John Bilt's London - Royal Greenwich

Feb 10, 2017

Hi English students!  Here’s my latest gem of London history for you.  This week Greenwich. 

Greenwich Park was a favourite place for Kings and Queens and later Londoners to escape the dust and heat from central London. Today people still enjoy this Royal park which is on the riverbank of the Thames. Once a port, its name comes from the Anglo Saxon language for “Green Port”.  Visitors can also go inside the Cutty Sark, which was the fastest sailing ship in the world in 1869 when she could cover over 563km per day as she brought tea from China to London.

Not English but Scottish, the ship’s name Cutty Sark is Gaelic and means “short shirt”. The shipbuilder took the name from a famous Scottish poem “Tam O’Shanter” where a witch “Nannie” used to dance in a short chemise and later held on to a horse’s tail to cross a river. So Cutty Sark’s figurehead is Nannie grasping a horse’s tail.

After the ship, visitors can then climb the steep hill and find the Meridian Line from where all time in the world is measured [Greenwich Mean Time]  Visitors can straddle the metal line and so stand in East and West simultaneously.



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