Travels in England 2017 - Ruud Leeuw

 

 

ENGLAND 2017

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Photos © Ruud Leeuw

Our vacation to England we focussed mainly on general history, castles & pubs - but a few aviation items passed my way too.
Our plan was basically to circle Greater London, landfall was made in Dover and we sailed from Harwich.
Read on!

 

We have followed the tv series 'Grantchester' (ITV detective drama, set in the 1950s Cambridgeshire village of Grantchester, near Cambridge) and decided to visit the place. It was fun to hear that a certain Christmas episode was filmed here in summer, everything sprayed with fake snow, and people of Granchester gathered to witness the event.
But I did not recognize a thing, they are very clever at that.

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Grantchester, Cambridgeshire

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The church that has a prominent role. The show features Anglican vicar Sidney Chambers, played by James Norton,
who develops a sideline in sleuthing with the help of Detective Inspector Geordie Keating (a role by Robson Green).

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The Parish Church of St. Andrew & St.Mary in Granchester. In itself worthy of a visit.

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In the background one can see the advertisement for the Granchester ITV tv-series.
en.wikipedia.org:_Grantchester_(TV_series)

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The pub frequented by the vicar and the inspector. But we had parked our car at the Red Lion and took our morning
coffee there. We leave a visit to the Green Man for a future visit, which I am sure won't be many years off.

 

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Imperial War Museum at Duxford.
See my aviation report of the air show here: Duxford's Flying Legends 2017.

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We stayed in Newmarket as hotel accommodation here in Cambridge was too expensive. Also the car was a burden.
I had planned to visit Cambridge for at least 2 days, but we found it too crowded and were quickly frustrated by the place.
There are a few historic places I now ignored, so I hope to return here some day, perhaps avoid the high season.
The Cambridge Grand Arcade is a huge mall, but has no appeal to me whatsoever. The carpark was next door.

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We found ourselves in 'Open House' days of the Cambridge Universities. Love to explore these places! Quiet too!
This is Christ's College Cambridge (on St Andrew's St.), which splits into Sidney Street (link with the Granchester
series, the vicar) and Hobson Street (link with Inspector Lewis series, the pathologist).

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Christ's College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge.
The college includes the Master, the Fellows of the College, and about 450 undergraduate and 170 graduate students.
The college was founded by William Byngham in 1437 as God's House. In 1505, the college was granted a new royal charter, was given a substantial endowment by Lady Margaret Beaufort, and changed its name to Christ's College, becoming the 12th of the Cambridge colleges to be founded in its current form.
The college is renowned for educating some of Cambridge's most famous alumni, including Charles Darwin and John Milton. -Wikipedia

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The college is renowned for educating some of Cambridge's most famous alumni, including Charles Darwin and John Milton.

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Cambridge Market, on Market Hill in the center of town. This fountain sits in the dead center of Market Square.

In the 19th century, in common with many other English towns, Cambridge expanded rapidly, due in part to increased life expectancy and improved agricultural production leading to increased trade in town markets.
The Inclosure Acts of 1801 and 1807 enabled the town to expand over surrounding open fields and in 1912 and again in 1935 its boundaries were extended to include Chesterton, Cherry Hinton, Fen Ditton, Trumpington, and Grantchester.

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I had planned to visit 3 bookstores in Cambridge. The 1st one was the Cambridge University Press Bookshop.
There is an excellent selection of books here but all published by the Uni Press and linked with the Uni's reading.
I have to try again here some day, with an open mind on subjects.

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Heffer's Bookshop on Trinity Street came recommended and they did have an imposing selection. But I could not find
a single title without help of the staff. I found the subjects & sections confusing and the split levels did not help either.

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A good place for lunch or tea break is the church converted to restaurant, the Michaelhouse Centre.

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Gonville and Gaus College

Gonville & Caius College (often referred to simply as 'Caius') is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge in Cambridge, England.
The college has been attended by many students who have gone on to significant accomplishment, including 14 Nobel Prize winners, the second-most of any Oxbridge college (after Trinity College, Cambridge)!
-Wikipedia

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The college is the fourth-oldest college at the University of Cambridge and one of the wealthiest.

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The college was first founded, as Gonville Hall, by Edmund Gonville, Rector of Terrington St Clement in Norfolk in 1348, making it the fourth-oldest surviving college.
By the 16th century, the college had fallen into disrepair, and in 1557 it was refounded by Royal Charter as Gonville & Caius College by the physician John Caius.
John Caius was master of the college from 1559 until shortly before his death in 1573. He provided the college with significant funds and greatly extended the buildings.

The college first admitted women as fellows and students in 1979. It now has over 110 Fellows, over 700 students and about 200 staff.
-Wikipedia

 


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Some street images recorded in Cambridge

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Pembroke College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge, England.

