Thursday, 31 December 2015

Top ten of 2015

Happy new year! It's time to look back on the most popular posts of 2015 with a top ten of those published during the year, and a top five of all-time favourites. 

Top ten of the year
Posts featuring London unsurprisingly dominated in popularity - but Glastonbury and Wells in Somerset also made a strong showing! 

Livery halls were popular this year (not coincidentally, they were also the main them of London Historians' events programme). Our first entry, at number ten, is Stationers' Hall;  I also visited Vintners' Hall - and another, which we'll see higher up the list. 

Number nine was the very atmospheric Tower of London by night. We stay with the Thames for a mysterious clay pipe bowl at number eight: just what does it depict? 

Far outside London, it's a derelict factory site in Glastonbury which takes seventh place. (No doubt it's the photo of my Dad in his fashionable youth which deserves the credit!). And one place ahead is nearby Wells Cathedral's incredibly old and beautiful staircase.

We're back in the city for number five. Deep, deep in the city: the Crossrail dig at Liverpool Street allowed archaeologists to explore the Bedlam burial ground, and to go down to Roman levels. I got to see some beautiful finds - and one slightly lewd one.

The extraordinary, eerie Redsands Fort in the Thames Estuary was in fourth place. Regular boat trips are now available, and plans are being made for their future: good news for London history enthusiasts, given their important role in protecting the capital during World War II. 

Third place goes to another livery hall, the grand and beautiful Drapers' Hall.

In second place is an unusual visit to City Lock on the Regent's Canal. Thanks to maintenance work, it was emptied and dry, so this is a look around inside in a way that's rarely possible. More conventional in access, but a stunning and relatively little-known jewel of a gallery, is Two Temple Place. Subject of this year's most popular post, it's a fabulous late-Victorian house now used for an annual show highlighting publicly-owned collections from around the UK. The next exhibition opens on 30 January: make a note in that brand-new diary now!

And an honourable mention for the most popular ghost sign of the year (which took eleventh place). Along with some rather fine shop signage, a Glastonbury sign reminds us of the days when snail mail ruled!

Finally, the pages have also been very popular, especially Unusual London Places to Visit. Not far behind are those dedicated to Postman's Park and to ghost signs; but even the rather niche page on Deptford Power Station, 1912 has attracted a growing number of readers this year.

All-time top five

Which posts have been most popular over the life of the blog? The most surprising result for me was the reminder that I began it as long ago as 2008!

In fifth place is the intriguing Stone House on Lewisham Way. Completely different to its neigbhours, this Palladian villa is usually hidden behind garden walls but does let in visitors for Open House Weekend. For the rest of the year, you can sneak a glimpse from the top deck of the bus!

One place ahead is a Bridgwater ghost sign - though I've linked not to the original post but to an updated account, which not only sees its wording fully deciphered but also dates it to within a couple of years! 

Places three and two take us back to London. Perhaps incongruously for a site celebrating the city, these show its ugly side. First, the physical ugliness of an appalling piece of facadism; then the choking pollution of a very pedestrian-unfriendly Thames crossing. Rotherhithe Tunnel - I walked it so you don't have to...

The most popular post is, slightly mysteriously, one on the creepy catacombs of Paris. I suspect that this owes less to the content than to image searches for 'skulls'.

And on that cheery note, my very best wishes for 2016!


Brian Harrison at said...

Thanks for a great year of postings. Looking forward to 2016's writings

CarolineLD said...

Thank you!

HughB said...