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Gladiator Games return to Londonium : Roman fun at the Guildhall – 25th to 28th August 2017

Photo © Museum of London

Beneath the historic Guildhall in the City of London is the site of London’s only Roman amphitheatre whose remains were uncovered by archaeologists over 30 years ago under the courtyard.

In August, new gladiatorial battles will commence at the very location where Roman gladiators fought 2,000 years ago. Eight thrilling afternoon and evening events will take place across the August Bank Holiday Weekend, Friday 25-Monday 28 August 2017.

Photo © Museum of London

Gladiators in full, magnificent battle dress will enter the arena before packed crowds and fight a series of powerful battles – intense clashes of steel swords, brightly decorated shields, spears and shining armour. The audience will become a big part of the action, taking sides and encouraging the emperor to save or spare each stricken fighter.

Photo © Museum of London

The Gladiator Games are performed by Britannia, the collective renowned for its work on the BAFTA-nominated CBBC programme, Horrible Histories, and the celebrated Ridley Scott film, Gladiator. Each performance is the result of research into events in the 1st century A.D., using images drawn from Roman coins, paintings, sculpture and mosaics, surviving commentaries and archaeological finds.

Photo © Museum of London

Accompanying the main event will be a special Roman festival, which will bring the audience closer to life in Londinium, the largest city in Britannia from around AD50 to 410 and a major international port. Musicians will perform, Roman clothes and equipment will be made, crafts demonstrated and explained, and the Museum’s experts will invite the audience to examine and handle real Roman artefacts. Below ground, close to the ruins of the amphitheatre, there will be a special small display of artefacts from the Museum of London that looks at representations of gladiators in Londinium.

Photo © Museum of London

The Games form part of a three-month festival that will celebrate the unique Roman heritage at the heart of the capital, hosted by the City of London Corporation. The festival, called Londinium, is made up of exhibitions, walks, talks, theatre, film and special events, taking place from 28 July – 29 October 2017.

For more information and tickets , visit the City of London website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
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Unseen City : Photos by Martin Parr at the Guildhall Art Gallery – 4th March to 31st July 2016

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Lord Mayor’s Show, Guildhall, City of London, 2013. © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos

Speaking to a packed audience at The Hepworth Wakefield last week at the ‘in conversation with Anne McNeill, Director of Impressions Gallery at his major exhibition of 400 works, “The Rhubarb Triangle and other Stories : Photographs by Martin Parr”, Parr, in jest remarked that being from Surrey partly explained his critique on taking photographs.

Parr also said that he felt guilty about the fact that he had done so well during the government of 80’s Britain for  much of his work he is known but added that the intent of his social documentary photography was and is equally as “questionable” and polemical in intent and subject matter as that of photojournalists who photograph hard-hitting humanitarian subjects.

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Lord Mayor’s Show, Guildhall, City of London, 2014. © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos

The connoisseurship of Parr’s critical acclaim and photographic credentials as a world-leading photographer and President of Magnum can be seen at three major venues. “Unseen City : Photos by Martin Parr” at the Guildhall Art Gallery (London), which is one of three major exhibitions of Parr’s work in the UK this year is a culmination of Parr’s two-year photographer-in-residence at the City of London Corporation (COLC), where he was commissioned to photograph a ‘behind-the-scenes’ view of the City of London across three mayoralties.

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Cart Making, Guildhall, City of London, 2015. © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos

Featuring 120 photographs, (20 of which have been acquired by the Guildhall Art Gallery for the contemporary permanent collection), it represents Parr’s atypical witty and questionable take on British institutional life. Showing a ‘behind the scenes’ view of  livery companies, ritual, tradition and high-profile occasions and open democracy where guests have included Her Majesty the Queen, Lord Mayors and city dignitaries the works portray the character, traditions, and people who make up the City to which Parr delivers a contemporary perspective of British institutional life in idiosyncratic style, posing questions on institutional life, open democracy and the nature of British identity with wit, brilliance, humour and laconic surprise.

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Silent Ceremony, swearing-in of new Lord Mayor, Fiona Woolf, Guildhall, City of London, 2013. © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos

“Unseen City : Photos by Martin Parr”, Guildhall Art Gallery of London, (4 March – 31 July 2016) will run parallel with “Strange and Familiar : Britain as Revealed by International Photographers” curated by Martin Parr Barbican Art Gallery, Barbican Centre, (16 March-19 June 2016). “The Rhubarb Triangle and other Stories : Photographs by Martin Parr”, The Hepworth Wakefield, (4 February-12 June 2016).

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Lord Mayor’s Show, City of London, 2013. © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos

An Artist’s Platform : A Q&A with Martin Parr will be held on 26 April 2016 between 6-8 pm and lunchtime curator’s talks will be held one Thursday per month at 1 pm on the 10 March, 7 April, 5 May, 2 June, 7 July 2016.

Opening Times: MondaySaturday, 10 am – 5 pm and Sunday, 12 noon – 4 pm. Admission: £5.00 (concessions available).

Contributor : Pippa Jane Wielgos

For more information and book tickets, visit the City of London website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014 , we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

 

The Remarkable Story of the Temple Bar

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Standing near to St Paul’s Cathedral, mostly ignored by visitors is an arch that has a remarkable history. The arch is known as the Temple Bar and was commissioned by King Charles II, and designed by Sir Christopher Wren. Constructed from Portland Stone between 1669 and 1672 it occupied one of the most important locations in London, separating the  City of London and the City of Westminster.

This location was the point where Fleet Street becomes the Strand, a site now near the Royal Courts of Justice, it was at this spot that a Temple Bar stood from the 13th century. Originally just a wooden structure with a chain, it possessed considerable symbolic importance. Temple Bar was the  scene of a large number of historical pageants celebrating coronations and paying homage to dead Kings and Queens, through the Temple Bar passed Henry V, Anne Boleyn, Edward VI and  Mary Tudor. Before Queen Elizabeth the first’s  coronation, Gogmagog the Albion, and Corineus the Briton, the two Guildhall giants, stood next to the Bar.

In the late Middle Ages a wooden archway stood on the spot and although it escaped damage in the Great Fire of London , it was decided  by the City to rebuild the structure.

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The Wren designed Temple Bar is constructed in two stories with  one wide central arch for the road traffic, flanked on both sides by narrower arches for pedestrians.
During the 18th century, the heads of traitors were mounted on pikes and exhibited on the roof and  upper story room was leased to the neighbouring banking-house of Child and Co for records storage.

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Temple Bar, London, 1878 by A & J Bool

In 1878 the City of London Corporation decided that the arch was becoming a bottleneck for traffic and decided to dismantle the structure. It dismantled it piece-by-piece over an 11-day period and the Corporation stored the 2,700 stones. In 1880, at the instigation of his wife, Valerie Meux, the brewer Henry Meux bought the stones and re-erected the arch as a gateway at his house, Theobalds Park in Hertfordshire. Lady Meux used it to entertain friends but after she died, it became derelict and abandoned  until 2003.

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Temple bar at Theobolds Park (Photo M Newnham 1968)

In 1984, it was purchased by the Temple Bar Trust from the Meux Trust for £1. It was carefully dismantled and returned on 500 pallets to the City of London, where it was painstakingly re-erected as an entrance to the Paternoster Square redevelopment just north of St Paul’s Cathedral. It opened to the public on the 10 November 2004.

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London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch , we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

Security : Illegal gambling scams on London’s bridges

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Many of the scams are variations on a particular theme and have been around for years. One of the oldest scams is ‘Find the Lady’ or ‘cup and ball’ where you are invited to bet on where the ball is located under three cups. A recent case involving City of London Police suggest there are still scamsters trying  this  on London bridges.

Public warned to avoid illegal gambling scams on London’s bridges

The City of London Police are warning Londoners, and particularly tourists, about gambling scams taking place in London on some of our most iconic bridges.​

Two men were charged under section 33 of the Gambling Act on Sunday 15 March after off-duty City of London Police officer Insp Harley witnessed a group of men undertaking a ‘cup and ball’ game on Tower Bridge.

The game works by the gang targeting tourists to get them to try and predict which cup the plastic ball will be under.

Community Policing Insp Harley witnessed suspects encouraging members of the public to participate in playing the game. This is done to entice unsuspecting members of the public to gamble money with no chance of winning.

City of London Police Inspector Harley said “These games are not a matter of chance, but are fixed to ensure members of the public do not win.

“Our community policing officers will continue to work with the City of London Corporation and our neighbouring boroughs to target this criminal activity.” ​​​

It pays to be extra vigilant on bridges which are often considered safe ground by many beggars, scamsters and musicians because they do not seem to fall within any local authorities jurisdiction, however they are patrolled by police and if you spot suspicious activity, report it to a uniformed police officer.

If you come across suspicious activity, report it to a uniformed officer in the street or in a police station.

101 is the Non emergency  number to call when you want to contact your local police in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland – when it’s less urgent than a 999 call.

Non emergency usually include: Stolen car, Laptop, Smartphones and mobile phone, Minor traffic collision , Property damage, Drug dealing.

You should always call 999 when it is an emergency, such as when a crime is in progress, someone suspected of a crime is nearby, when there is danger to life or when violence is being used or threatened.

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch , we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here