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The Tower of Babel – Shop of the Day No.29


The Tower of Babel – Shop of the Day No.29 Sunday in Dalston – a shop for the price conscious celestial entrant. Kingsland Rd, E8 ©Barnaby Barford 2014    

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The Tower of Babel – Shop of the Day 11


The Tower of Babel – Shop of the Day 11 Carrying on the theme of dual purpose premises.  This is a fantastic shop – one of my favourites.  It is in Thornton Heath near Penge – SE25.  Get your hair cut while you get your tyres changed – laudable use of time! ©Barnaby Barford 2014

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The Tower of Babel – Shop of the Day 10


The Tower of Babel – Shop of the Day 10 I can’t believe it’s Sunday again, this blog is making the time count down even faster.  So keeping with the Sunday theme here is a great example of one of my favourite types of shops.  A dual purpose outlet. That’s not a very catchy way of […]

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St. Barbara

T.13-1937, embroidered picture of St. Barbara, probably a 20th century forgery © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Today, almost three weeks late, I present St. Barbara, another spurious Roman saint. She is said to have been born in the mid-3rd century, her father was wealthy, overbearing and pagan. He kept her locked in a tower to protect her from the world, but could not prevent her from secretly becoming a Christian and […]

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St. Eligius

Eloi head

Today’s Sanctus Ignotum, St. Eligius (ca. 588 – 660; known in French as Eloi), followed a successful first career as a goldsmith with a later one as a saint. The signs of his later holiness appear obvious to me (admittedly I am a smug, 21st century know-it-all). He miraculously made two golden thrones using the materials […]

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St Martin de Porres


Today on Sanctus Ignotum we have a case study in race relations, and our first South American saint. Born in Lima, Peru in 1579, the illegitimate son of a Spanish knight and a liberated black slave, Martin was initially apprenticed to a barber-surgeon. He joined the Dominican Order as a lay-helper, though his dedication to […]

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Welcome to Hell!

hell - Copy

Looking at the V&A blog page this morning, I can see that Halloween has caught the imagination of a number of fellow Museum bloggers. However, I can’t pass up such an apt occasion on which to introduce you to two of the most gruesome and macabre objects going into the Europe Galleries. Both, fittingly, will […]

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St Wolfgang of Regensburg

A.19-1945, Altarpiece, Saint Boniface, St Philip, St Otillia, St James the Less, St Wolfgang © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Aside from the annual devotionals to All Hallows, 31st October also marks the celebration of the feast of St Wolfgang, a 10th century monk and bishop born in Swabia, south-west Germany, in either 924 or 934. To give some idea of how holy Wolfgang was, he was known in his own time as Eleemosysnarius Major, […]

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St. Petka

Petka's head

This Orthodox saint’s proper name is Paraskeva of the Balkans, but she is also known alternatively as Petka. She was born on the shores of the Sea of Marmara at the start of the 11th century. She claimed that God spoke to her at the age of 10 while in church, quoting Jesus (and therefore […]

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St. Bruno of Cologne

Statuette head

Today is a feast of St. Bruno (ca. 1030-1101), a very, very holy chap who was teacher to one of the most important figures of the middle ages: Pope Urban II, the instigator of the First Crusade. This 11th century eremitic scholar-man was also the founder of the Carthusian monastic order. If you’re wondering what […]

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