London Log: Globetrotting
I love to travel and I try to do it whenever possible. When I am fortunate enough to have a really cool experience, I like to share it here in the hope that others can do it too! I’m posting some travel tips from a recent trip to London.
This is the only thatched roof in London. They were banned after the Great Fire of London in 1666. That fire destroyed an estimated 13,500 houses, many of them built of timber and thatch.
This roof is on Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. It’s not the original, of course. That one was built within a few hundred yards in 1599. It lasted 14 years, until, you guessed it, it burned down. The wadding from a stage cannon set the roof on fire in 1613. It happened during a performance of “Henry VIII."
Another one was built on the site and eventually torn down after the Puritans banned theatres in 1644.
This one exists because American actor Sam Wannamaker started a foundation in 1970 to raise money to build a replica of The Globe. More than three decades later, The Globe was built. With input from historians, they made it as similar to the original as possible.
If you go there now, you can get a tour and tale. It’s fascinating insight into Elizabethan life. The play was the best form of entertainment available. All classes would file in for the latest work by Shakespeare and others. Many of his most famous plays were written for and performed in The Globe. The upper class would sit up high, the better to see and be seen. The groundlings would pay a penny each to get in and sit or stand on the dirt floors. The lower classes didn’t have the best hygiene habits and were looked down upon from above, referred to as the “Penny Stinkards”
It’s a wonderful place to see and experience what it might have been like to be packed in there more than 400 years ago to see what the Bard and his troupe had to offer.
There are performances in repertory at today’s version of the Globe – the works of Shakespeare and many others. I’ve never seen a play at the Globe, but I have thoroughly enjoyed the tour. I recommend it highly.
By the way, that thatched roof, the only one allowed in London, does have a state of the art sprinkler system built into it – just in case.
Shakespeare’s Globe is included with The London Pass.
We’ll talk again soon.