Foteballe and Amphitheatres…

Guildhall Art Gallery

Yesterday was not a good day for English football; 2-1 to Croatia.  However, English football has had worse days.  Like 1314 when the then Mayor of London, Nicholas de Farndone, banned football entirely!  Why do I know this?  Because I’ve just had a fabulous time in the Guildhall Art Gallery which, as a bred Londoner, I really should have visited before…   I have a genuine excuse; this building was completed in 1999 replacing the one destroyed in the Blitz in 1941.  It’s fabulous!

I initially went to see John Whitehead Walton’s 1873 painting of The First London School Board where, amidst a sea of male faces, are those of two of my favourite ladies,  Mrs Elizabeth Garrett Anderson and Miss Emily Davies both in the forefront of female emancipation; one for medicine and the other education.

Alongside this important painting is a plethora of pre-Raphaelites and other paintings depicting old London etc and, of course, the story of banning foteballe. There is even a copy of the Magna Carta!

Emily Davies is bottom left. Elizabeth Garret Anderson behind her. Courtesy Guildhall Art Gallery.

The Art Gallery is built above the London Roman Amphitheatre.  Head  to the basement to see it in all its theatricality.   Experts and archaeologists had all agreed London must have had a Roman amphitheatre – but it was only discovered in 1985.  It is now, of course, a protected monument and, like the rest of the exhibits at this Art Gallery, free to visit.

I was not the only woman walking around the art gallery with a smile on my face (remember, this is before England lost the match…)   Another was beaming ear to ear about its largesse. She, too, had never been and she was a London tour guide.  That made me feel better.

If you are in this fascinating area of London, pop next door to the rebuilt Wren church, St Lawrence Jewry, destroyed in the Great First of London 1666 and again during the London Blitz.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s