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I'm Henery the Eighth, I am I am.
January 31, 2011 10:04 AM   Subscribe


 
"medieval"? Proof of time travel at last!
posted by dabitch at 10:09 AM on January 31, 2011 [9 favorites]


henry looks a little pensive.
posted by clavdivs at 10:10 AM on January 31, 2011


I would be much more impressed if this had happened in, say, Plano, Texas.
posted by briank at 10:18 AM on January 31, 2011 [10 favorites]


British couple discover Medieval mural of King Henry VIII on their living room wall

... as you do..
posted by MuffinMan at 10:19 AM on January 31, 2011 [3 favorites]


MEDIEVAL WALL KING IS WATCHING YOU MASTURBATE
posted by the quidnunc kid at 10:22 AM on January 31, 2011 [26 favorites]


He doesn't look anything like Jonathan Rhys Meyers
posted by jenlovesponies at 10:22 AM on January 31, 2011 [7 favorites]


"I say, Peregrine?"

"Harrumphamumph, yass deahr?"

"Has one ever noticed this?" * gestures towards mural *

"It has been with us always, my pet. One of the reasons why we bought the wing of this Palais."

"No, love, you're thinking of the water feature. With the koi? You remember?"

* Peregrine puts down his copy of The Times, squints aggressively*

"Possibly, love, can't remember. Can't be bothered."

"Oh, I... I see." * Constance glances down, abashed, and rubs her hands * "Peregrine, I... I love another."

But Peregrine has already retreated to the safety of the Financial pages.

I'm sorry England, but everything I ever learned about you was from Masterpiece Theater and Are You Being Served?.
posted by boo_radley at 10:23 AM on January 31, 2011 [5 favorites]


Surely that's not everything you learned about England.

What's on the telly?
LOOKS LIKE HENRY THE EIGHTH
posted by Curious Artificer at 10:25 AM on January 31, 2011 [6 favorites]


"...and I was rummaging around in the attic, and I found the original copy of the Bible. Which was nice."
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:25 AM on January 31, 2011 [10 favorites]


Well, that's a whole decorating scheme abandoned halfway through. Now they have to design the whole room around it.

I wonder what Lawrence Llewellen Bowen would do.
posted by hippybear at 10:27 AM on January 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Man, England has all the cool old shit.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:30 AM on January 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


That's fantastic. If those walls could talk...but staring creepily is next-best, I guess.

We were watching From Russia With Love last night, and during
posted by peachfuzz at 10:31 AM on January 31, 2011


Man, England has all the cool old shit.

Everywhere but North America has all the cool old shit.
posted by peachfuzz at 10:32 AM on January 31, 2011 [3 favorites]


Man, England has all the cool old shit.

Most parts of the world have tons of cool old shit. Pyramids, Burial Mounds, Great Walls, 2000 year old cities, Bronze age relics. America is decidedly lacking in cool old shit.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:33 AM on January 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wow. Why, bad formatting, why?

We were watching From Russia With Love last night, and during the scene where James and Kerim go down to the underground river, Karim offhandedly remarks that Constantine had the caverns dug as aqueducts. It reminded me of being in Italy, Korea, basically everywhere other than the US, where things might well be five hundred or a thousand years old. Shivery-cool.
posted by peachfuzz at 10:36 AM on January 31, 2011


Everywhere but North America has all the cool old shit.

I blame Obama.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:38 AM on January 31, 2011 [3 favorites]


What I want to know is how are they going to get a whole wall of their house onto Antiques Roadshow?
posted by pts at 10:38 AM on January 31, 2011 [7 favorites]


This is particularly significant in that it's a painting of the lesser-known, medieval Henry VIII.
posted by steambadger at 10:39 AM on January 31, 2011 [11 favorites]


America is decidedly lacking in cool old shit.

America has awesome fossils.

Most British people don't know that the iconic cast of the skeleton of the diplodocus in the Natural History Museum is based on finds made in Wyoming.
posted by MuffinMan at 10:40 AM on January 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh come ON people. Pre-Columbian North American archaeology. Look into it!
posted by elsietheeel at 10:42 AM on January 31, 2011 [28 favorites]


All I can think of when I see an image of Henry VIII is "With er ead tucked underneath her arm she stalks the bloody tower."
posted by Xurando at 10:42 AM on January 31, 2011 [4 favorites]


From the main link: Michael Liversidge, of Bristol University [its history of art department], said the discovery was "enormously significant, stunningly exciting and of national importance".

