Battersea, London this AM. We’re looking north toward the river which is just behind the church, the long brown brick building (yes, with the spire) obscured by the tree. We’re about…300 metres from the River Thames. That church meanwhile, that’s where the slavery abolitionist movement in Britain started in the late 1700s-early 1800s eventually leading to first the banning of the slave trade in 1807 then the abolition of slavery across the British Empire in 1833. The artist and visionary William Blake used to sit at the church windows drawing pictures of Chelsea across the water. The area of Chelsea directly opposite is still known as The World’s End (there’s a housing estate and pub of the same name) as, until well into the 1800s, it did mark the edge of the city and the start of the countryside.
Just round that white building is the old village square, the oldest building there dates from the 1600s and has a tunnel in the cellars leading out to the Thames. Another building on the square housed a gentleman called Edward Adrian Wilson, a doctor at that time, who was to join Robert Falcon Scott on his attempt to reach the South Pole in Antarctica in 1912. He was one of the two men still left with Scott when they died thanks to a blizzard preventing them reaching the supply dump that could have saved them. It was the habit at the time to send young doctors to the slum areas to gain experience, so Edward Wilson came here.
Just thought I’d mention it. There’s a lot going on in this world.