‘Great magician, damned Glendower'(Part 3.)

Owain‘s service to Arundel included taking part in the naval victory over the French in 1387 in which a wine fleet was captured. Such was the booty that the price of wine in England fell through the floor. He may well also have been involved in Arundel’s attack on the French coast a few months… Continue reading ‘Great magician, damned Glendower'(Part 3.)

A mystery at the Swan Inn at Clare, Suffolk….

On reading the February 2021 edition of the Mortimer History Society’s publication, Mortimer Matters, I was intrigued by an article (by Hugh Wood) about a curious piece of carved and painted wood. “….Brightening up the front of the Swan Inn in Clare in Suffolk is this colourful piece of carved wood. Its shape suggests that… Continue reading A mystery at the Swan Inn at Clare, Suffolk….

Unwanted heirs? The Mortimers in the 1390s

It has been established now that Roger Mortimer, Earl of March, was declared heir to the throne by Parliament in 1386 – not 1385 as commonly believed. This Parliament was very much at odds with Richard II (it set up a one-year Commission to run most of his affairs, much to Richard’s displeasure.) So it… Continue reading Unwanted heirs? The Mortimers in the 1390s

The Yorkist Connection to Cranborne in Dorset

Cranborne is a little village tucked away in the Dorset countryside. The roads leading to it are small and narrow, with very high hedges, and driving there can be a bit of a nightmare if you should meet up with a farm vehicle or delivery lorry (frequent)! However, it seems to have been heavily visited… Continue reading The Yorkist Connection to Cranborne in Dorset

The Mortimer Succession.

It used to be suggested that Roger Mortimer, Earl of March, was nominated as Richard II’s successor in the Parliament of 1385, but this was questioned by historians due to lack of supporting evidence. It appears that March was in fact so nominated in the Parliament of 1386. (Source – (Ian Mortimer, ‘Richard II and… Continue reading The Mortimer Succession.

Plantagenet Ireland and Poynings’ Law

It is fair to say that most medieval English kings had little interest in Ireland except as a source of revenue. (The same was probably true about England and Wales but it seems too cynical to say it, and at least they did live there.) Prior to the Bruce invasion, Ireland yielded between £5000 and… Continue reading Plantagenet Ireland and Poynings’ Law

Was Sir Gawain’s head still displayed in Dover Castle in 1485….?

One of the greatest of Arthur’s knights was Sir Gawain, hero of (among other legends) the tale of the Green Knight. There is some very interesting information about Gawain here: I always knew that the Welsh tradition has Gawain (Welsh – Gwalchmai) buried as follows:- “The grave of Gwalchmai in Peryddon, as a disgrace to… Continue reading Was Sir Gawain’s head still displayed in Dover Castle in 1485….?

STATEMENT IN STONE

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

The owner of Wigmore Abbey

For everyone who enjoyed Only Fools and Horses, and then The Green Green Grass, the gentleman in the above photograph will be familiar as “Boycie”. But what might not be so well known about the actor, John Challis, is that for the last twenty years he and his wife, Carol, have owned and lived in… Continue reading The owner of Wigmore Abbey