink and dog-eared pages. One wonders about the time that they were written, maybe scrawled down hastily amidst storms, tumultuous battles or other difficulties, or maybe composed at leisure during calmer and quieter periods of the voyages. Whatever the circumstances of their creation, it is unlikely that any of the writers could have envisaged the final destination of their letters, in a naval museum glass cabinet.

* "complement" means to make complete (verb), the full amount (noun); "compliment" means to make comment of praise or respect

* "human" Above the line, to distinguish from "humane" on the line

National Maritime Museum - coffee plant and products National Maritime Museum - cotton plant Trade: coffee and cotton

55. As with all museums of antiquities, the lighting is kept low to preserve the pieces. This lends an air of mystery, as if the absence of light matches our lack of full knowledge of all the circumstances surrounding the objects. The semi-darkness, however, has an entirely different effect in the room portraying Slavery, Trade and Empire, giving that room an air of oppression and gloom. The majority of the exhibits are paintings, and one sympathetic picture shows, on the left, the* Africans helping their European visitors when they were in need, and on the right hand side the same families being torn apart by deportations into the slave trade. Selling into slavery originated as a means of disposing of criminals and defeated enemies, and grew to become a lucrative trade in its own right. In one cabinet are the various locks and shackles worn by the slaves and the fact that these are not reproductions* brings the cruelty of the practice even closer. One searches the captions of the portraits in order to* single out the perpetrators and beneficiaries of the trade, from those who tried to bring some justice to bear. Exiting the room into the bright corridor is a relief, stepping out of history into the present day once again*.

* "left the" Not using Tick The, as there is pause between the two words

* "reproductions" Contraction on the line. Reproduce/s/d/ing is a normal outline written through the line

* Omission phrases "in order to "  "wu(n)s again"

National Maritime Museum - illustration for smoke helmet National Maritime Museum - illustration for pressurized diving suit

56. These amusing pictures are entirely serious illustrations of innovative diving equipment at the time they were produced, but nowadays they would not look out of place in a guessing game. Our superior modern equipment has its roots in such basic inventions, and so we should be grateful for the inventiveness that created them, and hope that present-day inventors* are as bold in thinking of solutions to our own difficulties and problems. The first picture is a smoke helmet, invented by Charles and John Dean of Greenwich, to enable sailors to fight fires in the ship's hold. Improvements were suggested by Edward Barnard who adapted* it to create a diving helmet. The equipment was improved by Augustus Siebe* who furthered the design to produce standard watertight diving dress. The second picture shows a pressurised diving suit, invented by John Lethbridge, which enabled the occupant to work on the ocean floor, remaining submerged for over an hour. This is similar to our modern submersibles except that now we have robotic arms to do the work. The first diving bell was described by Aristotle in the 4th century BC as an inverted cauldron lowered into the water, thus trapping the air within it. The many-talented Astronomer Royal Edmond Halley designed a diving bell with a replenishable air supply, another step towards these wonderfully* ingenious mechanical contraptions* to allow scientists to explore under water.

* "inventors" See www.long-live-pitmans-shorthand.org.uk/distinguishing-outlines-list3.htm innovators/inventors

* "adapted" Always insert the second vowel in this and in "adopted" and their derivatives

* "Siebe" Following German pronunciation of the surname. Augustus already has an English pronunciation.

*The same short form covers "wonderful" and "wonderfully" but here either could make sense, so a stroke Ell is added for clarity. If you wanted to clarify the opposite case i.e. ensure it was read as "wonderful" you could write the two halves as separate outlines "wonder" and "full"

* "contraptions" The shun hook is placed to balance the stroke Tr

National Maritime Museum - portrait of Lord Horatio Nelson  National Maritime Museum - uniform of Lord Horatio Nelson  National Maritime Museum - jug depicting Lord Horatio Nelson with motto

57. "England expects that every man will do his duty" is the inscription on the small jug and was the message that Nelson ordered to be signalled by flag to his ships at the Battle of Trafalgar. Horatio Nelson was a Flag Officer in the Royal Navy, and was renowned for his leadership qualities and skill in naval strategy. He died at the conclusion of the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 by a bullet wound to his lung and spine. His uniform is preserved in the museum, along with paintings and other memorabilia connected with him. He was accorded a state funeral that began at Greenwich and he subsequently became a national heroic figure. In Central London, Trafalgar Square and Nelson's Column were created to honour his achievements.

National Maritime Museum - Baltic Exchange stained glass - Hope National Maritime Museum - Baltic Exchange stained glass - Victory National Maritime Museum - Baltic Exchange stained glass - half dome
Hope - Victory - Half dome with Victory in the centre

58. This room contains the restored stained glass panels from the former Baltic Exchange in London. A terrorist* bomb exploded outside the building in April 1992. Three people were killed and the building was severely damaged and had eventually to be dismantled. A new building was constructed on the site, known to Londoners as "the Gherkin" because of its rounded top, and the Baltic Exchange now occupies the building on the adjacent site. The half-dome and five large windows, which were* installed over the staircase to the lower floor of the Exchange, were made shortly after the First World War by John Dudley* Forsyth to commemorate* the lives of 60 Exchange members who lost their lives in that war.

* "terrorist" See www.long-live-pitmans-shorthand.org.uk/distinguishing-outlines-list4.htm terrorism/tourism/truism terrorist/tourist

* Omission phrase "which (w)ere"

* "commemorate" Note only one M stroke is written

* "Dudley" Names often have full strokes for greater clarity and placing of vowels

59. They were unveiled in 1922 and portray classical and religious symbolism, with figures representing Truth, Faith, Hope, Justice, Fortitude and Victory. After the explosion, only 45 of the 240 panels remained intact. The firm of Goddard and Gibbs spent ten* years painstakingly restoring the panels, using photographs of before and after the damage, and comparing them with other examples of Forsyth's work. The leading was accurately recreated and new pieces of glass produced to replace those missing or beyond repair. Anyone with an artistic interest should most definitely bring their best camera with them, so that after their visit they can continue to be inspired by the bold use of colour, to produce artwork of equal brilliance, in paint rather than glass, and of their own chosen subjects.

* "ten" Always vocalise the outline, or write numerals, to distinguish from "eighteen"

National Maritime Museum - panorama print showing Thames and Greenwich Park Discover Greenwich Visitor Centre - River Thames depicted in illuminated floor recess

60. This panorama print in the National Maritime Museum is about three metres long, and at the right hand end is the village of Greenwich and the Naval College buildings. The river is covered in a multitude of sailing vessels. Given the width of the river, if the ships were drawn to scale they would be a great deal smaller. The second photo shows part of the floor in the Discover Greenwich Visitor Centre, an illuminated recess between the exhibits following the course of the Thames. The two pictures are mirror images, with the print looking eastwards, and the illuminated river looking westwards, with Greenwich underneath the white table edge. If it had chasing lights, like those on a Christmas tree, that would show the river flowing as well! The model shows the Palace of Placentia on the riverfront. Excavations in 2005* revealed the remains of a tiled chapel and vestry floor. The vestry was converted into a house for the Treasurer of Greenwich Hospital but nothing remains of the Palace. The most intriguing part is the water, presumably made of resin, which looks very realistic and is much more attractive than the real thing a short distance away, cold, grey and laden with silt and mud. The Visitor Centre is located between the Cutty Sark and the Naval College buildings. It is a mini museum with a learning centre, shop and restaurant, and is well worth some of your time.

* "2005" Long slash to represent the current century, arbitrary sign with no phonetic value

Discover Greenwich Visitor Centre - model of Palace of Placentia

Greenwich - muddy waters of River Thames

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