During lockdown, I found myself walking around local villages, some that I had only passed through before. An interesting one was Orcheston, a tiny, sleepy place which has not one, but TWO medieval churches, St George’s and St Mary’s, one set at either end of the village. Both were interesting to visit but what was… Continue reading ORCHESTON & THE DUKES OF BUCKINGHAM
Salisbury Grey Friars has all but disappeared from the archaeological record. Founded in 1225-8 , it was never a very large house, situated near the still impressive medieval St Ann’s Gate leading into Salisbury’s Cathedral Close. At the reformation, Grey Friars was destroyed and any extant buildings and stonework sold off and re-used (several… Continue reading SALISBURY GREY FRIARS–BUCKINGHAM’S BURIAL SITE?
In the sleepy little village of Lowick in Northamptonshire stands a fine medieval church with a tall octagonal ‘lantern’ tower that bears some similarity to that at Fotheringhay. It is normally kept locked but if you are very, very lucky you can track down the key in the village. There are many fine tomb effigies… Continue reading Buckingham’s Cousin: the Quiet Stafford
Richard’s childhood frequently gets some coverage in novels of his life, but THE ROAD FROM FOTHERINGHAY is the only novel, to my knowledge, that is ONLY about Richard’s youngest years, set against the wider backdrop of The Wars of the Roses. It is also one of only two in which the story is told from… Continue reading THE ROAD FROM FOTHERINGHAY-New Novel about Richard III’s Childhood
There’s a new book on Henry VI and Margaret of Anjou coming out, in which historian Lauren Johnson surmises that the over-pious Henry VI may have had a few problems in the bedroom department and hence had attendants who would ‘guide’ him in the ways of love. Henry was a notably prudish man who once… Continue reading Henry VI’s Bed-Chamber Tutor?
Most old castles will have graffiti both old and new pecked into their stonework somewhere. People like to leave A symbol for posterity (often unfortunately.) Very few ancient buildings, however, have the owner’s name graven into them for for eternity. Not so at Caldicot in Wales. If you walk around to the back of the… Continue reading STATEMENT IN STONE
This very informative BBC documentary, presented by Dr. Bendor Grosvenor, showed how a portrait, presently on display in Glasgow, was proved to be an original Rubens. George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham, was a courtier and soldier, serving under both James VI/I and Charles I as well as being a possible partner of the former.… Continue reading A cursed title?
Littlecote House in Wiltshire, now a Warner’s hotel (those with very long memories might remember it as a sort of theme park/tourist attraction in the 1980’s) is considered to be one of England’s most haunted houses. Amongst the many spooks that haunt its halls is a burning baby, said to be the spirit of a… Continue reading THE DARRELLS OF LITTLECOTE
The Duke of Buckingham is rather a ‘dark horse’ figure in the history of Richard III. No one knows for sure why he aided Richard to take the throne only to turn upon him in rebellion a few months later. Simplistic ideas such as ‘he repented of his ways after the princes were murdered’ don’t… Continue reading A MAN WHO WOULD BE KING: THE DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM AND RICHARD III
Once upon a time, in Northampton, there was a horrid, huge, concrete bus station known locally as the ‘Mouth of Hell.’ It was, to the relief of many, destroyed earlier this year. Now there are proposals for a new series of shops, cinemas and even a trampolining centre on the site. While that is an… Continue reading NORTHAMPTON GREYFRIARS IN THE NEWS