murreyandblue

A great WordPress.com site

Archive for the tag “travel”

THE LOST CITY OF TRELLECH-FOUND

Once upon a time, back in the  Middle Ages, a large, thriving Welsh city existed between Monmouth and the village of Trellech. Its size was astounding for the day—it had 10,000 inhabitants (for comparison London had 40,000.) Another 10,000 souls may have lived in a shanty town along its edges.

What makes Trellech’s size particularly startling is that it reached this number in a mere 25 years, meaning that vast numbers of people must have been flooding into the area. This was undoubtedly something to do with the powerful de Clare lords, who held the local lands and used Trellech for smelting iron for their personal army.

Then…something happened. It possibly began with a  devastating raid over poaching deer, which destroyed a large portion of the town.  Then the Black Death roared in during the 1300’s, causing the population to drop dramatically. More trouble followed in the early 15th century when Owain Glyndwr was on the rampage in those debatable borderlands. By the time of the Civil War, the city had been completely abandoned, and soon nature reclaimed what was once its own, and grass grew over the walls of once mighty Trellech.

By modern times, it was mainly known through a few medieval documents and in local legend, its precise location lost and subject to much speculation, with many believing it was sited under the modern village of Trellech.

No one seemed terribly interested in definitively locating it and finding out if it was as extensive and important as claimed, although some earlier surveys were indicative. But then an enthusiastic young archaeologist, intrigued by the story of the lost city,  decided to use his life savings to buy the fields where folklore said Trellech stood.

And it turned out,  when the trenches were dug, that legend, this time, was correct.

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4083716/History-fan-spends-32-000-life-savings-buying-field-digs-discover-lost-medieval-city.html

trell

http://www.lostcityoftrellech.co.uk/

 

The project is ongoing, so if anyone is in the area and wishes to join in this summer, there are details in the second link.

Besides the archaeological site of the city, the nearby village of Trellech is itself worth a visit, with its Holy Well dedicated to saint Anne, the Grade I Church of Saint Nicholas, a castle motte called the Tump, a 16th C pub, and three enormous Bronze Age standing stones (Harold’s Stones) which are aligned on the Midwinter sunset.

 

 

Advertisements

Richard III and Dr Who together beneath one roof….?

belmont-hotel-leicester

The Belmont Hotel in Leicester has rooms to acknowledge the city’s claims to fame, including a Space Room, because of the National Space Centre and the university’s successful developments in space research since the 1960s. Former Dr Who, Colin Baker, came to advertise the new room. Possibly without the aid of the Tardis, but one can never be sure. He may even know Richard.

Another room is planned for Leicester City Football Club’s triumph in the 2o16 season, but for Ricardians, the main news will be that there is also a room to commemorate the discovery of Richard III!

http://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/doctor-who-adds-star-quality-to-hotel-s-new-space-room/story-30097471-detail/story.html

There is more concerning Dr Who and Richard III at :-

https://murreyandblue.wordpress.com/2017/03/04/the-doctor-at-bosworth/

The Battle of Stamford Bridge?

images

No, NOT this Stamford Bridge, but two hundred miles further north, somewhere by the River Derwent in the East Riding. So please try to avoid any more football references, except for the violent Norwegian game plan, the travel plans of the teams (sorry, armies) and the fixture congestion being contributory factors to the Anglo-Saxon defeat some three weeks later.

So here is a well-sourced, serious, specialist post

Tales of a Ricardian Traveler — Part Three: Ripon Cathedral and Richmond Castle

A blog about Ripon and Richmond Castle – the latter being one of Richard III’s possessions, including part of the Honour of Richmond.

RICARDIAN LOONS

Lady on Horseback Lady on Horseback, mid-15th c., British Museum

I admit I have a special fondness for the “third smallest city in England” – Ripon.  It’s located in North Yorkshire and is a bustling cathedral town, famous for its racetrack and the “Ripon Hornblower”. It’s also well-situated for making day trips to a plethora of Ricardian sites, including Middleham Castle, Barnard Castle, Sheriff Hutton, Jervaulx Abbey, Fountains Abbey, Coverham Abbey, and Skipton Castle.  It was the place where the Archbishop of York had one of his personal palaces, although all that remains of that nowadays is a stone archway on Kirkgate Street.  It has a wonderful little butcher shop that sells delicious pork pies, and a clutch of terrific pubs — One-Eyed Rat being my favorite.  Not bad for a 1,300-year old town that seems to have escaped the economic booms and ravages of…

View original post 1,054 more words

Tales of a Ricardian Traveler – Part Two: Rievaulx Abbey and Helmsley Castle

RICARDIAN LOONS

Lady on Horseback Lady on Horseback, mid-15th c., British Museum

My previous Travel Tales blog talked about the Forest of Bowland and Skipton.  Today, we’re going to two places that sometimes get forgotten by the traveler who is interested in visiting places having some Richard III connections:  Rievaulx Abbey and Helmsley Castle.