What a great soundbite-from-an-expert!
posted by Jody Tresidder at 10:43 AM on January 31, 2011


WTF... have you people never heard of the Mound Builders? The Anasazi? There were plenty of people living in North America for thousand of years and they left their mark.
posted by kmz at 10:46 AM on January 31, 2011 [8 favorites]


America is decidedly lacking in cool old shit.

Nonsense. The Grand Canyon is pretty fucking awesome as are the giant burial mounds in Burlington. You've got the Anasazi cave systems and the remains of the Aztec empire sitting under Mexico City. There's a shit load of history in the Americas. It's just not yours.
posted by longbaugh at 10:47 AM on January 31, 2011 [19 favorites]


HA! Fucking preview man.
posted by longbaugh at 10:47 AM on January 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


WTF... have you people never heard of the Mound Builders? The Anasazi? There were plenty of people living in North America for thousand of years and they left their mark.

Sure we have our mounds here and Hopi cities there, but nothing like the continuous 2000-5000 year cultural and archelogical record present in large parts of the rest of the world. Not quite the same thing.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:50 AM on January 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


America is decidedly lacking in cool old shit.

Oh, America has plenty of cool old shit. We just don't have any written historical record which helps give context or explanation to what we have.

Take, for example, Mesa Verde. Or Chaco Canyon. Both pretty awesome old old things. But we have no clue about the people who lived there other than through circumstantial evidence.

Couple the lack of written history with the fact that the indigenous people who lived here mostly built their dwellings out of cloth, hide, mud or wood, and you're left only with things like the Mounds in the middle of the country and a few stone ruins in the desert southwest.

Plus the real "cool old shit" that was around when the settlers started to arrive was mostly exterminated, because it was only the culture of the people who were being replaced, not their physical structures.

Yeah, Europe is pretty outstanding for old structures. I still remember visiting Celle, Germany and realizing that many of the buildings I was looking at had been founded before the Pilgrims sailed for Plymouth. It's easy to see why the US has a forward-looking culture when we don't have to worry about preserving structures which have been in place for over 500 years.
posted by hippybear at 10:50 AM on January 31, 2011 [6 favorites]


Everywhere but North America has all the cool old shit.

Sheesh. Jaded much? To me, anything from before I was born is old. Anything pre-20th-century is really old. So the well-maintained, 19th-century, pink granite masterpiece called the capitol building in the center of town qualifies as far as I'm concerned. So does the crumbling graveyard just east of downtown. So does the majestic, 1930s-ish, neo-gothic, statue-adorned tower that houses some government offices just south of the capitol. I'm sure your town has some cool old shit too. Just look around you.
posted by Xezlec at 10:53 AM on January 31, 2011


Pre-Columbian North American archaeology

Yeah, but I can't find any of THAT stuff by sweeping out my attic. That's why we're all forced to go around suing each other for millions of dollars - we can't get rich by discovering priceless artifacts in our own homes.
posted by backseatpilot at 10:53 AM on January 31, 2011 [3 favorites]


No, I absolutely get it. But there wasn't centralized power in North America (US and Canada) the way there was in other places, so the artifacts and structures aren't quite so omnipresent. And they're not as connected to the dominant culture of today, for obvious shitty reasons. No less cool, just different.
posted by peachfuzz at 10:56 AM on January 31, 2011


Sure, North America has plenty of cool old shit. It's also the home of the phrase 'shoot, shovel and shut up'. Which leads me to think that if a similarly old fresco was discovered in St Augustine the new home owners would quickly reach for a can of oil-based primer and continue with their Tangerine Sunset™ by Benjamin Moore® paint scheme.

I kid you fellow countrypersons.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 11:00 AM on January 31, 2011 [3 favorites]


Man, England has all the cool old shit.

Cahokia Mounds (Illinois)
Taos Pueblo (New Mexico)
Chaco Canyon (also New Mexico)
Caguana Ceremonial Ball Courts Site (Puerto Rico)
Blackbeard's Castle (US Virgin Islands)
Castillo de San Marcos (Florida)
Mission of San Juan Capistrano (California)
Fort Michilimackinac (Michigan)
Church of the Holy Ascension (Alaska)
ʻIolani Palace (Hawaii)

...and of course large parts of the original 13 states.
posted by dhens at 11:02 AM on January 31, 2011 [8 favorites]


Doesn't it make Henry look a little cross-eyed?
posted by redfisch at 11:10 AM on January 31, 2011


Yeah, but I can't find any of THAT stuff by sweeping out my attic.

