Across there is the Royal London Borough of Greenwich and it’s called the Royal Borough because it was the seat of royalty for 200 years and this view was said to be Christopher Wren’s favourite view in the whole of London probably because he designed those two buildings over there The reason I’m here is because a few months ago, L&Q who are this company that build houses They asked me to make a film and they liked it so much that they asked me to make another one because they’ve got this big housing development going on down in North Greenwich My favourite way to go is by boat It’s such a lovely way to travel down the Thames like this; it’s excellent It takes about 20 minutes to get to North Greenwich by boat from London Bridge and I’ve got plenty of time so that’s a nice way to go but if you want it’s only 8 minutes on the Jubilee line and that runs 24 hours a day I love it in Greenwich “-wich” actually means “port” in anglo-saxon, so places like Greenwich, Harwich, Norwich L&Q have a lot of their homes around here so they asked me to come and check out the area and I think it’s going to be quite exciting actually; I’m quite looking forward to it This piece of art is by Anthony Gormley it’s called Quantum Cloud And you can see that it’s an Anthony Gormley because if you look inside it you can see the form of his famous sculptures that he did of himself just standing there These stretch all the way up towards the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park it’s called “The Line” I’m just talking about this amazing piece of art here The human form caught between representation and abstraction I could have told you that. I wouldn’t have to look it up Sliced in half. It’s supposed to represent maritime history. The meridian slicing through the peninsula of Greenwich do you see what they’ve done there? What’s this piece of art work here, Julian ? “Umbrella” by Joolzy I quite like that one actually. It looks really nice at night This is by Alex Chinnek It’s called “Bullet from a shooting star” You’d make a good Dr. Who Something about that artwork behind you and the silhouette cheap BBC “oh we’ll just make it out to be another planet” Calling my productions cheap? These art installation stretch all the way down Millennium Way There’s graffiti and modern art the route even looks a bit like they’ve spelt out “The Line” there I love being by the river, I’ve just got an obsession with boats and rivers and sea-faring. That’s why I love Greenwich so much Yes, The Millennium Dome It’s now called the O2 Centre They have loads of restaurants, bars, gigs, massive sporting events The distance from the bottom to the top is 52 metres which corresponds to the amount of weeks in the year and those yellow spikes, there’s 12 of those which is supposed to be the months in the year or the hours on a clock face as if you cared opposite the O2 is The Now Gallery which is a public art space and they short-list artists so if you have an idea they do take a few per year this one is by Rebecca Louise Law with 10 000 irises hanging from the ceiling We are building a new neighbourhood at Greenwich Peninsula the art gallery is part of the place-making agenda that we’re doing here so it’s fine art, fashion and design there’s a golf range as well Oh, if you’re wondering, L&Q are one of the largest providers of quality shared ownership homes in London now watch this drive You play a Slazenger 4, don’t you? You must have played the wrong ball somewhere on the last fairway I own the club Mr. Bond So over there in the distance you can see the Thames Barrier it was built in 1982. It’s got 10 flood gates, all abreast Do you think they’re supposed to look like the sails of ships? Is that why they’re designed like that? A bit like the Sydney Opera House. It’s a bit further than it looks though. I did walk it yesterday and I’m not doing that again In order to stop the urban sprawl taking over they’ve got this little ecology park It’s supposed to help with the flourishment of species like dragon flies… Bats, cleavers…. I thought it said cleavage for a second It’s really serene actually L&Q wanted me to mention they’ve got more shared ownership homes coming up in 2018 in London and the southeast one of which is over towards the old town of Greenwich and I’m really looking forward to going over there because it’s one of my favourite parts of London the staff on here are so much more jolly than on on the underground This is great fun I mean, it doesn’t look quite like Venice but These are known as gondolas Excellent That took about 10 minutes That was so good a romantic trip on a gondola…. with Simon I really love the docklands light railway. It’s like a toy train If you want to get to the Cutty Sark another way you can just go underneath this Greenwich foot tunnel which was built in 1899. Down into the Mines of Morea Through the mountain Ah, Her cutty sark, o’ paisley harn that while a lassie she had worn…or something it’s a poem by the Scottish poet Robbie Burns and the cutty sark referred to a short sort of shirt that the witch, Nannie, wore in his poem That’s actually supposed to be her on the figure head it was the fastest vessel in the world, it managed to get to Australia in 73 days! Lunch at The Moth, Simon? This is the kind of quality you bump into in a pub in Greenwich I was just at the bar and who do I meet but Patrick Godfrey. He is a very well known actor I saw you in Les Miserables recently on TV You know we did it here. We filmed Les Mis, I think it was in the Royal Naval College and they made it look like Paris Her Cutty Sark o’ paisley harn that while a lassie she had worn wi’ twa pun Scots it was her riches Whatever graced a dance of witches The royal connection with Greenwich started in the 15th century when King Henry V….his brother, the Duke of Gloucester inherited some Land around here and he built what was regarded as the finest house in England and it was King Henry Vii who turned it into an actual palace King Henry VIII was born here, so was Queen Elizabeth I Henry Viii also married Anne of Cleves here She was the 4th wife. The ugly German one, so he said or am I thinking of my wives King James I had this house built for his wife Queen Anne of Denmark and it’s now a part of the National Maritime museum but it fell into disrepair during the civil war and then Queen Mary insisted that this be part of a hospital for seamen No sniggering in the back row please when I said seamen but she insisted that the view of the Queen’s House not be obscured so they got Christopher Wren to design these two rather unique wings of the Royal Naval Hospital So this is where, in 1805 on Christmas Eve They brought the body of Admiral Lord Nelson after he was killed at the battle of Trafalgar He arrived here pickled in rum and they say that some of the sailors used to drink some of the rum that he was pickled it and that’s where we get the expression “Tapping the Admiral” You can actually see his blood stained trousers in the maritime museum These are the actual pants he was wearing full with perished gusset reminds me of some of my own underpants actually This is Greenwich park where Sir Walter Raleigh famously laid down his cloak over puddle for Queen Elizabeth to step over it Oh Sir Walter…..really! Famously this is where Anne Boleyn dropped her handkerchief as a signal to her lover and apparently King Henry VIII spotted it and that spelt her doom! And at the top of the hill is the first ever observatory in England This is where Edmund Halley charted the course of Halley’s comet but unfortunately he died before he could be proven right it’s a pity that they’re renovating that building because that ball on top was installed in 1833 and every day since they’ve raised it at 5 minutes to 1pm and then lowered it at 1pm so that the ships on the river could set their clocks by it One yard, two feet, one foot six inches Give them an inch and they’ll take a foot and the next thing you know you haven’t got a leg to stand on This is where east meets west where time begins I am now half in the western hemisphere and half in the eastern hemisphere in 1884 there was a conference in Washington where they decided where to set the prime meridian and they came to the conclusion that Greenwich the best place because so many ships from around the world used to come here to Greenwich However, the French, typically decided not to accept it until 1911 so they kept their meridian in Paris but everyone else in the whole world decided to use Greenwich I can see why the Kings and Queens decided to move here . This is where Queen Elizabeth I used to play as a child This ancient tree known as Queen Elizabeth’s oak is thought to have been planted in the 12th century The shadows grow tall, the sky bruises and we must be forced to camp A pint at the Plume of Feathers I think The oldest pub in Greenwich, built in 1691 Seems like a reasonable place to finish the day Now if you enjoy my films please hit the subscription button
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