What if Lullingstone’s royal visitor of the past were still in residence….?

The south wing of Lullingstone Castle in Kent is up for sale, as you can see in this article This is how I’ve learned that none other than Henry VII was once a regular visitor. Oh, ye gods. Imagine being a modern-day visitor who has get up on a winter’s night to look for the… Continue reading What if Lullingstone’s royal visitor of the past were still in residence….?

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….

Pristine Roman road discovered in Kent cellar….

Well, discovering treasures from the past doesn’t always take the form of buried hoards or items of priceless jewellery. Now a father and son who bought a shop in Rochester, Kent, were excavating in the cellar and found the above section of Roman road. It’s absolutely pristine. You can read about it and see more… Continue reading Pristine Roman road discovered in Kent cellar….

The Decline of Villeinage

The Peasants’ Revolt of 1381 is well-known, and it is often thought that the decline of serfdom, or villeinage, began at about this time. The truth is more complex. Like most English traditions, villeinage took a long time to pass and outlived its usefulness by many decades. Indeed Queen Elizabeth I still owned serfs –… Continue reading The Decline of Villeinage

The portrait at Hever Castle is more like Henry VI than Richard III….

I’ve seen this (awful!) portrait of Richard before. It just doesn’t look like him, more one of the invented Tudor versions of him, i.e. monstrous and evil, or weak and terrified of all things Tudor. This one fits the ‘weak and terrified’ mould, and if it were listed as a portrait of Henry VI, I’d… Continue reading The portrait at Hever Castle is more like Henry VI than Richard III….

Beautiful Chiddingstone was there BEFORE the Tudors, methinks….!

  Well, I think present-day Chiddingstone village is cleaner and healthier than it was in Tudor times, but it’s certainly very very beautiful. Mind you, it was there before the rotten Tudors! For instance “….The historical epicentre is the village shop [illustrated above] believed to be the oldest functioning shop in England, dating back to… Continue reading Beautiful Chiddingstone was there BEFORE the Tudors, methinks….!

Henry VII, the posh schoolboy….?

This Kent Online article, about Sir Henry Wyatt (1460–1536) of Allington Castle, seems to be anti-Richard, but actually goes some way to exonerating him. And while I having sneaking admiration for the cat (see illustration below) which saved Wyatt from starvation in prison by bringing him pigeons, she isn’t what riveted my attention on the… Continue reading Henry VII, the posh schoolboy….?

The story of the Crutched Friars in London….

The Priory of the Holy Cross, also known as the Crossed or Crutched Friars, near Tower Hill, was one of about forty-five religious houses and over one hundred parish churches in medieval London. Oh, how many of these wonderful buildings were lost forever in the Great Fire, never to be replaced? My recent contact with… Continue reading The story of the Crutched Friars in London….

The mystery of the vanished manor of Ostenhanger….

  There once was an Anglo-Saxon manor in the south of Kent called Berwic, which became known as Le Hangre, and was then split into two manors, Westenhanger and Ostenhanger. Westenhanger is still very much in evidence (see illustration above) but Ostenhanger as such has disappeared entirely. It’s still there really, of course, but was… Continue reading The mystery of the vanished manor of Ostenhanger….

Bone Detectives start with Thanet’s Bronze Age secrets….

I have just watched the first episode of Bone Detectives: Britain’s Buried Secrets, featuring Dr Tori Herridge and the delightful Raksha Dave, whom I remember from Time Team, but who is now much in TV evidence. In this new series we’re promised episodes from different periods and different places all over Britain, but this first… Continue reading Bone Detectives start with Thanet’s Bronze Age secrets….