Rievaulx Abbey Rievaulx Abbey – Refectory and undercroft

From our temporary homebase in Ripon-Masham, we drove 30 miles to visit one of the gems of English medieval history.  Like Fountains and Byland Abbeys, Rievaulx was one of the great Cistercian monasteries of medieval Europe, and its ruins are said to be the “most complete” of any of the dissolved religious houses in England. It has one of the most spectacular natural settings within a deep valley in the North York Moors National Park; however, to take a photograph from the best vantage point one has to pay an admission price of…

View original post 673 more words

Tales of a Ricardian Traveler – Part One: Forest of Bowland and Skipton

RICARDIAN LOONS

Lady on Horseback Lady on Horseback, mid-15th c., British Museum

I am passionate about history and travel!  As soon as I got my passport, I was determined to go out and see the world with my own eyes, but more importantly, to encounter places associated with Richard III.  In his brief 32 years, he assembled what has been called by Professor Rosemary Horrox of Cambridge “the largest noble affinity of its day” — meaning, he owned a vast number of castles and estates that we can still visit in the UK.

For me, the most interesting period of Richard’s life as a man began in 1471 when he was only 17 years old and still living in the shadow of his older brothers Edward IV and George, Duke of Clarence. That was the year Richard returned from exile in Burgundy, led his first troops in combat at the Battles of Barnet and Tewkesbury…

View original post 1,173 more words

Travels in enemy territory (2006)

Arlington Court is not a particularly old building but it commemorates a family that can be traced back to the Battle of Hastings, with a twentieth century twist. It dates from 1820, however it is the third or possibly fourth grand house to occupy the same site since the sixteenth century. The grounds are extensive and the circular walk is reputed to take an hour; there is also a Carriage Museum. The whole estate lies about seven miles from Barnstaple.

Until 1949 it was the home of the Chichester family, Sir John having married a Ralegh heiress in 1385. The Chichesters were recusants from 1577 but maintained a loyalty to the Crown through the following centuries. Another John Chichester was awarded a Baronetcy in 1840 but left only one son and Sir Bruce’s only child was a daughter, “Miss Rosalie”.

It is through her eyes (1865-1949) that visitors see the present house, as she survived her father by sixty-eight years and her mother by forty-one. Her many collections, including model ships and family portraits, and individual style dominate the many rooms. Sir Bruce’s widow married one of his cousins, Rector of the adjacent parish of Shirwell, and his grandson was the 1967 solo circumnavigator Francis Chichester, knighted on board his Gypsy Moth IV. The National Trust, to whom she left the house and grounds, added a model of this to his “aunt’s” collection.

I am certain that she would have welcomed this posthumous augmentation.

Hatfield (2008)

Anniversary watch

Having marked the anniversaries of Rowland Taylor’s execution (Hadleigh 1555) and Thomas Stafford’s landing (Scarborough 1557); I took the train to Hatfield yesterday. The estate is immediately opposite the station, on a Cambridge-London line, and the house is ten minutes’ walk from the entrance. It is E-shaped and guided tours explore all except the private wing in just over an hour. The house was not actually built until later but (Princess) Elizabeth was sitting under a tree in November 1558 when she heard of her accession, living in a smaller property on the estate. The day was rather too hot for me to visit the tree but it was pointed out that another Princess Elizabeth succeeded whilst staying in “Treetops”!

Hatfield became the chief home of Robert Cecil, key advisor in the last years of her reign and has developed on the inside in recent years. Windows in the chapel feature a typical selection of biblical scenes although the “pyramids” closely resemble modern traffic cones! The Cecil family, Earls and Marquises of Salisbury, have included one Prime Minister and their distant cousins include Bamber Gascoigne.

A return to the East Riding (2007)

I had visited York twice before, the first time with my primary school thirty years ago, and am thus familiar with the classic medieval and subsequent attractions. On my second visit, my late mother and I went to the same venues, thus I was determined to visit the subsequently built Jorvik centre.

In this I was thwarted because our visit was limited to ninety minutes on a Friday afternoon, one of the disadvantages of using a hotel in Middlesborough. Having walked as far as the Minster, I discovered that the Richard III Museum was close at hand. This entertaining little gem is inside Monk Bar and thus very difficult for the disabled visitor. Jorvik will just have to wait until next time.

Saturday was far more satisfactory. Whilst Cardinal Morton is reputed to have an adverse effect upon the weather when Ricardians go on tour, Mary “Tudor” has yet to develop such influence. There was some bad weather – a veritable downpour over the fishing village of Filey in the morning – that extended our visit to Scarborough. Here, a mere six miles away, the weather was fine and I made an immediate beeline for the famous Castle.

This great structure was held by Richard during his brief reign and, apart from the 1557 rebellion, was attacked during the Pilgrimage of Grace and slighted in the Civil War after a long siege. If you wish to hear the official line on Thomas Stafford’s capture of the castle, take an official audio guide and dial 21 at the right moment.

Scarborough also includes a Richard III House, which I was unable to reach, but I had one surprise. Anne Bronte’s grave is adjacent and her date of death was ……… 28 May.

On Sunday, we were allocated three hours in Whitby.  The main attractions here are the Abbey, a Captain James Cook Museum and a Dracula theme. I had just enough time for the Abbey and a nice lunch near the coach park. The Abbey was first managed by Saxon princesses and, at the Reformation, sold to the Cholmley family, one of whom was the Royalist leader who tried to defend Scarborough Castle. Sir Hugh, like Lord Capell, had been a Parliamentarian when the Civil War and his family were to recover on the Restoration.

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: