England & Wales
=Sep. 2013=

Photos © Ruud Leeuw

A tourist visit to England focussed mainly on general history, castles & pubs - but a few aviation items passed our way too (here).
Our plan was basically cutting across England from Newcastle upon Tyne to Penzance in Cornwall, with stops at Richmond, Pontefract Castle, Oxford, the Cotswold and Hay-on-Wye booktown in Wales.
Read on!

England roadtrip 2013
We sailed on DFDS Seaways from IJmuiden to Newcastle upon Tyne. Our sailing was delayed by 4 hours due to a storm.

England roadtrip 2013
I had booked a Commodore-class cabin, so the hours of delay were not much of a discomfort to us.
 

England roadtrip 2013England roadtrip 9-2013
First stop was Richmond, on the Yorkshire Dales. Above are the ruins of a Grey Friars Church.

We had arrived at Newcastle with an addional hour delay due to the heavy seas and UK border control kept us for over an hour on board the vessel 'due to security reasons'. All this delay cost us an intended visit to Raby Castle, we had to leave that for another visit. So we headed straight for our intended place of B&B: Richmond. We knew there was a castle to visit there too.

England roadtrip 2013England roadtrip 9-2013
Richmond has a small historic town center which we wandered through.

England roadtrip 2013England roadtrip 9-2013
It was fortunate that it had (almost) stopped raining so we could enjoy the 'Castle Walk' and the beautiful coutryside.

Richmond Castle in Richmond, North Yorkshire, England, stands in a commanding position above the River Swale, close to the centre of the town of Richmond.
It was originally called Riche Mount, 'the strong hill'.
The castle was constructed from 1071 onwards as part of the Norman Conquest of Saxon England as the Domesday Book of 1086 refers to 'a castlery' at Richmond in that year.

 

England roadtrip 2013England roadtrip 9-2013
The imposing tower of Richmond Castle.

William the Conqueror had put down the 1069 rebellion at York which was followed by his "harrying of the North" - an act of ethnic cleansing which depopulated large areas for a generation or more.
As a further punishment he divided up the lands of north Yorkshire among his most loyal followers.
Alain Le Roux de Penthièvre of Brittany received the borough of Richmond and began constructing the castle to defend against further rebellions and to establish a personal power base. [WIKIPEDIA]

 

England roadtrip 2013England roadtrip 9-2013
A 30 meters (100ft) high keep of honey-coloured sandstone was constructed at the end of the 12th century by Duke Conan IV of Brittany. The Earldom of Richmond was seized in 1158 by Henry II of England. It was King Henry II who probably completed the keep which had 3.4 m (11ft) thick walls.
These days visitors can climb to the top of the keep for magnificent views of the town of Richmond and the surrounding countryside.

England roadtrip 2013England roadtrip 9-2013
The castle offers a fine view over the town of Richmond.


 

England roadtrip 2013England roadtrip 9-2013: Pontefract Castle
Pontefract Castle is a castle in the town of Pontefract, in the City of Wakefield, West Yorkshire.
It is believed to be the site of the demise of King Richard II, and later the place of a series of famous sieges
during the English Civil War.

England roadtrip 2013England roadtrip 9-2013: Pontefract Castle
Few ruins remain but the grounds are saturated with history!

The castle, on a rock to the east of the town above All Saints Church, was constructed in approximately 1070 by Ilbert de Lacy. This was on land which had been granted to him by William the Conqueror as a reward for his support during the Norman conquests.

Robert de Lacy failed to support King Henry I during his power struggle with his brother and saw the castle being confiscated from the family during the 12th century.
Roger de Lacy paid King Richard I 3,000 marks for the Honour of Pontefract, but the king retained possession of the castle.
His successor, King John, gave Lacy the castle in 1199, when he ascended the throne.
Roger died in 1213 and was succeeded by his eldest son, John. However, the king took ownership of Castle Donnington and Pontefract Castle. The de Lacys lived in the castle until the early 14th century. WIKIPEDIA

 

England roadtrip 2013England roadtrip 9-2013: Pontefract Castle
The markers make it easier to form an idea of how glorious this castle in fact was.