Marie de St Pol, Countess of Pembroke (1303-1377) founded Pembroke College, Cambridge. On Christmas Eve 1347, Edward III granted Marie de St Pol, widow of the Earl of Pembroke, the licence for the foundation of a new educational establishment in the young university at Cambridge.
The Hall of Valence Mary ('Custos & Scolares Aule Valence Marie in Cantebrigg'), as it was originally known, was thus founded to house a body of students and fellows

Pembroke is home to the first chapel designed by Sir Christopher Wren and is one of the 6 Cambridge colleges to have educated a British prime minister, in Pembroke's case William Pitt the Younger.
The college library, with a Victorian neo-gothic clock tower, is endowed with an original copy of the first encyclopaedia to contain printed diagrams!
-Wikipedia

 

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Physically, it is one of the university's larger colleges, with buildings from almost every century since its founding,
as well as extensive gardens.

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In 2015, the college received a bequest of £34 million from the estate of American inventor and Pembroke alumnus Ray Dolby, thought to be the largest single donation to a college in the history of Cambridge University.

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David's Bookshop was the 3rd bookship on my planning for a visit. It was to be the 3rd disappointment.
First, it was very hard to find and people we asked had no clue for the name nor for St.Edward's Passage. I could not go by Google Maps on my phone.
There were no obvious sections in the bookstore. The 'No Photography' sign pissed me off too. With the warm weather the shop felt claustrophobic and I was out on the street again in less than 3 minutes.

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The shop has an intereseting history though:
'Established in 1896 by Gustave David, G.DAVID  (David's Bookshop) has traded  in St. Edward's Passage, Cambridge
through 3 centuries. Still an independent bookshop, there has been a member of the founder's family involved ever since. 
The bookshop deals in Antiquarian, Second-hand & 'Reduced Price' books, maps, prints & engravings in many subjects.'
www.davidsbookshop.co.uk

 
Newmarket is a very central location to explore Cambridgeshire. The town itself is not above average, though the horse breeding (and racing) makes it slightly unique. We stayed in the Rutland Arms, a quaint hotel but I did have a negative experience here so I cannot recommend it wholeheartedly.
We drove to Ely for a visit to a superb bookshop, Topping & Co, and also visited the nearby cathedral.
Maybe I should stay in Ely when I am in the area again!
www.toppingbooks.co.uk

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Ely Cathedral

Ely Abbey was founded in 672, by Æthelthryth (St Etheldreda), daughter of the East Anglian King Anna.
It was a mixed community of men and women. Later accounts suggest her 3 successor abbesses were also members of the East Anglian Royal family.
In later centuries the depredations of Viking raids may have resulted in its destruction, or at least the loss of all records.
Having a pre-Norman history spanning 400 years and a re-foundation in 970, Ely over the course of the next 100 years had become one of England's most successful Benedictine abbeys, with lands exceeded only by Glastonbury.
- en.wikipedia.org:_Ely_Cathedral

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The present building dates back to 1083, and cathedral status was granted it in 1109.
Until the reformation it was the Church of St Etheldreda and St Peter, at which point it was refounded as the Cathedral Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity of Ely, continuing as the principal church of the Diocese of Ely, in Cambridgeshire.

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Its most famous feature however is the central octagonal tower, with lantern above, which provides a spectacular internal space and, along with the West Tower, gives a unique exterior landmark that dominates the surrounding landscape.

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Magnificent!

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I did not find him snoring..

 

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One morning we drove to Anglesey Abbey, thinking this was 'another large historic church' which would take us about an
hour or so to visit. But the gardens and grounds are exquisite and the house is a richly decorated manor house.
It was one of the finest locations we've visited on this trip!

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A wealth of decorations in the grounds and gardens!

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Anglesey Abbey is a country house, formerly a priory, in the village of Lode, about 9 kms northeast of Cambridge.

The house and its grounds are owned by the National Trust and are open to the public as part of the Anglesey Abbey, Gardens and Lode Mill property, although some parts remain the private home of the Fairhaven family.

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A community of Augustinian canons built a priory here, known as Anglesea or Anglesey Priory, some time during the reign of Henry I (i.e., between 1100 and 1135), and acquired extra land from the nearby village of Bottisham in 1279.
The former priory was acquired around 1600 by Thomas Hobson, who converted it to a country house for his son-in-law, Thomas Parker, retaining a few arches from the original priory. At that time the building's name was changed to "Anglesey Abbey", which sounded grander than the original 'Anglesey Priory'.
-Wikipedia

 

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In 1926, Anglesey Abbey was bought by Huttleston Broughton, later Lord Fairhaven, and his brother Henry.
The 1st Lord Fairhaven fully restored the house which had fallen into disrepair and began to collect beautiful furniture, artworks and statuary. All of these can be seen at the Abbey today.
en.wikipedia.org:_Anglesey_Abbey

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The beds are made in a 'lively'way, as if someone is taking a bath in the other room. I like that!

