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Part 2 of the walking tour – Anglia square

On my way to meet the group at Anglia Square yesterday I walked along Botolph Street, as Thomas Bland (father of one of our commissioners Michael) lived in this road in 1783 according to the Chase directory. Sovereign House is now one of the areas more infamous landmarks, built in the 1960’s its a fantastic brutalist building which I am hoping can be re-invented rather than demolished. Of course the longer the debate goes on the more the building degrades, its now a well used canvas for graffiti artists. The construction materials of the 1960 are fairing less well than the stone and brick work of earlier times. I look out on the building from my studio and I rather enjoy its imposing nature.

An email inquiry I sent to St Augustine’s church, was kindly forwarded to a local historian, Stewart McLaren who has written the church guidebook. Stuart met us at the church and spoke to us about Elisha De Hague, and his connection with the parish. De Hague was an overseer at another church on Elm Hill and later a church warden so why was he buried at St Augustine’s. His father, also Elisa (which has led to some complications when researching) has a tomb there, in which our Elisha also lies.

From the church we made the short walk along Gildengate to the Quaker Burial Ground. It is a beautiful place with an avenue of trees. There were gravestones within the ground but records show that Gravestones were not considered to be appropriate. We are yet to discover why and what shift occurred as there are gravestones to be seen which date from more recent times.

St Andrews Hall was next on the list and we went to look at the civic portraits. St Andrews and Blackfriars Halls house the largest collection of civic portraits (some of which should be in the guildhall by all accounts). Alas our characters were not represented there and it was suggested they could be in storage, in restoration or even on tour. Will get in touch with the Castle Museum to find out more.