iVisit.... Full Programme for London Bridge City Summer Festival

iVisit.... Full Programme for London Bridge City Summer Festival

London Bridge City Summer Festival can today announce their full programme of events scheduled for this year’s festival. Running from Thursday 1st June to Thursday 31st August, the jam-packed schedule features a myriad of daily events to suit kids, parents, film buffs, fitness gurus, sports fans and everyone in-between. 

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iVisit.... HEVER CASTLE and GARDENS

iVisit.... HEVER CASTLE and GARDENS

Hever Castle & Gardens is the perfect setting for a great day out if you fancy getting out of London as its just 45 minutes on the train to Edenbridge Town Station. 

This castle and gardens in Kent is a great place for history lovers and horticultural lovers alike plus you can take boat rides or even try your hand at archery, paint a shield or watch a jousting event!

Hever Castle dates back to the 13th century and was once the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII and Mother of Elizabeth I and formed the unlikely backdrop to a sequence of tumultuous events that changed the course of Britain’s history, monarchy and religion.

Its splendid panelled rooms contain fine furniture, tapestries, antiques and an important collection of Tudor portraits. Two beautifully illuminated prayer books on display in the Book of Hours Room belonged to Anne Boleyn and bear her inscriptions and signature. One is believed to be the prayer book Anne took with her to her execution at the Tower.

The charming castle at Hever has a rich and varied history. Today much of what you see is the result of the remarkable efforts of a wealthy American, William Waldorf Astor, who used his fortune to restore and extend the Castle in the early 20th century. 

Despite its splendour, Hever Castle is what everyone wants a castle to be: moated, haunted, with lots of armour and gruesome torture devices. A permanent exhibition in the Long Gallery brings the 16th century to life with costumed figures illustrating key events in Anne’s life at the Castle.

The gardens of Hever Castle are magnificent and award winning, set in 125 acres of glorious grounds. The Loggia, overlooking the 38-acre lake, is the perfect spot to relax before exploring the many cascades, grottos and fountains. Visitors of all ages can enjoy the challenge of finding their way through the Water maze and the 100 year old Yew Maze.

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iVisit.... LEE VALLEY ...for Nature, Sport and Discovery

iVisit.... LEE VALLEY ...for Nature, Sport and Discovery

Lee Valley Regional Park offers hundreds of great days out, it has award winning open spaces and sports venues along the 26 mile long, 10,000 acre park. The park was created by a unique Act of Parliament as a “green lung” for London, Essex and Hertfordshire. Their approach is to be community focused and commercially driven, to work with partners to produce a unique combination of activities, sights and experiences for everyone to enjoy.

Lee Valley Leisure Trust came into operation on 1 April 2015 to run 14 of the major sports venues and other sites owned by Lee Valley Regional Park Authority. The Trust is part of the Authority's aspiration to establish Lee Valley Regional Park as a world class visitor destination and commitment to utilise public funds as efficiently and effectively as possible.

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iVisit.... SOMERSET HOUSE

iVisit.... SOMERSET HOUSE

When Henry VIII died in 1547 his son, Edward VI, was still too young to ascend the throne. Edward Seymour, the boy's ambitious and successful uncle, seized this opportunity and had himself created Lord Protector and Duke of Somerset. The new Duke and Protector, "desirous of possessing a residence suitable to his high rank", was determined to build himself a palace.

The Duke already owned land on a prime site between the Thames and the Strand and it was here that he began building his great mansion, Somerset House, in 1547. Although he had commissioned one of the most influential buildings of the English Renaissance, the Duke had little opportunity to enjoy Somerset House. In 1551 his opponents had him arrested and tried for the much more serious crime of treason. This time there was no escape. The Duke of Somerset, Lord Protector of England, was executed on Tower Hill in January 1552.

After this, Somerset House saw many Kings and Queens and great institutions and then at the time of Henry VIII, this was the start of when records of births, marriages, and deaths were kept there. In 1836 the General Register Office was created to set up a comprehensive system for the registration of Births, Marriages and Deaths and appoint the first Registrar General based at Somerset House. It was not until 1970, after slightly less than a century and a half at Somerset House, that the General Register Office moved out.The Principal Probate Registry relocated to Somerset House in 1874 which was where all wills, either originals or copies, had to be registered. The wills of many famous historical figures were among them.

Shakespeare's will made various provisions including the following: "In the name of God Amen I William Shakespeare of Stratford upon Avon give unto my wife my second best bed with the furniture". Jane Austen's will is there and Napoleon's will was kept there until it was returned to France.Stamp duty on documents, including newspapers, was only one of many revenue-raising methods administered by the Stamp Office, one of the government departments which moved to the new Somerset House in 1789.

In 1834 the Stamp Office united with the Affairs of Taxes and in 1849 Stamps and Taxes joined the Excise to form a new Board of Inland Revenue.

The Board of Inland Revenue occupied the east and west wings of Somerset House until 2011.

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iVisit.... HACKNEY EMPIRE

iVisit.... HACKNEY EMPIRE

Hackney Empire is a grade II* listed building. The theatre was built as a music hall in 1901, designed by the architect Frank Matcham.

Charlie Chaplin, WC Fields, Stanley Holloway, Stan Laurel and Marie Lloyd all performed there, when the Hackney Empire was a music hall.

ATV bought the theatre to use as studios in the 1950s, and shows such as Take Your Pick and Oh, Boy! were broadcast live. Certain episodes of Opportunity Knocks were also filmed at the theatre. From 1963 to 1984 the theatre was used by the Mecca Organisation as a bingo hall.

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