Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Royal Garrison Church

The Lego Museums visited the Royal Garrison Church on the 7th May 2014. The small but lovely church is located within the city of Portsmouth. This such a small and not well known about church had its part to play in English history, by evolving from a hostel and hospital to becoming hit by a WW2 bomb. However, in between this it became a lovely place for a Royal Wedding.

Will visits the Royal Garrison Church.

The Church was founded in 1212 by the Bishop of Winchester, Peter des Roches. Built a number of buildings to serve as a hostel for pilgrims and a hospital for the sick and elderly.

Flying through time to 1540, after Henry VIII's Reformation, the builds where used as a ammunition store. The buildings were neglected and started to decay.

Moving to Henry's daughter, Elizabeth I. In 1559 there was a grand building project for the defence of Portsmouth began. The small medieval hospital buildings were used to create the Governors house. Within this house in latter year; two significant events of historic importance happened.

The first was in 1662 there was a surprising thing for that time and even for now, there was a Royal Wedding held here. This was a marriage between Charles II and Catherine of Braganza. The second was in 1814 on which there was a grand receptions held to celebrate the death of Napoleon. This was attended by many famous people at that time; these included the Prince Regent, the Emperor of Russia and the King of Prussia (Germany).

Now moving to the 19th Century, the architect G. E. Street spent ten years in repairing the Church. This was completed by 1871.

However, in 1933 the church was given to the Office of Works in which it was hit be a firebomb raid in 1941. This destroyed the roof of the building and which is now visible as a reminder of the war.

There is a little chapel at the back of the church that has a lot more information about the history of this lovely, small place. Although it might be seen be a small and insignificant church that is not interesting because it is a ruin but that ruin you see today has miles upon miles of history on its back so it is worth going to have a good look around. 

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