England roadtrip 2013England roadtrip 9-2013
Pontefract All Saint's Church

This monumental church is situated below the castle & on the northeastern side of the town, within the Pontefract castle conservation area.
All Saints’ was the Parochial centre from Anglo Saxon times. It was possibly one of the first Churches to be built in the area & its destruction was one of the greatest historical misfortunes to happen in Pontefract.
During the Civil war the Church was constantly changing from one side to the other.

In December 1644 the parliamentarians decided to try & remove the royalists, who had held the Church for 4 days. Even though there were 11 cannons firing from the castle protecting the parliamentarians, numbers overwhelmed them & they retreated to the castle. There was desperate fighting in the Church & Churchyard.
More on http://allsaintspontefract.co.uk

 

England roadtrip 2013England roadtrip 9-2013


 

England roadtrip 2013England roadtrip 9-2013: Eynsham Hall
Eynsham Hall: our accommodations for three nights!
This wonderful 'Manor Hall' is situated in North Leigh, near Oxford.
See their website for their 300 years worth of history!

England roadtrip 2013England roadtrip 9-2013: Eynsham Hall
Except for a fine-dining restaurant, Eynsham Hall offers lunch and bar food in 'the Gun Room'.

England roadtrip 2013England roadtrip 9-2013: Eynsham Hall
Definitely a relic of the past: 'Upstairs, Downstairs'. Eynsham Hall dates from the 19th century.

England roadtrip 2013England roadtrip 9-2013: Eynsham Hall
The library has been reduced to a decoration these days; it now has a conference room function.

England roadtrip 2013England roadtrip 9-2013: Eynsham Hall
Found during a stroll in the grounds.


 
England roadtrip 2013England roadtrip 9-2013: Oxford
Our stay at Eynsham Hall was for a purpose: to revisit Oxford.
The Hall was only a 15 minute drive from one of several Park+Ride parkings around Oxford and the bus took
less than 20 minutes to bring us into the center of Oxford.
We went on the trail of tv-series 'Morse', 'Lewis' and 'Endeavour' plus we were able to visit several
of the famous Colleges during Open House weekend.
For my report go to my page OXFORD

 

Cotswolds
After our stay at Oxford we drove to Burford where we stayed in this authentic Stagecoach Inn. We visited Burford, Stow-in-the-Wold, Bourton-on-the-Water and Bibury. For photos and details visit my page The Cotswolds.

 
England travel 2013
Next we enter WALES!
 

Hay-on-Wye, Wales
We revisited Hay-on-Wye, the booktown. We've been here several times and delight in browsing the 20+ bookshops for secondhand books. We came away with quite a load!
It is a lovely place to stay and I have dedicated a modest page on some photography done there: HAY-ON-WYE.

 

Tretower Castle
Tretower Court and Castle.

Tretower (Welsh: Gastell Tretŵr) was founded as a motte and bailey castle. In the 12th century, a shell-keep was added to the motte. By c.1230 a tall cylindrical keep was added to the inside of the shell-keep and the space between was roofed over. At this time the earlier bailey was walled in stone and provided with cylindrical corner towers. In the early 14th century residential buildings were constructed away from the original fortifications forming today's Tretower Court. Over time the lords of Tretower favoured the more luxurious Court and the castle fell into disuse.

Tretower Castle
This year I bought a fish-eye lens and I quite like the result here.
Tretower Castle
Click the thumbnail for a bigger image and
readable information about Tretower Court.

Tretower Castle

Tretower Castle
A lot of effort was put in the display to show how they wined and dined in those days.

Tretower Castle


 

Monmouth
Monmouth, a revisit from 1987. I did not remember a thing! Except that bridge of course.

Monmouth

Monmouth

Monmouth
A nice way to present Monmouth' history.

Monmouth
Monmouth even has aviation history!

Monmouth
Don't forget to visit the St Thomas Church, dedicated to Thomas à Becket. The church is just across the bridge.


 

Tintern Abbey
Next was a visit to the famous Tintern Abbey.

Tintern Abbey

Tintern Abbey

Tintern Abbey
Such a reconstruction helps to bring it alive.

Tintern Abbey

Tintern Abbey
All that remains still radiates its majestic past.


 

Launceston Castle
This en route stop offered a chance to add another castle to our long list of castles we've visited: Launceston Castle.

Launcestion Castle
Launceston Castle as it once was.

Launceston Castle

Launceston Castle
We learned from the information on display that this castle was built more for prestige than anything else.

Launceston Castle
Even with the wind and the rain the view from the ramparts on the surrounding area was a joy.

Launceston Castle
A fine view on Launceston.


 

Travel: England, Cornwall 2013
The weather was fickle; rain varied from a regulare downpour to...

Mizzle...
.. mizzle, a weather phenomenon in Cornwall which crosses drizzle with mist!


 

Tintagel Castle
When we arrived at Tintagel Castle the wind was clearing the rain and clouds.

Tintagel Castle

Tintagel Castle
Tintagel Castle has been a tourist destination since the mid-19th century and is now managed by English Heritage.

Tintagel Castle

Tintagel Castle (Cornish: Dintagel, meaning fort of the constriction) is a medieval fortification located on the peninsula of Tintagel Island, adjacent to the village of Tintagel in Cornwall.
The site was possibly occupied in the Romano-British period, as an array of artefacts dating to this period have been found on the peninsula, but as yet no Roman era structure has been proved to have existed there.

It subsequently saw settlement during the Early Medieval period, when it was probably one of the seasonal residences of the regional king of Dumnonia.
In the 13th century, during the Later Medieval period, after Cornwall had been subsumed into the kingdom of England, a castle was built on the site by Richard, Earl of Cornwall, which later fell into disrepair and ruin.
Archaeological investigation into the site began in the 19th century as it became a tourist attraction, with visitors coming to see the ruins of Richard's castle.
In the 1930s, excavations revealed significant traces of a much earlier high status settlement, which had trading links with the Mediterranean during the Late Roman period. [Wikipedia]

 

Tintagel Castle
No doubt it was for strategic reasons a good place to build a castle, but the weather with heavy rains,
fierce winds and the occasional gale, must have required some stamina for the people to make an actual living here.

The castle has a long association with Arthurian legends. This began in the 12th century when Geoffrey of Monmouth in his mythical account of British history, the Historia Regum Britanniae described Tintagel as the place of Arthur's conception.
According to Geoffrey, his father, King Uther Pendragon, was disguised by Merlin's sorcery to look like Gorlois, Duke of Cornwall, the husband of Ygerna, Arthur's mother.

 


 
Queens Hotel, Penzance
Queens Hotel, Penzance. Not a good experience.

I had arrived at Penzance after a long and full day, had faced adverse weather and done some strenuous hiking, while driving on the 'wrong side of the road' takes its toll too. The previous hotel had no wifi to speak of and I had not been able to make hotel reservations. All the hotels and B&B places we drove past had 'no vancancy' signs up. I was exhausted.
So I accepted this room at the Queens Hotel, a nice room but way too expensive. And very old fashioned: the only location for a proper wifi signal was at the entrance of the lobby! I found it was one of those overestimated, overpriced British seaside hotels which are best to be avoided.

This is what Bill Bryson wrote about Penzance in his book 'The Road to Little Dribbling' (2015):
"Penzance ought to be fabulous. It has a superlative setting overlooking the island castle St Michael's Mount, surely one of the most romantic views in England. It has a long and agreeable promenade and a harbour that could be lovely with a bit of paint and imagination and perhaps one or two sticks of dynamite.
There isn't anything about Penzance that isn't promising. Yet is a sad and fading place."



 

St Michael's Mount
St. Michael's Mount.

St Michael's Mount
View on Penzance from the ramparts.

St Michael's Mount
I enjoy a study like that: put your feet up with an interesting book, facing the fire; lovely!

St Michael's Mount
There were a lot of people visiting St Michael's Mount. Until researching the choice of castles I could visit
in this area, I had not realized that a mirror image of Mont St Michel (France) existed on the coast of Cornwall.

Historically, St Michael's Mount was a Cornish counterpart of Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy, France (which shares the same tidal island characteristics and the same conical shape), when it was given to the Benedictines, religious order of Mont Saint-Michel, by Edward the Confessor in the 11th century.
Wikipedia, more...

 

St Michael's Mount

St Michael's Mount
The gardens of Cornwall are famous and the garden at St Michael's Mount is certainly worthy of a visit.

St Michael's Mount
Electrifying lightness of being, people enjoy sun and warmth.

St Michael's Mount

St Michael's Mount
St Michael's Mount is one of 43 (unbridged) tidal islands which can be walked to from mainland Britain.
Think I will try to make a list and make a serious attempt to visit more of these!
In 2014 I visited the mirror image across the English Channel: Le Mont Saint-Michel.


 

Truro
Truro. Townhouse B&B, a turn for the better it seemed.
Because of the poor wifi (again!) in a British hotel, I had not been able to make reservations for the next step in our travels. It took the best part of the saturday afternoon to find availability somewhere, this being Truro: the 3rd town we explored for suitable night accommodation. While we enjoyed the sights we visited, I found myself uniquely frustrated with British inadequacies, only 10 days into our trip! But this B&B was nicely priced and offered suitable rest and recuperation.

Truro Townhouse B&B
The Townhouse B&B had this kitchen where one could make their own breakfast; worked out great.

Truro
We had a lovely dinner at an Indian Restaurant and took a stroll to the Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary; it is an
Anglican cathedral and was built in the Gothic Revival architectural style, fashionable during much of the 19th century.
It supposedly is one of only 3 cathedrals in the United Kingdom with three spires. [Wikipedia]

Truro, Cornwall
Quiet saturday evening in Truro.


 

St Austell's clay works, Wheal Martyn Museum
St Austell's china clay works, a visit to the Wheal Martyn Museum.

St Austell's clay works, Wheal Martyn Museum
In an attempt to break free from the string of castles, manor houses and churches I tried to find something else to
visit and came across the china clay works in Cornwall. It has quite a fascinating history and what is more: it is the
only sizeable industry at work in Cornwall. A path from the museum winds through the woods and hill side, following
waterworks, to the actual quarry.

St Austell's clay works, Wheal Martyn Museum

St Austell's clay works, Wheal Martyn Museum

St Austell's clay works, Wheal Martyn Museum
Have yourself educated by a visit to the website www.wheal-martyn.com (tab 'education') to read about the
kaolin found among the layers of granite and how that is used to make fine china such as the Wedgewood products.
It is an interesting development which started in 1746 when William Cookworthy laid the foundations of this industry here.

St Austell's clay works, Wheal Martyn Museum


 

Sherborne Castle
Sherborne Castle, a big disappointment.

Sherborne Castle

Sherborne Castle
Our visit to this castle turned out to be a disappointment. After we had purchased expensive tickets at the gate, we only
found out at the house that photography was not allowed. Again that British, stuffy old fashionedness. It is an attitude in
a world of on-line sharing that is very much outdated and beyond comprehension. The fact that such a restriction was not
on display at the gate surmounts to trickery and false pretense.

Sherborne Castle

Sherborne Castle
Although we were under constant observation by the stewards, ever watchful like pitbull guard dogs, we managed to
score a few images just to spite them. We were gone from the house in less than twenty minutes.

Sherborne Castle

Sherborne Castle

Sherborne Castle


 

Sherborne
Fortunately the town of Sherborne took away the disappointment of our visit to the castle.

Sherborne

Sherborne
The Abbey Church of St Mary the Virgin at Sherborne, in the county of Dorset, is usually called Sherborne Abbey.
It has been a Saxon cathedral (705–1075), a Benedictine abbey (998–1539) and is now a parish church.

Sherborne

Sherborne
In memory of more recent war victims.

Sherborne

Sherborne

There may have been a Celtic Christian church called 'Lanprobi' at the site, and Kenwalc or Cenwalh, King of the West Saxons is believed to be one of its founders.
When the Saxon Diocese of Sherborne was founded in 705 by King Ine of Wessex, he set Aldhelm as first Bishop of the see of Western Wessex, with his seat at Sherborne. Aldhelm was the first of 27 Bishops of Sherborne.
The 20th bishop was Wulfsige III (or St. Wulfsin). In 998 he established a Benedictine abbey at Sherborne and became its first abbot. [Wikipedia]
Just to show what richness of history has shared the grounds here!

 

Sherborne

NEXT WE SAILED WITH BRITTANY FERRIES FROM BOURNEMOUTH / POOLE TO
CHERBOURG (NORMANDY, FRANCE)

NORMANDY