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Now, isn't that a magnificent library!

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Quite a domestic scene.

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Awaiting the family for breakfast or an early lunch?

 

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Greetings!

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Kirby Hall is now an empty shell, but still rather imposing.
It's an Elizabethan country house, located near Gretton, Northamptonshire. We ended up here because we found Audley End house, not far from Cambridge, closed (for filming). Our next choice was Elton Hall, but the house was only open on
wednesdays and thursdays during the time of our visit. The 'walled garden' we fpound to be a garden centre...
Well, here's third time lucky!

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Kirby Hall is now an empty shell, but still rather imposing.
It's an Elizabethan country house, located near Gretton, Northamptonshire. We ended up here because we found Audley End house, not far from Cambridge, closed (for filming). Our next choice was Elton Hall, but the house was only open on wednesday and thursday during the time of our visit. The 'walled garden'  proved to be a garden centre... Third time lucky.

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Kirby was owned by Sir Christopher Hatton, Lord Chancellor to Queen Elizabeth I.
It is a leading and early example of the Elizabethan prodigy house.
Construction on the building began in 1570, based on the designs in French architectural pattern books and expanded in the classical style over the course of the decades.

The gardens, with their elaborate 'cutwork' design, complete with statues and urns, have been recently restored.
The building and gardens are owned by The Earl of Winchilsea, and managed by English Heritage.
-Wikipedia
en.wikipedia.org:_Kirby_Hall
www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/kirby-hall

 

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The house is now in a semi-ruined state with many parts roof-less although the Great Hall and state rooms remain intact.
No hardship for me for I love this type of photography!

 

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The Nene Valley Railroad (NVR)
'In 1879 a connection was made from Yarwell junction to Seaton at a stroke the line throughWansford became a vital through route between East Anglia and the West Coast'.

The Barnwell Station building is to the forefront, with the level crossing gates to the left of it, controlled by the 1907 built signal box on the left. Just beyond the signal box is the River Nene and flood plains, which are spanned by a bridge and viaduct.
Old station building on platform three was built in 1844/5 for the opening of the line. Built in a Jacobean style it features much ornate stone masonry. The NVR are currently trying to acquire this building for use by the NVR and local community.
www.nvr.org.uk/wansford-station

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Home of 'Thomas, the Tankengine'. Alas the bookshop here was closed.

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The turntable, located behind the new station building, was built by Ransomes & Rapier of Ipswich in 1933.

Originally 60 foot long it was installed at Bourne in Lincolnshire for use on the Midland & Great Northern Joint Railway. In 1959, Bourne shed closed and the turntable was moved to Peterborough East; its last duties being to turn Travelling Post Office (TPO) coaches for use on the East Anglian TPO.

In 1977 the turntable moved to Wansford where it was extended to 76 foot and was re-commissioned in September 1978. The turntable has been in use ever since to turn the locomotives and carriages at the NVR.

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A bit of an odd one, 'Yarväl Korsning': obviously from somewhere in Scandinavia?


Clare is a market town on the north bank of the River Stour in Suffolk. Its location is 23 km from Bury St Edmunds and 14 km from Sudbury. Clare has a long and turbulent history. There is little left of the castle though the castle mound does provide a nice view over the town. The (big!) church here was a pleasant surprise.

During the medieval period Clare became a prosperous town based on cloth making. The trade was already present by the 13th century, steadily expanding as demand grew. 3000 local fleeces were sold from Clare Manor alone in 1345.
By the 1470s Suffolk produced more cloth than any other county.
Merchants gathered in convoys for safety to convey the goods to Calais (then an English possession).
-Wikipedia

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www.suffolkchurches.co.uk/clare

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Early results indicated the presence of Saxon pottery across many sites - the first evidence of Clare's importance before the Normans. Further excavations within the castle grounds took place in 2013 and the discovery of human remains suggested a cemetery was located there, before the castle's construction.
A Roman boundary ditch and posthole has been found just off Nethergate Street; a strap fitting, coins, sepulchral urns and a bronze figurine of Mercury or a dancing boy have been unearthed in various locations. Some Roman brick seems to have ended up in the Parish Church.

