ENGLAND & WALES


-JUNE 2011-

ALL PHOTOS © RUUD LEEUW

 

 

Driving from Scotland into England, we changed the itinerary in a minor way, cancelling an intended visit, gaining a day on our itinerary that way and seeking a different place for an overnight stay.

Visit England 2011 - Lowther Castle 


In Penrith I had hoped to visit Brougham Castle, but finding a rather visitor-unfriendly parkingsystem in Penrith' town centre and unsatisfactory signposting for the castle, I abandoned the idea in disgust. In our B&B we had seen a flyer of the Lowther Castle and Gardens so decided to go there.

The ruined castle and gardens at Lowther stand on a limestone escarpment at the Northern edge of the Lake District National Park. Finding the castle buildings in scaffolding and surrounded by huge cranes, my initial reaction was to return to our car. But what about those gardens?

 

Visit England 2011 - Lowther Castle

The 130 acres of gardens and grounds were opened to visitors once in 1938, but after being used to test a secret tank weapon during WW2, the place was dismantled and abandoned.
Now the castle, its massive stables, gardens and over 140 acres of parkland are once again being brought to life.
www.lowther.co.uk

More here: www.visitcumbria.com/pen/lowther-castle.htm

 

Visit England 2011 - Lowther Castle
The abandoned garden were one of England's greatest gardens, once famous, but unseen for 70 years.
Well, one has to look closely (and don't stay on the paths!) to find theovergrown gardens,
but I found that discovery trip so much fun to do!
www.lowthercastle.org

More photos on Flickr.com

 
 

 

Not in our original plan, we decided to take a brief glimpse in the famous Lake District. And of course it rained, but that made a stop for tea and scones in a nice historic bar-restaurant so elegant and cozy!

Visit England 2011 - Lake District

Visit England 2011 - Windermere
We drove to Keswick but found it overrun by tourists and quite impossible to park the car anywhere near the centre.
So we continued to Windermere, which I found much smaller than I'd ever envisaged. A brief glimpse in a dismal WH Smith bookshop and after thirty minutes we were on our way again!

Visit England 2011
Couldn't get a decent word out of these troubadours!

 
 

 

Visit England 2011
We thought it might be nice to spend a night in one of the British seaside towns and went to Morecambe. We were offered a fair deal at the Clarendon Hotel. Unfortunately the WiFi connection reached only as far as the lobby and the bar (one goes through cyberspace so much more pleasant on a Guinness!). Shops in the run down area were frequently boarded up and we found only one decent diner in walking distance: Frank & Benny's. Quite the seaside town.
I cannot imagine a stay in Morecambe for more than one night.

 
 

 

Visit England 2011
The earlier part of this trip, in Scotland, was spent 'in the footsteps of Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots'. But she came to her end in England! She was beheaded (1587) in Fotheringhay Castle and although it was off our route we
decided to visit the site.
There isn't much left of the castle, but the church more than makes up for it.

A Norman motte castle was first built on the north side of the River Nene by Simon de Senlis, Earl of Northampton around 1100.
The large motte, which was topped with a polygonal stone shell keep, was surrounded by large water-filled moat. The inner bailey was protected by ramparts and a ditch. This enclosed a great hall and domestic buildings.
The larger outer bailey was guarded by a gatehouse and a lake which was crossed by a bridge.
William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke held the castle in the early 13th century. It was later passed to Ranulf, Earl of Chester. In 1232 John of Scotland, Earl of Huntingdon became Earl of Chester through Ranulph, his maternal uncle. After John died five years later, Henry III of England acquired Fotheringhay and Chester Castle from Ranulph's sisters through purchase. The king gave both castles to his son Prince Edward.
During the Second Barons' War, Fotheringhay and Chester Castle were taken by Robert de Ferrers, 6th Earl of Derby. He held them from 1264 to 1265.
Mary, Queen of Scots, who had spent much of her 18 years of imprisonment at Sheffield Castle and Sheffield Manor, spent her final days at Fotheringhay, where she was tried and convicted of treason. Mary was only given the verdict the day before her execution, and spent her final night praying in the castle's small chapel. She was beheaded on a scaffold in the castle's great hall on 8 February 1587.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fotheringhay_Castle


Visit England 2011
Fotheringhay Castle how it once may have looked:
www.richardiii.net/images/fotheringhay_castle_rowe.gif

