In 1376 King Edward III granted the manors of Vastern and Wootton to his son Edmund, Earl of Cambridge. The manors adjoin, with Wootton know better known as Royal Wootton Basset, Wiltshire. Vastern Manor still exists, although it has been extensively rebuilt. The core of the stucture is, however, said to be fifteenth century. It… Continue reading Vastern – a little known Yorkist manor
I remember the good old days when a visit to Stonehenge meant actually walking around inside it, instead of having to view it from paths at a distance. You could just park and walk, without all the razzmatazz that applies today. Some people even sat on the lower stones! Shock, horror. Closing the monument off… Continue reading Medieval thoughts of Stonehenge and the solstices….?
Stonehenge is an endless source of curiosity and speculation, with theories abounding and routes/methods considered in considerable depth. Even Merlin gets a look-in, believing by some to have flown the stones from Wales to Wiltshire by means of magic. Well, that’s always a possibility, because Merlin was, perhaps still is, the greatest wizard there ever… Continue reading Stonehenge removed and rebuilt….
Ela of Salisbury has been called a ‘towering female figure of the 13th’ century by historian Linda Elizabeth Mitchell. However, outside of some quarters in Wiltshire, she is not terribly well known. What is even less commented on than her accomplishments is her genealogy. She is a foremother to Richard III and Edward IV in… Continue reading Ela of Salisbury, Sheriff, Abbess, and Ancestor of Kings
I came upon this article, in Wales Online, not because of the gross over-claiming of expenses by certain members of the Welsh Assembly, but because one member of said Assembly happens to live in a beautiful and historic Wiltshire manor house. Toward the end of the article you’ll find the following: “….The historic building… Continue reading Collingbourne’s nice little pad in Wiltshire….
There are so many wonderful old buildings nestling away in the British countryside. We are so lucky to still have them. Beautiful 15th-century Great Chalfield Manor in Wiltshire was “loved back to life by an Edwardian engineer, Robert Fuller, and his scholarly architect, Sir Harold Brakspear”. Now it has been rescued again. “. . .… Continue reading A house that has been loved back to life, twice. . . .
The following passage is from The Darlington and Stockton Times “The rat, the cat and Lovel our dog, Rule all England under a hog.” “This seemingly innocuous verse was in fact a searing criticism of those in power at the time it was written in 1484, and was found pinned to the door of St… Continue reading Colyngbourne was the rat….!
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
Sometimes, in this very old country of ours, even a simple afternoon’s walk out along the river can come up with some rewarding historical data relating to the Middle Ages and the Wars of the Roses period. Recently I went for a walk near the Wiltshire Avon, from Figheldean to Netheravon, taking in two little-known… Continue reading A History Walk in Wiltshire
This piece, “Christ Blessing”, as rediscovered recently in the Holy Trinity Church, Bradford-on-Avon, is by the Flemish artist Quentin Metsys the Elder (1466-1530), not his grandson (c.1543-89). How fortunate that it appears to have saved the church.