Gilbert de Clare, Richard's son, gave the church in the castle to the Benedictine Bec Abbey in Normandy. Gilbert and his brother were present with Prince Henry when King William II was shot dead by an arrow fired by Walter Tyrell, Gilbert's steward...
Tradition is strong that the Clares had staged an assassination. King Henry I was crowned three days later.
-Wikipedia

 

Clare CastleEngland 2017

The Doomesday Book of 1087 records that the lands around Clare belonged to a Saxon thane, Aluric (or Aelfric), son of Wisgar (or Withgar).
William the Conqueror re-granted the land to one of his closest supporters in the Norman Conquest of 1066, Richard fitz Gilbert of Bienfaite, Count of Brionne, the son of one of his cousins, along with 170 other manors, 95 of them in Suffolk. This huge feudal barony became known as the Honour of Clare.
Richard became known as 'Richard de Clare' (or 'of Clare') after he made the castle of Clare the caput of his feudal barony, that is to say his administrative centre.
-Wikipedia


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The cat got his mouse..

 

 

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Duxford's Imperial War Museum

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A visit to the Imperial War Museum on the monday for the displays in the hangars, and on the saturday for the Flying Legends 2017 air show.


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From Blatches Farm, where we'd stayed the night, we were on our way to North Weald Airfield, but a sign for the Epping-Ongar Railway made me change direction. At Ongar I found that this is longest heritage railway in Essex and the closest to London.

I had a look in the 'control tower' and witnessed a diesel entering the station and recorded the handover of a 'key' that was needed in the tower to change the track joints for the outward journey: a perfect safety device, as it is put back on the train after use, so the railchange cannot be undone.
http://eorailway.co.uk/

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Ongar's historic train switch track tower

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Interesting history on Father Thomas Byles of Ongar, who perished on the RMS Titanic in 1912.

Alas, we could not board for a ride and ('places to go, schedule to keep') when the train left, we left too.


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Another bit of aviation: the Battle of Britain Museum of Martlesham Heath, in a former ATC Tower.
See MY REPORT (bottom page)

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A very nice museum indeed!

 
Visit to Orford and Orford Ness, which can be seen on below photo in the distance, across the water.
Orford is a small town in Suffolk, within the Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB.

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View from the Orford Castle.
Like many Suffolk coastal towns it was of some importance as a port and fishing village in the Middle Ages. It still
has a fine mediaeval castle, built to dominate the River Ore and a Grade I listed parish church, St Bartholomew's.
en.wikipedia.org:_Orford,_Suffolk

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Orford Castle was built between 1165 and 1173 by orders of Henry II of England, to consolidate royal power in the region.
The well-preserved keep, described by historian R. Allen Brown as "one of the most remarkable keeps in England", is of a unique design and probably based on Byzantine architecture. The keep still stands among the earth-covered remains of the outer fortifications.
-Wikipedia

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St Bartholomew's Church, Orford.
It is a medieval church, dating from the 14th century, with reconstructions in the 19th and 20th century, en.wikipedia.org/:_St_Bartholomew's_Church,_Orford

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Orford Ness, a long, wide shingle spit at the mouth of the Ore.
It has in the past been used as an airstrip testing facility and in the early 1970s it was the site of a powerful radar station as part of the Cold War defences against low-flying attacking aircraft; actually this my reason to plan a visit here.
Unfortunately it wasn't accessable (by ferry) upon our visit.
en.wikipedia.org:_Orford_Ness

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These day Orford Ness is an internationally important site for nature conservation and run by the National Trust.
Maybe on some future visit I will be able to cross that water, it will remain on my 'to do'-list.

 

 
Another one of the highlights of my trip: Sutton Hoo!

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Sutton Hoo, near Woodbridge, Suffolk, is the site of two 6th- and early 7th-century cemeteries.
One contained an undisturbed ship burial, including a wealth of Anglo-Saxon artefacts of outstanding art-historical and archaeological significance, most of which are now in the British Museum in London.

I had seen to the exhibition in London (2014) and this was an opportunity not to be missed: to visit the actual dig site.
Sutton Hoo is of primary importance to early medieval historians because it sheds light on a period of English history that is on the margin between myth, legend, and historical documentation.
The site has been vital in understanding the Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of East Anglia and the whole early Anglo-Saxon period.

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The warrior leader resting

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In 1910, a mansion with 15 bedrooms was built a short distance from the mounds and in 1926 the mansion and its arable land was purchased by Colonel Frank Pretty, a retired military officer who had recently married.
In 1934, Pretty died, leaving a widow, Edith Pretty, and young son, Robert Dempster Pretty.

Following her bereavement, Mrs Pretty became interested in spiritualism, a religion that placed belief in the idea that the spirits of the deceased could be contacted. She'd also visited archaeogical dig sites in the Middle East.

Mrs Pretty decided in 1937 to organise an excavation of the mounds on her grounds.
Through the Ipswich Museum, she obtained the services of Basil Brown, a self-taught Suffolk archaeologist who had taken up full-time investigations of Roman sites for the museum.
The finds provide an excellent story with remarkable roles for Mrs Pretty and Basil Brown! Their story is documented in the manor house, don't miss it, please!
-Wikipedia
THE END
 

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