If you ever find yourself in Oxford, England in search of a bed for the night, you might consider booking a room at the student dorm accommodation of Christ Church College, University of Oxford for a real-life Harry Potter experience. The university not only provides accommodation over the summer months, but your stay comes with an all access pass to wander the campus, halls and gardens out of hours. Largely empty in summer, several parts of the campus feature in the Harry Potter films, including the famous dining hall, and the college even served as an inspiration to Alice in Wonderland.… Read the rest
In the late 19th century, Valentine's Day was more than an occasion for lovers to express their love for each other by sending greetings cards and presenting gifts. It was also the day for haters to hurl abuses and insults to those they didn’t love. Known as vinegar valentines, these cards carrying caricatures and satirical rhymes intending to vilify, mock and hurt the recipient was available in stores across America and Europe alongside beautiful valentine cards adorned with hearts and flowers. Often, these cards—both valentine and vinegar—were produced by the same companies.
In mediaeval England, when feuds were violent and justice swift and brutal, it was common for castles and mansions of the powerful and the wealthy to have secret chambers or hidden passageways that allowed the owners to hide or escape from pursuers in the event of a surprise attack. During the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, the number of such secret chambers and hiding-places increased sharply, especially in the houses of the old Catholic families.
The 16th century was a time of strong religious tension. Europe was torn between the Roman Catholic Church and the gaining Protestant movement that eventually led to the separation of the Church of England from Rome under Henry VIII. The English Reformation continued under the rule of his son, Edward VI, … Read the rest
Sometimes a house just needs to be moved no matter what’s the cost. Usually, these are historic structures that are in danger of demolition or flooding and has to be relocated to a safer spot. A professional house mover will first dig around the foundation of the house, raise it on hydraulic jacks, mount them on wheels and then roll them down the street carefully to the new location, typically a few hundred meter away or a few miles at most. At other times, if the structure permits and the relocation distance is longer, the house will be dismantled brick by brick, transported to the new location and reassembled in place. According to an article on HowStuffWorks, it’s possible to move houses this way across the … Read the rest
When photographer Julian Mährlein thinks about youth, his mind doesn’t instantly turn to the boring, tired stereotypes we’ve seen time and time again. Not the endless images commenting on social media obsessed teens, not the detached portraits of subcultures and expensive street fashion. Instead, when Julian thinks about youth, he’s all about neutrality and earnestness – a genuine wish to portray and understand, rather than judge or imply.
That perspective was particularly scarce when he started his London Youth series, right after the riots hit the capital back in the summer of 2011. While major media outlets focused on depicting young, tracksuit clad British people as savage beings getting off on mindless vandalism, ‘the most unpleasant and violent in the world’, Julian set out to … Read the rest
When Peter Bellerby couldn’t find the perfect handmade globe for his father’s 80th birthday, he took matters into his own hands. He decided he would create two globes from scratch—one for his father and one for himself.
“After all how difficult can it be to make a ball and put a map on it?”, he wondered.
But making a globe is extremely difficult, as Bellerby found out. Correctly applying the little strips of the map, called gores, onto the spheres itself took eighteen months to perfect. Some of the poorly constructed models Bellerby found had overlapping gores that wiped out entire countries, or had latitude lines that were drawn straight across the map with a ruler. Bellerby wasn’t prepared to settle on such poor … Read the rest
Some of the world’s busiest train stations are located in Japan. Indeed, as per statistics that surfaced in 2013, out of the top 51 train stations in the world, all but six are located in this small but suffocatingly dense island nation. The busiest of them all —the Shinjuku Station in Tokyo— handles a staggering 3.6 million passengers every single day, or 1.3 billion riders a year. In contrast, the Shippea Hill station in Cambridgeshire, Britain, has an average of just one passenger per month making it the least-busiest train station, at least in Britain. The station is served by only one train on weekdays, which arrives from Cambridge but stops for passengers only if requested in advance. On most days there are no passengers. On … Read the rest
Over the past few years, an increasing number of restaurants have ditched the idea of plates in favor of serving their appetizers and entrees in annoying new configurations, whether that means your burger is balancing in a small cast iron skillet, your candied bacon starter is sticking out of a Mason jar, or your full English breakfast arrives on a shovel. At this point, if it’s a noun, someone is probably trying to arrange your next meal in, on, or around it.
But no, a new restaurant in Plymouth, England is not serving all of its food on the backs of diners’ hands, despite what you might have read on the internet. Yes, the Brown & Bean, which was just opened by Michelin-starred … Read the rest
What appears to be an ordinary rabbit hole in a farmer's field is actually the humble entrance to a large underground cave whose origins are shrouded in mystery.
Located in the grounds of Caynton Hall, near Beckbury, in Shropshire, England, the Caynton Caves were believed to have been dug in the late 18th or early 19th Century, but popular legend associate them with the Knights Templar, a Catholic military order that was founded in the 12th Century, originally to guard pilgrims on their way along the dangerous roads that led to Jerusalem. During the Middle Ages, the order grew rapidly in power and membership to become one of wealthiest and most powerful in Christendom. The order was dissolved in the early 14th century but story of … Read the rest