We're going to need a bigger broom.
posted by I Found the Anasazi in My Attic at 11:13 AM on January 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Grand Canyon is pretty fucking awesome as are the giant burial mounds in Burlington. You've got the Anasazi cave systems and the remains of the Aztec empire sitting under Mexico City. There's a shit load of history in the Americas. It's just not yours.

Ironically, longbaugh, native Americans used to be told (with a similar sneer) that the burial mounds weren't any part of their history anyway!

If you look at the wiki "mound builders" link in kmz's comment above, it lists some of the alternative theories put forward until the late 19th century* by folk who - for various reasons - didn't like mere "Indians" getting the credit.

"Other people believed that Greeks, Africans, Chinese or assorted Europeans built the mounds. Euroamericans who embraced a Biblical worldview sometimes thought the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel had built the mounds."


*There are still nutters today who maintain the mounds were built by Vikings, or a lost white race, or aliens...
posted by Jody Tresidder at 11:14 AM on January 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, but I can't find any of THAT stuff by sweeping out my attic.

No, but you might be able to find some if you dig in your backyard?
posted by elsietheeel at 11:23 AM on January 31, 2011


backseatpilot: "Yeah, but I can't find any of THAT stuff by sweeping out my attic."

You need to watch more Antiques Roadshow. You could have a National Treasure up there. TREASURE I tell ya!
posted by HumanComplex at 11:25 AM on January 31, 2011


(Paraphrasing an old comic routine) I have an axe once owned by George Washington. Only the handle and the blade have been replaced.
posted by Gungho at 11:27 AM on January 31, 2011


Bah, England doesn't have really old stuff. I stayed on a farm near Beit Sahour, they put me up in the "new" house. It was built in the 17th century. The owners lived in the "old" house which was built in the 9th century. I did some work restoring the "original" house which was actually a series of caves dating the the 2nd century B.C.E. Eventually I got to stay in the cave, which was nice because it was cooler than both of the "modern" houses.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 11:27 AM on January 31, 2011 [6 favorites]


There's a Hopewell-ish (*) mound across the street from my mom's subdivision. The guy who owns the place next door seems to include the grass in his own mowing efforts, which is nice. Our biggest Revolutionary War cemetery, in Marietta, has a much bigger mound in the center.

I pretty much still feel jealous of Europe and Asia, though.

(I choose not to inflict the subtleties upon you all. Be glad.)
posted by SMPA at 11:31 AM on January 31, 2011


Everywhere but North America has all the cool old shit.

Dig deeper. No, deeper than that. Keep going... yes, that's it...
posted by FatherDagon at 11:32 AM on January 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


hmmm...I wonder why they called it "The New World"...
posted by Confess, Fletch at 11:37 AM on January 31, 2011


does it say "HOPE" across the bottom?
posted by Shike at 11:38 AM on January 31, 2011


America is decidedly lacking in cool old shit.

We make up for it by making cool new shit: Krispy Kreme donut burgers, glory holes, Las Vegas, movies, the internet, and anything everything listed in the song "America, Fuck Yeah."
posted by Mister Fabulous at 11:41 AM on January 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


We are kind of spoiled growing up with all our history in Europe (I imagine it's even more so for cultures that can trace back several milliennia beyond our oldest records). I've lived within eyeshot of a castle dating back to the Norman invasion ~1066 (Brays - now Lewes Castle) and I've got drunk as a skunk in a pub which has been in the same spot for ~800 years. My secondary school celebrated it's 150th birthday shortly after I failed to graduate (nothing to do with being at that pub. It was another one entirely).

I've even lived in a 14th Century farmhouse for some number of years. The doorframes were about 5'8" in height but unfortunately I'm 6'4". I ended up with scarring on my forehead and a bad back after a while. It's not the first or the last time that history hurt my head but it was certainly the most physical manifestation thereof. I've been to Devil's Dyke, a 7th century Saxon tribal demarcation and I've walked around and touched the stones of Stonehenge and several other stone circles in the British Isles.

