Who chose King Arthur’s final resting place? The monks of Glastonbury or Henry II….?

  I’ve known for a long time that King Arthur wasn’t buried at Glastonbury, but thanks to an incredible example of “seizing the moment”, the monks of the abbey ensured a huge income from pilgrims and tourists who believed their story. Or maybe it wasn’t only the monks, maybe Henry II had something to do… Continue reading Who chose King Arthur’s final resting place? The monks of Glastonbury or Henry II….?

Wars of the Roses Delights in Suffolk

After over a year, I have finally been able to go on another holiday in which to indulge in my passion of church and castle crawling. I haven’t spent much time in Suffolk before–it’s just a little too far–but there were some places I really wanted to visit, so off we went, braving a crazed… Continue reading Wars of the Roses Delights in Suffolk

The “awkward mediaeval cities” (2)

Another such is Northampton. Like Oxford, most (all in fact) of the trains run to or from London, although the latter will reconnect to Cambridge in a few years, with Milton Keynes and Northampton joining the line via Bletchley. Northampton is only currently accessible from East Anglia via London, Birmingham, or switching to a coach… Continue reading The “awkward mediaeval cities” (2)

The Daughters of Edward I

Kathryn Warner‘s latest tome has arrived and soon raised memories of Ashdown-Hill’s Eleanor, as two of the daughters in question – Joan of Acre (twice) and Elizabeth of Rhuddlan – are among the ancestors of Lady Eleanor Talbot, Lucy Walter, “Mrs. Fitzherbert” (Maria Smythe) and Laura Culme-Seymour, as shown in Royal Marriage Secrets and replicated here.… Continue reading The Daughters of Edward I

A pinch of salt reflected in A Distant Mirror….

Here is a heartfelt lament. Some books are always widely lauded, and rightly so, but what happens when one finds a blooper within the hallowed pages? In this instance I speak of A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous Fourteenth Century, by Barbara Tuchman. It’s packed full of detail, and a great read…until that one blooper leaps… Continue reading A pinch of salt reflected in A Distant Mirror….

The history of castles….

We all love early castles. Well, we can love those from later ages, but they don’t have quite the same cachet as those wonderful old fortresses that always make us gasp when we see them. But how did they evolve? And why did they become obsolete except as tourist attractions and scenic splendours? This article… Continue reading The history of castles….

Hey Diddle Dumpty….!

  Here is a quote from this article:  “….Some say Humpty Dumpty is a sly allusion to King Richard III, whose brutal 26-month reign ended with his death in the Battle of Bosworth in 1485. In this speculative version, King Richard III’s horse was supposedly called “Wall,” off of [sic] which he fell during battle.… Continue reading Hey Diddle Dumpty….!

Digging up our monarchs; no, not Richard III this time….!

I’m told that even now, if you purchase a plot of ground in which to put your loved ones to rest, the chances are they’ll only lie in peace for eighty years, at which time they are removed and new occupants move in. Well, for centuries our dead haven’t always been left to enjoy their… Continue reading Digging up our monarchs; no, not Richard III this time….!

Great Tom came before Big Ben….!

  Now that it seems probable/possible that “Big Ben” will not be fully restored and ringing again until 2022, perhaps it is….ahem….timely to remember that he was not the first such huge bell, nor was the Elizabeth Tower the first bell tower to be erected close to Westminster Palace and Hall. There was a predecessor,… Continue reading Great Tom came before Big Ben….!

LOUIS IX OF FRANCE–THE BONES SPEAK

It is not just King Richard III who has had numerous scientific tests done on his mortal remains. Tests have also recently taken place on the jawbone of Louis IX of France who died in 1270 while on Crusade in Tunisia. Louis is also known as ‘The Saint’ and was the husband of Margaret of… Continue reading LOUIS IX OF FRANCE–THE BONES SPEAK