Great Tom came before Big Ben….!

  Now that it seems probable/possible that “Big Ben” will not be fully restored and ringing again until 2022, perhaps it is….ahem….timely to remember that he was not the first such huge bell, nor was the Elizabeth Tower the first bell tower to be erected close to Westminster Palace and Hall. There was a predecessor,… Continue reading Great Tom came before Big Ben….!

Secrets of the Royal Palaces (C5)

I am rather enjoying this series, with visits to Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, Balmoral and others, historians such as Kate Williams, Janina Ramirez and Anna Whitelock and art specialists like Jacky Klein as well as Viscountess Hinchingbrooke and several eminent journalists. There is a lot of useful information about English and British monarchs from the… Continue reading Secrets of the Royal Palaces (C5)

Torre Abbey, with the Legendary Ten Seconds

This is another Legendary Ten Seconds production, principally about the ancient building in Torquay, but it is one track on an album about the wider history of Torbay. Torre Abbey, which dated from about 1096, was dissolved without significant resistance in 1539 and is principally an art gallery as well as part of the Agatha… Continue reading Torre Abbey, with the Legendary Ten Seconds

“World’s Greatest Palaces” …

… is another excellent series on the “Yesterday” Channel. Last night I watched the fourth episode, about Kensington, the influence of architects such as Wren and Hawksmoor, the evolution of the building, the creation of the Serpentine Lake and the monarchs and their relatives who have lived there. These include William III and Mary II,… Continue reading “World’s Greatest Palaces” …

The real life of the last Stuart

Television history is rarely focused upon Anne (left), except as the final act of the Stuart drama like this or her unfortunate reproductive history in this series. Discussion is, therefore, reduced to the cliches of her fragile family, her weight and her fondness for brandy. She is also omitted from most dramatisations of the time, such… Continue reading The real life of the last Stuart

Where our dead kings and queens are buried….

This link is to a brief article about a book about where our kings and queens are buried. I have not read the book, British Royal Tombs by Aiden Dodson, so cannot comment upon it. You’ll find it here on Amazon I believe the image below is taken from the book.

A new interpretation of 1580s events

We all know that Mary Stuart was beheaded at Fotheringhay on 8 February 1587 and that the Spanish Armada sailed to facilitate a Catholic invasion of England in the following year, leaving Lisbon on 28 May and fighting naval battles in late July, at Plymouth and Portland. The traditional view is that Mary Stuart’s execution… Continue reading A new interpretation of 1580s events

Art, Passion and Power: The Story of the Royal Collection

Andrew Graham-Dixon has been on our screens for almost a quarter of a century; – he is tall, slightly grey, drawls a little and is an excellent art historian. His latest series tells the story of the Royal art collection – from Henry VIII and Holbein, Charles I and van Dyck, the Protectorate selling the… Continue reading Art, Passion and Power: The Story of the Royal Collection

Lucy does the Glorious Revolution

Did anyone watch the second episode of Lucy Worsley’s fib-busting series last night? I didn’t quite make it to the end because I was so tired, but saw enough to understand that she did to James VII/II exactly what she did with Richard III. By that I mean she concentrated on the deeds/misdeeds of the… Continue reading Lucy does the Glorious Revolution

Echoes of Minster Lovell?

In 1708, a skeleton is supposed to have been found in a secret chamber of the ruins of Minster Lovell Hall. The legend is that this pertains to Francis, Viscount Lovell, who was known to have fought at Stoke Field in 1487, suggesting that he may have fled back to his home to hide and… Continue reading Echoes of Minster Lovell?