On the other hand I've never been to the Lascaux caves and I've never visited Thermopylae or Alexandria. I look around my country and the history we see goes back a long way but there are many places considerably older than any I have visited. There's history aplenty everywhere in this world. Sometimes it may not be obvious that you're in the presence of history but the planet was here long before us and I can guarantee you that there is or was something awesome not far from where you are right now. You just can't see the gift shop for it is all.
posted by longbaugh at 11:43 AM on January 31, 2011 [8 favorites]


I am painting a mural of a Krispy Kreme donut burger glory hole on my living room wall as we speak.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:43 AM on January 31, 2011 [3 favorites]


It makes sense that they discovered it while remodeling, but as I read the headline, I was really hoping that it was there, on display, the whole time, and no one ever really noticed.

"Hey Hon, I'm home"
"I'm in the kitchen"
"Alright, let me just get off my jacket... HOLY SHIT!"
"What?!"
"On the wall, that painting? How long has that been there?"
"My God! I have no idea!"
"It's looking right at me!"
"How have we never noticed this before?!"

and so on.

I know it's not the case, but I'm just really loving the idea that it's been there the whole time and they just saw it one day.
posted by quin at 11:45 AM on January 31, 2011 [5 favorites]


Damn you to hell scalefree. I've had Herman's Hermits stuck in my head since this thread came up in my RSS reader almost two hours ago. DAMN YOU!
posted by Rock Steady at 11:54 AM on January 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, to rid yourself of Herman's Hermits, why not try Patty Duke?
posted by hippybear at 12:11 PM on January 31, 2011


The thing I noticed were the big windows right next to the mural. I'm pretty sure the windows aren't original and I winced thinking about how the light from the murals would make it fade over time if there's nothing done to protect it, like protective glass either in the windows or over the mural itself. Having said that, how awesome it is to live in a house that old. I lived for a couple of years in a Georgian dower house in North Yorkshire, and it really is different to living in a modern house. There's a sense of history in a building that's been continuously used for centuries that just isn't the same as one built last week or last year, if only because it's built so differently and organically accumulates stuff like random murals of kings.

(Also, nthing the wtfery about 1530 being medieval.)
posted by immlass at 12:11 PM on January 31, 2011


America is decidedly lacking in cool old shit.

I would like to point out that there were people in America when the Europeans showed up. There is plenty of cool old shit in America.
posted by incster at 12:13 PM on January 31, 2011


"A couple doing DIY..."

A couple doing do it yourself
posted by Riptor at 12:16 PM on January 31, 2011


Damn you to hell scalefree. I've had Herman's Hermits stuck in my head since this thread came up in my RSS reader almost two hours ago. DAMN YOU!

Heh. I saw the story & knew I had to post it, if only for the title. It seems my plan has worked. If you need something to get Henry out of your head, may I suggest Monkey on a Pig?
posted by scalefree at 12:16 PM on January 31, 2011


I've been Marlowe-ing out (ha!) with some Elizabethan history recently. Burgess' A Dead Man in Deptford, Frances Yates' The Occult Philosophy in the Elizabethan Age (not light reading - see aforementioned history = hurting head) and I should be getting Elizabeth's London: Everyday Life in Elizabethan London by Liza Picard and finally the double whammy of Alan Haynes' The Elizabethan Secret Services and finally The Elizabethan Underworld by Gamini Salgado any day now. Such an interesting period with so many things to read about. Add to that I'm forcing my way through George Silver's Paradoxes of Defence again. All this just so I've a basic understanding of the background for a fucking roleplaying game. It's disgraceful. Oh, and Moorcock's Gloriana for colour. Why not?

It's Tudoriffic (ha again!).

I'll stop now. Promise.
posted by longbaugh at 12:31 PM on January 31, 2011 [5 favorites]


While the comment "America is decidedly lacking in cool old shit." is a bit over the top as many have pointed out. The fact is that most other countries have so much "cool old shit" that there's really a lot of it just laying around pretty much everywhere. In the US you have to go searching for the really good stuff and there's not that much that is really old & big. For example, probably the best I've ever seen was Chaco Canyon and that was 20 miles down a dirt road, and it's only about the same age as my home town. When you looked out at the fields around my family home you knew they had been farmed for 1000's of years. The hedgerows and roads probably followed paths established in the iron age. There were neolithic monuments just down the road.

No to denigrate the archeological or historical remains in the USA, but really most of the rest of the world really does live up to its armpits in the stuff.
posted by Long Way To Go at 12:45 PM on January 31, 2011 [4 favorites]


The fact is that most other countries have so much "cool old shit" that there's really a lot of it just laying around pretty much everywhere.

Like this couple, can't even do a bit of remodeling without stumbling on an important piece of cool old shit. They have so much of it over there it's not even particularly cool at this point. Probably just about every house has a secret mural of some king or other.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:02 PM on January 31, 2011


Yet another boring case of pareidolia
posted by storybored at 1:13 PM on January 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wonder what Lawrence Llewellen Bowen would do.

Toss his hair over his shoulder, make a moue, sigh with weary disdain, and then stripe something in teal and cerulean while sniggering?
posted by Diablevert at 1:18 PM on January 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


I always think of Henry VIII as a Renaissance prince and king, not a medieval one. And count me for one as disappointed this isn't a Hans Holbein mural.

It is interesting and probably not surprising that Thomas Cranmer -- if this is the same Thomas Cranmer who became Henry's Archbishop of Canterbury -- had Henry up on his wall. I wonder what the room's function was when Cranmer had the work done.
posted by bearwife at 1:19 PM on January 31, 2011


"medieval"? Proof of time travel at last!
This is particularly significant in that it's a painting of the lesser-known, medieval Henry VIII.

...
I'm lost. Help?
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 1:50 PM on January 31, 2011


Henry and the Tudors aren't generally considered medieval; more like late Renaissance/Early Modern. The end of the War of the Roses, the transition from Plantagenet to Tudor, is actually one of the "dividing lines".
posted by peachfuzz at 2:02 PM on January 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


late renaissance, what? gah.
posted by peachfuzz at 2:02 PM on January 31, 2011


Everywhere but North America has all the cool old shit. --- Yeah. Good thing we wiped out those boorish, no-class barbarians when we did. How dare they not leave us and crumbling wall paintings for scholars to coo over? Fucking animals. Small pox was too good for them.
posted by crunchland at 2:31 PM on January 31, 2011


Well, Europe is where the history comes from.

"Cos you think we all live in castles. And we do all live in castles! We've got a castle each. We’re up to here with fucking castles. We just long for a bungalow or something...
posted by elsietheeel at 2:34 PM on January 31, 2011


yes the leading technology that had been developed in the US is so boring and not cool...... Our "cool shit" is not necessarily in rocks or dirt but is cutting edge and new age. open your eyes
posted by Ricachica at 2:37 PM on January 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


America is decidedly lacking in cool old shit.

Don't worry -- they'll be doing the same thing in 500 years when they discover all those Hendrix posters.
posted by Capt. Renault at 2:51 PM on January 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


MEDIEVAL WALL KING IS WATCHING YOU MASTURBATE

Especially when you do it al fresco.
posted by Capt. Renault at 2:55 PM on January 31, 2011 [4 favorites]


It is little known that "Thomas Cranmer, Arch Deacon of Taunton in the 16th Century" forfeited half his security deposit when the landlady found the walls covered - covered - in graffiti.
posted by Xoebe at 3:12 PM on January 31, 2011


I can see two of Henry VIII's castles from where I'm sitting typing this. And a really rubbish, lit-up, glass-fronted sports centre, which I am sure the council is very proud of. And the deepest natural harbour in the Northern Hemisphere.
posted by biffa at 3:34 PM on January 31, 2011


No, but you might be able to find some if you dig in your backyard?

The village where I grew up was the subject of a television programme on the BBC in the Autumn. I've not got round to watching all of it yet, but in the first episode various former neighbours were digging pits in their back gardens and discovering 1300 year old pottery shards. I'm sitting there thinking I spent a significant portion of my youth walking, completely oblivious, over all this history.

Such an interesting period with so many things to read about.

I've been forming the opinion one of the reasons we can find these periods interesting is that the Normans and their heirs had such a hard on for 'writing stuff down' (eg. The Domesday Book) and, compared to Europe, we've seen very little in the way of long, drawn out wars to destroy all the records. Is that just my imagination?
posted by robertc at 3:42 PM on January 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


The fact is that most other countries have so much "cool old shit" that there's really a lot of it just laying around pretty much everywhere.

This is so true, and so very different from the (average) US experience. I grew up in one of the oldest US states, it's full of our old history, from native stuff to colonial stuff. We would go to museums and stand behind velvet ropes to see stuff from the 1680s, oohing and aahing. I've hosted friends from the west coast who are agog to see whole towns that were built before the Civil War (c.1860).