There is virtually nothing left of the castle since it was slighted and dismantled in the seventeenth century on the orders of King James I. The parish church has been altered over the years, and is rather shorter now
than it was in the medieval period.
Richard III was born in the castle and legend has it that he was baptised in the church, though this event may have taken place in the castle chapel.
The church is large, too large for the size of its present parish, and filled with light. The windows are huge and the medieval coloured glass almost completely gone.
www.richardiii.net/fotheringhay.htm

 

Visit England 2011

Visit England 2011

Visit England 2011

Visit England 2011

Visit England 2011  Visit England 2011

Visit England 2011

Visit England 2011

More photos on Flickr.com

 
 

 

After our detour for Fotheringhay Castle (meeting considerable difficulty in finding accommodation in the area, which we finally found in Easton-on-the-Hill) we headed west again for Kenilworth Castle.
This castle we had visited in another century!

Visit England 2011 Kenilworth Castle

Visit England 2011 Kenilworth Castle

Constructed from Norman through to Tudor times, the castle has been described by architectural historian Anthony Emery as "the finest surviving example of a semi-royal palace of the later middle ages, significant for its scale, form and quality of workmanship". Kenilworth has also played an important historical role. The castle was the subject of the six-month long
Siege of Kenilworth in 1266, believed to be the longest siege in English history!
Kenilworth also formed a base for Lancastrian operations in the War of the Roses. Kenilworth was also the scene of the removal of Edward II from the English throne, the French insult to Henry V in 1414 (said by John Strecche to have encouraged the Agincourt campaign), and the Earl of Leicester's lavish reception of Elizabeth I in 1575.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenilworth_Castle


Visit England 2011
Kenilworth was partly destroyed by Parliamentary forces in 1649 to prevent
it being used as a military stronghold. Ruined, only two of its buildings
remain habitable today. The castle became a tourist destination from the
18th century onwards, becoming famous in the Victorian period following the
publishing of Sir Walter Scott's novel Kenilworth in 1826.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenilworth_Castle

Visit England 2011

The first castle at Kenilworth was built 50 years after the Norman conquest when Henry I gave the Royal Estate of Stoneleigh to Geoffrey de Clinton. Henry II took over the castle 50 years later, to counter an attack from his
son’s rebel army. It was then extended by King John, who also transformed the Mere (great lake) into one of the Castle’s most illustrious features and the country’s largest manmade lake.
www.kenilworthweb.co.uk/menu/places-of-interest/kenilworth-castle


Visit England 2011

Visit England 2011
We found tourism here on a much grander scale than we remembered from our previous visit.
Also the Elizabethan garden (lost for 400 years!) had been added in the meantime. Queen Elizabeth I had granted Kenilworth Castle to her favourite, Robert Dudley, in 1563 and he spent a fortune transforming it into a luxurious palace fit to receive his queen and her court.
http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/kenilworth-castle/

Visit England 2011

Kenilworth stayed in royal hands until 1253, when the King’s brother-in-law Simon de Montfort (Earl of Leicester) was made governor by Henry III. De Montfort fell foul of Henry III in leading a popular baronial revolt for reform, after which he founded the first parliament in 1265. Simon de Montfort was killed in the battle of Evesham in 1265 and his body dismembered.
http://www.kenilworthweb.co.uk/menu/places-of-interest/kenilworth-castle

De Montfort was the youngest son of Simon de Montfort, a French nobleman and crusader, and Alix de Montmorency. In January 1238, de Montfort married Eleanor of England, daughter of King John and Isabella of Angoulême and sister of King Henry III.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_de_Montfort,_6th_Earl_of_Leicester

 

Visit England 2011

Visit England 2011
The stables house a nice coffee corner, as well as a very informative display on the history of Kenilworth Castle
and Great Britain in those days.

Visit England 2011

Visit England 2011
Nice to see my initials over the doorway! Actually, R.L. stands for Robert Leicester
(a.k.a. Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Dudley,_1st_Earl_of_Leicester

Visit England 2011

Visit England 2011
This huge tapestry was very, very costly when it was made and priceless these days!

Visit England 2011


More photos of Kenilworth Castle on Flickr.com  
 

 

Visit England 2011

We stopped for the night in another historic market town: Alcester, which is located in Warwickshire and isn't too far from Stratford-upon-Avon (which we did not visit this time).
We found lodgings in the Swan Hotel, which is in fact a pub providing a B&B service. It served rather a adequate-to-poor breakfast; not really recommended.
We dined in the Cellar Indian Restaurant & Bar, a very nice setting and good food albeit not inexpensive.
The town centre is nice for an evening stroll, so we did.

