Did Henry IV have a Cossack hat….?

I know that I have written before about the tall black hat that is worn by Henry of Bolingbroke, Duke of Lancaster, future Henry IV, in the illustrations of the deposition, death and funeral of his murdered cousin, Richard II. The illustrations are from Creton’s La Prinse et Mort du roy Richart.   The hat has… Continue reading Did Henry IV have a Cossack hat….?

Who was St Patrick…?

Oh, the power of folklore. I was brought up in Cilfynydd, near Pontypridd. A mountain/very large hill rose behind the village and high on it was a spring which everyone called Paddy’s Well. I was told it got its name because St Patrick passed that way and drank from it. No doubt there are as… Continue reading Who was St Patrick…?

‘Fair Rosamund’

This locomotive ‘Fair Rosamund’ was the only one of its class to carry a name. It was, of course, named after Rosamund Clifford and usually worked on the Great Western Railway’s Woodstock branch, near Oxford. Rosamund Clifford (mistress of Henry II) came from Clifford Castle near Hay in the Marches. This castle was associated with… Continue reading ‘Fair Rosamund’

The Treacherous ‘King of Carew’

  Recently I went on a little jaunt to visit some fine Welsh Castles. One of those happened to be Carew in Pembrokshire, an impressive limestone fortress overlong Carew inlet, which is part of the Milford Haven Waterway. Built by the Norman Gerald of Windsor, the site stands on the lands of his wife, the… Continue reading The Treacherous ‘King of Carew’

Songs about Richard III (revised)

This is a seond revised edition of the original book which is about the songs I have written for my Richard III music project. It includes the lyrics for the songs which have been released on the albums which have been recorded as The Legendary Ten Seconds. The songs that I have written and recorded… Continue reading Songs about Richard III (revised)

The “awkward mediaeval cities” (3) : St. Alban’s

Unlike Northampton and Oxford, St. Alban’s (City) is on the Thameslink network and also has a branch line to Watford Junction. Accommodation can be expensive but the less historic Luton is surprisingly convenient as a base, being about fourteen minutes away on the same line and costing about five pounds for a day return. Turning right… Continue reading The “awkward mediaeval cities” (3) : St. Alban’s

Sir Ernest Shackleton: “What the ice gets, the ice keeps”

  “For scientific discovery give me Scott; for speed and efficiency of travel give me Amundsen; but when disaster strikes and all hope is gone, get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton.”                                                    —Antarctic explorer Sir Raymond Priestly For those new to Shackleton, it might seem counterintuitive to celebrate the leader of a failed… Continue reading Sir Ernest Shackleton: “What the ice gets, the ice keeps”

Torquay and Torre Abbey

Thanks to our friends at the Legendary Ten Seconds, I had heard of Torre Abbey but didn’t realise that it was open to visit, as convenient or spectacular as it is. Half of the original building remains, on three floors including an art exhibition, whilst the other half (including the church) is a ruin, complete… Continue reading Torquay and Torre Abbey

The Legendary Ten Seconds: Sagas of the South West

A Princess of Aragon   She landed in Plymouth on a Saturday The reception plans in disarray Shaken by a channel storm Her entourage looking all forlorn   The English Autumn she would see The leaves falling from every tree A Princess of Aragon Her journey told in this song   The Spaniards fell to… Continue reading The Legendary Ten Seconds: Sagas of the South West

In its true colours – Mysteries of the Bayeux Tapestry

This enthralling BBC Four documentary describes the story of the artwork that is actually a seventy metre embroidery on a woollen surface. It was mostly filmed at the Bayeux Museum, where the artwork is displayed in temperature and humidity controlled conditions. The presenters pointed out that the “Tapestry”, obviously dedicated to Odo Bishop of Bayeux,… Continue reading In its true colours – Mysteries of the Bayeux Tapestry