Nope. Just a folly built by a wealthy Cambridgeshire landowner many moons ago (and recently restored by the National Trust, which now owns both his magnificent house — Wimpole Hall — and estate).
I had lunch with a friend in the City today and afterwards walked back to Liverpool Street station down Threadneedle Street past the Bank of England and the building next to it where I once worked briefly and through the canyon of skyscrapers to the station. And I fell to thinking about why I love walking through that part of London. After all, I should hate it: it’s one vast temple of capitalism, and every step one takes comes with a reminder of the overweening power that comes with all that wealth. And yet there’s something about it that I can’t quite shake off. When I worked there I once went exploring and found my way onto the floor of the old Stock Exchange — a place where a young student in a sports jacket ought not to have been, and yet it was easy to bluff one’s way in. And when I was bored I could look out of my office window on the days when the Court of the Bank of England met and watch the stream of limos that deposited at least some of the grandees at the side entrance. Little could I have known that one of my student friends, Mervyn King, would one day be the Governor of that remarkable institution. Life is really just a Markov chain.
The new Cavendish Lab is beginning to emerge from the bowels of the earth. Hard to see how the current crane-fest will result in the nice pic on the hoarding. To date, Cavendish researchers have won 30 Nobel prizes.
From the 4th floor of the University Library where I’m happily occupied reading a collection of essays by the great historian of computing Michael Sean Mahoney.
King’s College chapel in the centre of the frame.
We’ve been reading (and enjoying) The Diary of a Country Parson, the extraordinary record of English rural social life in the 18th century by James Woodforde, the Rector of Weston Longville in Norfolk. On our way back from the coast recently we went to visit his church and found this memorial to him.