My cover

My cover
Nell and her oranges

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Isle of Dogs and Greenwich

Last night Jackie and I walked over to the Elephant Royale, right on the river and just behind where I used to live, and had lovely Thai dinner on the terrace. The view to Greenwich was lovely, in daylight, twilight, and dark.

Nell Gwynn almost certainly went to Greenwich. Charles II built an observatory there shortly after his restoration, which is still there, and still the location of the meridien from which Greenwich Mean Time originates. He also made improvements to the extensive royal park there.

There had been a palace at Greenwich for at least a couple of centuries. Henry VIII and Elizabeth I were born there, and it was there that Henry VIII signed the death warrant for Anne Boleyn. By the time of Charles II it was either gone or in poor repair, and he began building a new palace, but only got as far as one building, now referred to as the Charles II building, and part of what later became the Royal Naval College.

One of the stories as to how the Isle of Dogs got its name was that Henry VIII and other monarchs kept their hunting packs there.

Supposedly, Charles II was planning to grant Nell's wish to be ennobled and was planning to make her the Countess of Greenwich when he died, but alas, it never happened. I wonder if she really wanted it?

This morning I walked through the 1903 foot tunnel from this side of the river to Greenwich and spent a pleasant couple of hours at the little flea market and the covered market.

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