One of the things that always springs to mind about Westminster Hall is the amazing hammerbeam roof, for which we have our 14th-century monarch, Richard II, to thank. He didn’t build the hall itself, of course, because that accolade goes as far back as King William II “Rufus” in 1079. And Rufus was disappointed… Continue reading Who was first to lie in state in Westminster Hall….?
Find the Roman roads of Britain….
Finding the Roman roads of England and Wales can be tricky, but now there’s a “London Underground” map that identifies them all. Well, not quite, but mostly. On discovering this site I went immediately to find Stone Street in Kent…but it’s marked as unnamed. Stone Street is definitely a Roman road. It’s still there and… Continue reading Find the Roman roads of Britain….
The Wardrobe, the King’s Wardrobes….er, no The Queen’s Wardrobe….?
During the Peasants’ Revolt in 1381, when the Tower of London was breached by the rebels and some of those sheltering inside were dragged out and executed, another person of note who was there was widowed Joan of Kent, Princess of Wales, mother of 14-year-old King Richard II. Well, the future Henry IV was… Continue reading The Wardrobe, the King’s Wardrobes….er, no The Queen’s Wardrobe….?
What did bishops wear to travel….?
Why is it that a passing thought of adding detail to a minor description leads to one spending hours scouring the internet and book shelves trying to find the information? All I wanted to know is how a medieval bishop would have dressed to travel. Not in a war zone, just on the road from… Continue reading What did bishops wear to travel….?
Oh where, Oh where, has Chaucer’s “Foul Oak” gone….?
According to Project Gutenberg, on 6th September 1390 Geoffrey Chaucer was mugged at a place called the Foul Oak, but not the Baginton Oak. Rather was it on what we now call the Old Kent Road but was originally the Roman Watling Street, leading out of London, on the way to Canterbury and… Continue reading Oh where, Oh where, has Chaucer’s “Foul Oak” gone….?
Another of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s palaces….
My inexhaustible interest in the past takes me everywhere…mostly via the internet these days, I confess. Finding buildings that are wonderful jewels from our history is always rewarding, and so here is my latest discovery. The article below begins: “….Charing Palace is the remains of an 11th-century bishop’s palace used by Archbishops of Canterbury as… Continue reading Another of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s palaces….
Britain’s Most Historic Towns (2)
This excellent Channel Four programme, presented by Professor Alice Roberts, with Dr. Ben Robinson in the helicopter, has returned for a new series. The early venues were Dover (World War Two, visiting the underground base, concentrating on the retreat from Dunkirk and subsequent Channel defence, meeting some survivors, wearing ATS uniform and riding in a… Continue reading Britain’s Most Historic Towns (2)
How did the Black Prince’s funeral procession cross the River Darent….?
Does anyone out there know the answer to a puzzle that has cropped up in my research? Watling Street, the Roman road, was the main route between London and Canterbury, Dover, etc. This made it very important. Watling Street passed through Dartford, crossing over the tidal River Darent. But wait, there wasn’t a bridge there until… Continue reading How did the Black Prince’s funeral procession cross the River Darent….?
The Grundisburgh martyr
Today in 1558, Alice Driver and Alexander Gooch were burned on the Cornhill in Ipswich. Her trial record, particularly her testimony, shows that Alice Driver freely admitted not sharing certain Roman Catholic beliefs and this was sufficient to convict her. Both are commemorated on this monument in Christchurch Park (left) and Driver by a road… Continue reading The Grundisburgh martyr
William the B … er, Conqueror
This piece, by Marc Morris in History Extra, describes the events that followed the previous usurpation from France. A lot more violent, indeed, than the early reign of the first “Tudor”, although his son and grandchildren changed that …