In England, stayed with some friends who lived in a converted country church that was built around 1700. Their 8 year old daughter had to do a school project so they went down to the local land records office, where the clerk brought out a map of the area from 1550 or so, and not only let the kid handle it, but sent it home with them for a couple days, so she could bring it to school for show and tell.

In Turkey, drove past tumbledown ruins of Greek and Roman temples and amphitheaters, which are so numerous that they're not even treated as tourist sites - many of them are just by the side of the highway, covered in weeds, you could easily walk in and take stones from them or whatever. It's just spare 2000 year old ruins, and there are so many of those they're just getting in the way of new stuff.
posted by LobsterMitten at 4:42 PM on January 31, 2011 [4 favorites]


Well, it's better than removing kitchen wallpaper to find three dead bodies in a cupboard.
posted by bwg at 5:20 PM on January 31, 2011


I've hosted friends from the west coast who are agog to see whole towns that were built before the Civil War (c.1860).

Lobstermitten! Now I want travel advice from you. I'm in the mood for a road trip!
posted by artemisia at 6:08 PM on January 31, 2011


I pretty much ripped out all the drywall looking for a picture of Pierre Trudeau or John Diefenbaker.

Skunked.
posted by klanawa at 6:17 PM on January 31, 2011


Who says we don't have cool stuff?
posted by alfanut at 6:36 PM on January 31, 2011


This article talks about a particular cool old thing that I used to have to dust when I worked at my hometown's library when I was a kid.

This is still cooler and older.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:08 PM on January 31, 2011


artimisia, if you want towns (or, town centers) built before 1860, come east! We have lots of them.
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:02 PM on January 31, 2011


Curious Artificer: "Surely that's not everything you learned about England."

Well, no. But I love the idea of a starched British couple named Peregrine and Constance.
posted by boo_radley at 8:48 PM on January 31, 2011


does it say "HOPE" across the bottom?
posted by Shike at 1:38 PM on January 31


It says DIVORCE.
posted by joannemerriam at 9:14 PM on January 31, 2011


dabitch has it right. H8 was not medieval -- he was EARLY MODERN. Esp since the current debate about his dad is whether H7 was the last medieval English king or the first modern one.

(he's our psychopath, and we're not giving him up).
posted by jb at 9:36 PM on January 31, 2011


This motivated me to lookup some of the older things near me here in Bloomsbury, London.
The building I live in was built in 1803, I know that. Many of the nearby churches date from the early 1700's. Then there's the nearby St. Pancras Old Church, which I've visited:

Documentary evidence for the early history of the church is scanty, but it is believed to have existed since A.D. 314.[1] Remnants of medieval features and references in the Domesday Book suggest it pre-dates the Norman Conquest.[2] It was known simply as St Pancras Church until - as a result of 18th and 19th century urban expansion - St Pancras New Church was built a little over half a mile away on the main Euston Road

Not bad!
posted by vacapinta at 12:37 AM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Iain Sinclair has some interesting books about the history of London if you're into Psychogeography and other freaky stuff that has no basis in reality but helps fuel Alan Moore's general awesomeness. I'm terrible as well - I just picked up John Stow's 1598 Survey of London and a giant fold out map of London ~1520. I think I will have to stop now. Just got Liza Picard's Elizabeth's London this morning and from first glance it's fantastic - period detail up the wazoo!
posted by longbaugh at 5:30 AM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh come ON people. Pre-Columbian North American archaeology. Look into it!

I recommend the book '1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus.'
posted by ericb at 7:05 AM on February 1, 2011


No cool old shit in North America? What about ~6000-year-old copper tools? Because while most of the rest of the world had to learn to smelt copper from ore first, native (sometimes 99% pure) copper is found naturally around Lake Superior.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:10 AM on February 1, 2011


I've been in London for three weeks and I'm constantly stumbling over really, really old things. By my standards, at least; I grew up in the aforementioned Plano, TX. I'm also taking a course on the geography of London, and reading about the development of London has made me realize how much of the London I see was built in the 19th century. The Victorians apparently tore down really, really old buildings pretty cavalierly.

But really, when a place has been inhabited for about 2000 years, they could hardly have been the first to tear it all down and build it back up. I like to come home and read the Wikipedia pages for all of the new places I've seen that day, and so many have been churches/homes/theaters/whatevers for hundreds of years, but the actual building has burned down, been heavily renovated or bombed and then rebuilt three or four times.
posted by MadamM at 3:40 PM on February 1, 2011


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