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Monday, 12 July 2010

Lambeth treasure

Finally made it to the Treasures of Lambeth Palace Library exhibition - just in time, as it closes on July 23. Among the fascinating material there: the 12c Lambeth Bible (left), Richard III's Book of Hours, which he left in his tent when he went out to fight and die at the Battle of Bosworth; a letter from Elizabeth I with a post-script about her recovery from smallpox; a copy of the warrant, with Elizabeth's signature, for Mary Queen of Scots' execution; and physicians' daily reports on the mental health of George III.

But before you go into the Great Hall, stop and admire the enormous sprawling white fig tree by the entrance. It was originally planted in 1555 by Cardinal Pole. Lambeth Palace garden - one of the oldest and largest private gardens in London - is open only rarely. But visitors to the exhibition do get a bonus - a discount for the Museum of Garden History at St Mary's Church next door.

Lambeth Palace Library, Lambeth Palace Rd, London SE1 7JU

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