THE QUEEN'S choice of Southwell Minster for the Royal Maundy service was apt since this year The 1066 Exhibition (English Romanesque Art) at The Hayward Gallery (daily until 8 July; admission £2) is reminding us of our Norman heritage which has almost disappeared from Westminster Abbey.
Southwell is a 12th-century church with the familiar rounded Norman arches. The great naves of the senior diocesan cathedrals, Canterbury, Durham and Winchester, are Norman and this exhibition is the result of a long search to find the original richness of colour Ind profusion of objects that once filled these buildings.
The richness of the St Albans psalter.
In 1982 the village of Staplehurst in Kent was split over whether to allow their 12thcentury church door to go up to London for the first time in 800 years.
Now it has arrived and against the plain walls is being viewed with new eyes by many who might have passed it by in the village.
It is certainly strange to see attendants step forward to ask a child not to touch a font which must have been kicked and splashed by many a baby.
The hand coloured engravings of the Bayeux Tapestry give us a chance to recall the story we all think we know. Harold prayed for victory at Waltham Abbey but was brought back dead to be buried in the chancel.
The destruction of the Reformation leaves that Royal tomb in the open today but the Norman nave remains as a landmark in the Lee Valley water-meadows. The community was refounded by Henry II as a penance for St Thomas a Becket's murder and in the exhibition a mitre from France tells the Story of Becket's martyrdom Bayeux style.
Cardinal Hume has also lent the mitre traditionally associated with St Thomas.
Among the seals is one from Waltham Abbey showing the holy cross which brought Harold from Stamford Bridge in 1066. Robert, Bishop of Bath (no Wells then) has his delicate seal on show and a seal from St Paul's Cathedral, London reminds us that the ruins inspected by Christopher Wren after the Great Fire were mainly Norman.
A pen and wash by Thomas WyCh elsewhere in the exhibition
shows St Paul's after the fire when restoration was still considered a possibility.
Both the new St Paul's and the National Liberal Club can be seen from outside the riverside Hayward Gallery.
Lord Birkenhead, not a Liberal, used to call in daily to use the club toilets and, when eventually challenged, replied, "You mean this is a club? thought it was a public convenience".
As his excuse he pointed to the lavish use of tiles throughout the
building which were made by Burmantofts Pottery — an offshoot of a drain pipe and sanitary ware factory.
Burmantofts Pottery at the Geffrye Museum in Shoreditch (daily except Mondays until 20 May; admission free) chronicles the great buildings decorated with the Leeds tiles — Brighton's Metropole Hotel, Blackpool's Opera House,
Holborn's Prudential headquarters and the delightful Michelin garage in South Kensington.
In 1900 the pottery decorated the interior of St James the Greater in Leicester which remains in good condition. Sadly the Burmantofts' reredos at St Agnes, near the old pottery, has been painted over.
There is more chance of looking round the National Liberal Club than most City boardrooms so Capital Painting at the Barbican Art Gallery (daily except Mondays until 10
June; admission £1) provides a rare glimpse of paintings
normally hidden in the offices of 37 major businesses in the Square Mile.
These are the forgotten riches of London's richest borough.
The Commercial Union has lent, appropriately, The Great, Tooley Street Fire showing the now lost St °lave's Church which stood in front of London Bridge Station.
To celebrate its interest in the Antwerp Gas Company, the Imperial Continental Gas Association purchased The Interior of Antwerp Cathedral by both Pieter Neefs the Elder and Younger.
Visitors wander around as Mass is said at an altar beneath a Gothic nave pillar. Later the National Westminster Bank offers a comment on this growth in tourism with Elizabeth Vellacott's pencil drawing of Christ Driving the Photographers from King's College Chapel.