A Skipton ghost walk followed by a good meal at Richard’s Black Horse….

  “….THERE will be thrills and spills of a distinctly ghostly type in Skipton this month as stroke survivor Malcolm Hanson conducts his once-famous ghost walks around the town’s supernatural hot spots on Friday evenings….” The above extract is from the Craven Herald and I hope most sincerely that Malcolm’s ghost walks are a spooky… Continue reading A Skipton ghost walk followed by a good meal at Richard’s Black Horse….

Humpty-Dumpty and his wall were Richard III and his horse….!

Well, we’ve all heard versions of the true meaning of Humpty-Dumpty, including that it was a reference to a 17th-century cannon used in the Siege of Colchester. Oh and Humpty may also have been a drink of brandy boiled with ale. All nursery rhymes had beginnings somewhere, and also have some wild notions about their… Continue reading Humpty-Dumpty and his wall were Richard III and his horse….!

Some Shakespeare scenes re-written

Henry V DRIVER (presses bell) BUTLER (opens door) DRIVER: Mr. Monmouth? BUTLER: Sorry, he is busy at the moment. DRIVER: Dauphin’s Sporting Goods here. I have a delivery for him; can he spare a moment to sign for it? Otherwise I’ll probably have to take it back to the warehouse. BUTLER: He is with some… Continue reading Some Shakespeare scenes re-written

Chaucer’s Horse of Fame….

Oh, dear, sometimes typos are inadvertently funny. I’ve just been looking through a serious book on the history of English literature (I won’t identify it further, because it wouldn’t be fair – the work is serious). Anyway, we come to Chaucer‘s, um, Horse of Fame. Yes, you read it correctly. Horse, not House!

Medieval locks – the sort found on rivers, not doors.

We are all familiar with modern locks of the sort found on canals and rivers today. Two sets of gates, and a space between from which, or into which, water can be removed or added by mechanical means. Once the water level has risen or fallen (as required) the vessel can proceed. Medieval (and early… Continue reading Medieval locks – the sort found on rivers, not doors.

Watch out for fire if you see a “grant”….!

I’ve had cause to investigate a particular mythical creature of the English medieval period. It is mentioned in a fascinating chapter of Martyn Whittock’s Life in the Middle Ages, which concerns signs, marvels, dreams and so on. On page 224 of my copy I came upon the following:- “….Gervase [of Tilbury described] creatures he named… Continue reading Watch out for fire if you see a “grant”….!

The O’Donnells, the Four Masters and the Personnel of the Wars of the Roses

In the context of the current search for the remains of the Red Hugh O’Donnell who died in Spain in 1602, I thought that readers Murrey and Blue might be interested in a few vaguely Wars-of-the-Roses-related snippets from the O’Donnell history of the fifteenth century. In 1434 Red Hugh’s predecessor Niall Garbh O’Donnell was captured… Continue reading The O’Donnells, the Four Masters and the Personnel of the Wars of the Roses

The King of England and the King of Glam!

If you know me, you will know that, apart from Richard III, I have a passion for Marc Bolan, the leader of the ’70s rock group, T.Rex, and the initiator of Glam Rock. I could just as easily have titled this post ‘Ricardus Rex and T.Rex’! Having been concentrating on Richard over the last few… Continue reading The King of England and the King of Glam!

Digging up Britain’s Past

This Channel Five documentary has just completed a second series, with Alex Langlands and Raksha Dave, late of Time Team, in place of Helen Skelton. One particular episode was about Auckland Castle, where the “Prince Bishops” of Durham have lived for centuries and where archaeology is being carried out around the building. One of these… Continue reading Digging up Britain’s Past