 

Visit England 2011

Below church we came across in Pershore, but we found it closed and we noticed it even had a burglar alarm installed.
Visit England 2011

 

 

Visit England 2011

Ledbury is an ancient borough, dating back to around 690AD. In the Domesday Book it was recorded as Liedeberge, and returned members to Parliament in the reign of Edward I. Ledbury probably takes its name from the River Leadon, on which it stands. The Old English berg (hill) has been added to the river name. The Feathers at Ledbury was a famous 16th century drover's inn.
Ledbury was once home to the poetess Elizabeth Barrett Browning, who spent her childhood days at Hope End. It is also the birthplace of poet laureate John Masefield, after whom the local secondary school is now named - John Masefield High School (JMHS). William Wordsworth's sonnet St. Catherine of Ledbury, dated 1835, begins "When ... Ledbury bells broke forth in concert".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ledbury


Visit England 2011

Visit England 2011
Remember the fallen...

Visit England 2011
Ledbury is a town in Herefordshire, England, located east of Hereford, and south of the Malvern Hills.
Today, Ledbury is a thriving market town in rural England. The town has a large number of timber framed buildings, in particular along Church Lane and High Street. One of Ledbury's most outstanding buildings is the Market House, built in 1617, located in the centre of the town.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ledbury


In spite of our upcoming visit to the booktown Hay-on-Wye, we spent quite a considerable sum in the bookshop here too!

 

 
 

 

Onto our next destination; Hay-on-Wye, the booktown!

Visit England 2011 - Hay-on-Wye

Hay-on-Wye (Welsh: Y Gelli Gandryll), often described as "the town of books", is a small market town and community in Powys, Wales. The town lies on the east bank of the River Wye and is within the Brecon Beacons National Park, just north of the Black Mountains. The town is situated just within the Welsh side of the border with Herefordshire, England,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hay-on-Wye

Visit England 2011

This small market town is a mecca for second-hand book lovers and browsers of antiquarian bookshops. This was our 3rd visit over the years. The current population of Hay-on-Wye is approximately 1500 and numbers 30+ bookshops.
www.hay-on-wye.co.uk

Visit England 2011

Visit England 2011
Books are on display and for sale in a wide variety of locations; sometimes there is hardly room to move around, other places resemble bookstores at home. One finds his or her way going doing cellars or upstairs, going
through boxes or craning ones neck reciting booktitles.

Visit England 2011
Richard Booth's Bookshop (above) was one of my favourites (others were Cinema Bookshop and the one opposite the castle: Hay-on-Wye Booksellers) and it is only appropriate it is located on 44 Lion Street! (my family name 'Leeuw' means Lion).
www.boothbooks.co.uk

Visit England 2011
Recommended B&B here: Hay Stables on Oxford Road.

More photos on Flickr.com

 
 

 

Visit England 2011 - Nunney Castle

Nunney Castle is a castle in Nunney, Somerset, England. Built in the late 14th century by Sir John Delamare on the profits of his involvement in the Hundred Years War, the moated castle's architectural style, possibly
influenced by the design of French castles, has provoked considerable academic debate. Remodelled during the late 16th century, Nunney Castle was damaged during the English Civil War and is now ruined.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nunney_Castle

 

Visit England 2011

During the Civil Wars (1642-51) Cromwell's men used cannon to blast a great hole in the north wall of the castle, forcing the garrison to surrender.
The badly damaged wall finally collapsed in 1910.
www.castlexplorer.co.uk/england/nunney/nunney.php

 

Visit England 2011

Visit England 2011

Perhaps the historic Church of All Saints is an even nicer place to visit here in Nunney!
When we found the door unlocked, we were soon followed in by an amicable caretaker, who explained much of the history and the trouble to provide for funding for a desperately needed new roof (see church roof appeal on: http://nunneychurchroof.blogspot.com/ )

 

Visit England 2011

Nunney Church of All Saints - remodelled during 13th century and again early 16th century, the aisles were rebuilt after 1802.
Coursed and squared Doulting rubble, ashlar dressings, double Roman, plain and irritation stone tile roofs.
Cruciform plan, 3-bays aisled nave, West tower with entrance, South door and porch.
Late 13th century tracery to East window, and to South chancel windows.
Early 14th century reticulated windows to North and South transepts.
Aisles have foliated lancets with folked heads of 2-lights and quatrefoils; above crenellated parapets. 3-stage tower, carved panel over West window, diagonal buttresses, crennellations, crocketed finials, small stair turret to centre of South side. Interior largely plastered, with lowered ceiling to Nave.
South transept has numerous monuments including vertical ledges to members of the Sambourne family.
In body of church medieval wall painting on forth arcade, Royal arms over South door of 1660.
18th Century panelled pulpit, and 12th century tub font with gadrooning with pyramidal tester inscribed W.S. 1681.
www.imagesofengland.org.uk/details/default.aspx?id=266796

 

Visit England 2011

Visit England 2011

More photos on Flickr.com

 
 

 

Winchester has historic importance as it replaced Dorchester-on-Thames as the de facto capital of the ancient kingdom of Wessex in about 686 after King Caedwalla of Wessex defeated King Atwald of Wight. Although it was not the only town to have been the capital, it was established by King Egbert as the main city in his kingdom in 827.
The town was part of a series of fortifications along the south coast.
Built by Alfred to protect the Kingdom, they were known as 'burhs'. The medieval city walls, built on the old Roman walls, are visible in places.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winchester

Visit England 2011 - Winchester

Winchester Castle was founded in 1067. Only the Great Hall exists now; it houses a museum of the history of Winchester.
Between 1222–1235, Henry III (who was born at Winchester Castle) added the Great Hall; it is built of flint with stone dressings. Extensions to the castle were made by Edward II.
On November 17, 1603 Sir Walter Raleigh went on trial for treason for his supposed part in the Main Plot in the converted Great Hall.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winchester_Castle

 

Visit England 2011 - Round Table

The Great Hall and Round Table at Winchester.
The first and finest of all 13th century halls of medieval England it is proclaimed and it boasted to house King Arthur's Round Table! In fact it has been found to have been constructed in the late 13th century, and
painted in its present form for King Henry VIII, which is remarkable all the same.
The table is 5.5 metres in diameter, weighing 1200kg and is constructed from English oak.
More on the myth can be read here:
http://www3.hants.gov.uk/greathall/roundtable.htm

 

Visit England 2011 - Winchester
One side of the Great Hall is dedicated to a registry of 'the powers that be' once upon a time

Visit England 2011

Visit England 2011

Visit England 2011
Re-creation of a medieval garden called Queen Eleanor's Garden.

Visit England 2011

 
 

 

Visit England 2011 -Grafitti
Rather stylish grafitti in a side street in Winchester

 
 

 

Visit England 2011 - Trains at Alresford

Alresford (pronounced Allsford) is a picturesque Georgian Town, which for many centuries was a prosperous wool town.
Old Alresford is mentioned in the Domesday Book, but the present town of New Alresford (about 8 miles east of Winchester) did not come into existence much before 1200 at the time when the Great Weir was being built to create Old Alresford Pond as a reservoir for the Mills along the Itchen.
www.alresford.org

 

Visit England 2011 - Trains at Alresford

Visit England 2011 - Trains at Alresford

The Watercress Line steam railway,
www.watercressline.co.uk/Home

The Watercress Line is the marketing name of the Mid-Hants Railway, a heritage railway in Hampshire, England, running 10 miles (16 km) from New Alresford to Alton where it connects to the National Rail network. The line gained its popular name in the days that it was used to transport locally grown watercress to markets in London.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watercress_Line

 

Visit England 2011 - Trains at Alresford

The Mid Hants Railway opened in 1865. London & South Western Railway agreed to take over and run the line, providing the locomotives and rolling stock whilst the Mid Hants Railway provided the station staff. Today our railway is staffed by a dedicated team of skilled staff and over 450 volunteers whose objective is to preserve part of the country’s railway heritage for your generations to come.
The railway was once used to transport passengers as well as local Watercress and other produce up to market at Covent Garden and beyond and was a diversionary route for BR when engineering work was undertaken on the south west mainline. The Mid Hants railway is one of the steepest graded lines in the country with a ruling gradient of 1 in 60, pretty steep for a railway. Such is the effort required by man and machine to crest the summit at Medstead & Four Marks, this became known as ‘Going over the Alps’.
www.visitwinchester.co.uk/site/things-to-do/p_13471

 

Visit England 2011 - Trains at Alresford
All aboooaaaaaard...

