Summer 2017

SEASONAL Newsletter


Henraux’s Cervaiole Quarry

Dates for the Diary

Garrison Chapel

The Garrison Chapel forms the centrepiece of the Chelsea Barracks estate, as it has done for more than 150 years. Currently the chapel is undergoing an extensive refurbishment to ensure the integrity of this architectural gem is preserved for future generations to come.

Conservation of the chapel’s character and patina were imperative and as such, all repairs are in keeping with the architectural integrity of the original building. As part of the refurbishment, new windows have been designed in keeping with the original architectural design of 1859 Garrison Chapel. Extensive conservation works to the panelled walls and listed mosaic tiled floor have been underway and a new bell has been commissioned for the empty bell gable. Years of planning have gone into this project and several key milestones in the history of the chapel are set to take place over the coming weeks.

August: The unsympathetic windows installed during the 1960s have been removed and are set to be replaced with new ones. A bespoke design befitting the Romanesque-Byzantine architectural style of the Chapel.

September: The geometric mosaic tiles of the Chapel floor, which date back to the Chapels inception in 1859, are being refurbished. The original Victorian design is beautifully executed exhibiting real craftsmanship and skill. These restorative works are set to be complete in September.

October: John Taylor & Co are the foundry with the task of casting and reinstating the Chelsea Barracks Bell into the gable of Garrison Chapel which has been without its centrepiece for over half a century on 16th October.

The Garrison Chapel will soon be returned to its former 19th century glory and what better way to mark the occasion than a bell that will continue to sound for a millennium.

London’s Royal Parks

Enjoy the Great Outdoors


St James's Park is the oldest Royal Park in London with Palaces on three sides: The palace of Westminster, St James’s Palace and most famous of all, Buckingham Palace.

In 1532 Henry VIII seeing the potential for the seven acres of land, acquired it for his deer and proceeded to build the Palace of St James.

The deer park remained and the park used for sport for some time until King James I decided to change the landscape as a means of separating and accommodating his exotic collection of animals. They included camels, crocodiles and an elephant.

This rather informal approach to landscaping was not, however, favoured by all British Monarchs and Charles II, having been impressed by the elaborate and more formal gardens of the French royals, ordered a complete redesign of St James’s Park in 1660.

Though the animals were not exiled long…  In 1664, a Russian ambassador presented a pair of pelicans to King Charles and to this day, some 400 years later, pelicans remain one of the most popular sights in the park.


Another of Henry VIII acquisitions, Hyde Park was bought from the monks of Westminster Abbey in 1536. He and his noble men were often seen galloping through the fields in the hunt for deer, turning the land into a vast hunting park that stretched from Kensington to Westminster.

Henry dammed the Westbourne River to create drinking ponds for the deer and Hyde Park remained a private hunting ground until James I came to the throne in 1603 and permitted access to the public.

Hyde Park as we have come to know it today was thanks to the work of Queen Caroline, wife of George II in 1728. Queen Caroline took almost 300 acres from Hyde Park to form Kensington Gardens and separated the two parks. In 1730s Caroline had Serpentine built by damming the Westbourne River.

The Serpentine was one of the first man-made lakes in England that was designed to look natural.


It was King Henry VII love of hunting that defined Richmond Park and to this day, it is the deer that continue to shape its character and landscape.

Henry and his successors hunted in the neighbourhood but it wasn’t until 1625, when King Charles I, in a bid to escape the plague, visited Richmond and transferred ownership of the Royals.  In 1637 Charles created a hunting park and brought in nearly 2,000 deer and built a wall some eight miles long to keep them in – you can see the wall to this day.

Richmond Park is the largest of the Royal Parks in London covering 2,500 acres and from its central and highest point, there is an uninterrupted, protected view all the way to St Pauls Cathedral, over 12 miles away.


It will be little surprise at this stage that, like the previous Royal Parks, Regents Park formed part of Henry VIIIs vast estate. Frequently referred to as the ‘jewel in the crown’ The Regents Park - including Primrose Hill – spans an impressive 197 hectares.

The park is home of several organisations including the Zoological Society and the Royal Botanic Society and was opened to the general public in 1835 by King William IV.

We recommend you take full advantage of this now open terrain and explore the historical features in this serene pocket of London, favoured by the Royals to this day.

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