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England's built heritage

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Grimsby Dock Tower EAW029404 Featured Architecture Image

Grimsby Dock Tower EAW029404

GRIMSBY DOCK TOWER, Lincolnshire. This famous maritime landmark was built in 1852 as a hydraulic reservoir to power the lock gates and cranes of Grimsby Docks. Based on the design of the Palazzo Pubblico in Siena, the tower is 94m tall. By 1900 new technology made it largely redundant, but it remains a monument to Grimsby's maritime heritage. There is a model of the tower at Legoland, Windsor. The paddle steamer Lincoln Castle can also be seen in the graving dock at the entrance of the Royal Dock in this 1950 photograph. Aerofilms Collection (see Links)

© Historic England

RMS Olympic BL24990_002 Featured Architecture Image

RMS Olympic BL24990_002

RMS OLYMPIC, White Star Line. First class companion, A deck. Interior view of the stairway to first class entrance on boat deck. The Olympic was the first of a class of luxurious express transatlantic ocean liners, and entered service with the White Star Line in 1911 as the largest cruise liner in the world. Sister ship of the RMS Titanic, she was the only one of the class to prove a success, serving until 1935. The clock from Olympic's grand staircase, probably made most famous through the RMS Titanic, is now on display at the Southampton Maritime Museum. Photographed by Bedford Lemere at Southampton, October 1921

© Historic England

Chiswick House, Red Velvet Room ceiling J970259 Featured Architecture Image

Chiswick House, Red Velvet Room ceiling J970259

CHISWICK HOUSE, London. Interior. View of the ceiling in the Red Velvet Room.
The ceiling is inset with painted panels attributed to William Kent and has usually been interpreted as an allegory of the Arts. The panels around the edge, for example, incorporate musical instruments, portrait roundels of gods and goddesses (Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Mars, Diana and Apollo) and their appropriate Zodiac signs. In the central panel the messenger god Mercury hovers above a stone arch, below which is a group of figures with further emblems of the visual arts: Architecture is represented by a bare-chested woman with a set square and a cherub with a plan of a Roman temple, Sculpture by a fallen bust of Inigo Jones, and Painting by a woman unveiling a self-portrait of Kent.
The radical alternative interpretation of this symbolism is that it alludes to the ritual of the Royal Arch masonic lodge. Red is the Royal Arch colour, so the red velvet on the walls is symbolic, as is the red drape which is being removed to reveal Kent's portrait in the ceiling. The traditional implements of the architect and sculptor, depicted in the ceiling, are likewise masonic emblems, while the combination of an arch below a rainbow which occurs in the ceiling painting was apparently a common subject of early Royal Arch lodge banners. The suggestion, therefore, is that this room could have been designed by Burlington and Kent - both of whom were certainly freemasons - to function as a masonic meeting place

© Jeremy Young