Visit England 2011 - Trains at Alresford

Visit England 2011 - Trains at Alresford

Visit England 2011 - Trains at Alresford

Visit England 2011 - Trains at Alresford

Visit England 2011 - Trains at Alresford
Hooking up for the returntrip; not much room to get things done.

Visit England 2011 - Trains at Alresford


More photos on Flickr.com  
 

 

Visit England 2011 - Alresford
One more historic church to visit...

Visit England 2011 - Alresford

Visit England 2011 - Alresford

The Liberty of Alresford or Alresforda', which comprised the parishes of Old Alresford, New Alresford and Medstead, was probably granted by Cynegils (King of the West Saxons from 611 to 643 AD) to the Bishop of Winchester upon his baptism and admission into the Christian faith.

At the beginning of the 13th century Godfrey de Lucy, Bishop of Winchester, enlarged the fishpond supplying his palace at Bishops Sutton by constructing the Great Weir at Alresford. He then replanned New Alresford in the pattern existing today, thus expanding another market for trade and commerce in his vast estates throughout Wessex. This market established some 120 families each having a town dwelling together with strips of arable land in the Common Fields together with a seat or pew in the parish church.

As did many towns, over the years Alresford suffered the ravages of a number of fires. During the seventeenth century four serious outbreaks are recorded, the most disastrous occurring in 1689.

Records and photographs concerning the rebuilt church in 1689 are available and give an accurate picture of the building prior to the reconstruction by Sir Arthur Blomfield in 1898. In these we find that the western tower and perimeter walls of the body of the Church had been saved and, with a new tile covered roof and smaller chancel, divine worship was resumed within four years.
www.stjohnsalresford.org.uk/history.html

Visit England 2011 - Alresford

Visit England 2011 - Alresford Visit England 2011 - Alresford

More photos of Alresford on Flickr.com

 
 

 

Visit England 2011 - Alresford
The Millennium Trail links footpaths around the town with illustrated boards that give information on the history of Alresford, its inhabitants, wildlife and countryside setting. The walk is about one mile.
www.alresford.org

Visit England 2011 - Alresford

Watercress has always grown wild in the chalk streams and ditches in and around Alresford and was probably picked and eaten, by the local people, for centuries. Watercress is far too perishable to be transported by horse and cart along poor roads and so it was not until the coming of the railway to Alresford in 1865 that it became a commercial proposition to transport the crop to London and the Midlands. Cress could be picked in the afternoon, transported by cart to Alresford Station in the evening and be on sale in Covent Garden, London in the early hours of the following morning.
Hampshire is still the main producing area in the country.
More on this: www.alresford.org/info_pages/cress.php

 

Visit England 2011 - Alresford
Our trailguide checking his GPS..? Or simply Stuart getting to grips with his small idiot-proof camera..?

Visit England 2011 - Alresford

Visit England 2011 - Hospital of St Cross
I'd bought a nice print of the Hospital of St.Cross in Alresford and Stuart
recognised the place. With minor difficulty, avoiding the cowpads, I found
the approximate location for a present day photo.

Nestled in the water meadows alongside the River Itchen, in the shadow of St Catherine's Hill and only 20 minutes walk from the centre of Winchester, lies the unique Hospital of St Cross.
The Hospital, which is England's oldest continuing almshouse, comprises a group of grade I listed medieval and Tudor buildings, including a medieval hall and tower, Tudor cloister, Norman church and gardens reflecting a seventeenth century connection with North America. The term "Hospital", in this context, has the same origin as "hospitality" and for over 850 years St Cross has provided food and shelter to people in need. It has been home to the Master and Brethren of St Cross since medieval times and today visitors can still receive the Wayfarer's Dole (a small beaker of beer and a morsel of bread).
www.stcross.f2s.com

 

Visit England 2011 - Hospital of St Cross
The Hospital of St Cross and Almshouse of Noble Poverty is a medieval almshouse in Winchester, England, founded between 1133 and 1136. It is the oldest charitable institution in the United Kingdom. The founder was Henry de Blois, Bishop of Winchester, grandson of William the Conqueror, half brother to King Stephen of England.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hospital_of_St_Cross

 

 

MORE PHOTOS OF MINE, OF THIS TRIP, ON FLICKR.COM

 

PART ONE OF THIS TRIP: SCOTLAND, IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_castles_in_England

 

 

 

 

 

 

Created: 13AUG11 - Updated: 16 Januari, 2012