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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
24th May 1953 Born today: Alfred Molina, London, actor (Enchanted April, Prick up your Ears)
24th May 1908 John Masefields Tragedy of Nan, premieres in London
24th May 1899 The state apartments at Kensington Palace opened to the public for the first time.
24th May 1890 Tivoli Theater of Varities opens in London
24th May 1879 James Walker's original Vauxhall toll bridge was opened up for free by the Prince of Wales.
24th May 1819 Queen Victoria is born at Kensington Palace.
London's oldest parish church
London's oldest parish church is St Bartholomew's.
Location: West Smithfield, London
Description: St Bartholomew-the-Great, is the only surviving part of a Norman priory and London's oldest parish church.
The priory was established in 1123 by a monk named Rahere, who is buried in the church. Rahere was a court jester to Henry I, and on a pilgrimage to Rome Rahere almost died of malaria and was so grateful for his recovery that he vowed to build a hospital on his return to England. He is reputed to haunt the altar periodically.
In a dream he was saved from a winged monster by St Bartholomew and when he arrived back in England Rahere founded not only a hospital but also a priory and church dedicated to St Bartholomew.
St Bartholomew's Hospital ('Barts'), which has also survived, is London's oldest and best-loved hospital.
In 1725 Benjamin Franklin, the US statesman, served a year as a journeyman printer in the Lady Chapel.
Tagged in this Tour: Rebels, Radicals & Rough Justice