Saturday, September 11, 2010

8-11 Sept 2010 – Gra visit to Bath and Battlefields

The visitors are coming thick and fast now. Last week we have Lawrie and Vicki Jacks, Adam and Gerry Skinner then Glenn Prohasky, all from Australia. We returned to Bath – Stuart belatedly bought a season ticket as it is the 4th time he has been to the Roman Baths. Its the sort of place you never tire of. Next was an open top bus tour of the City to enjoy the Georgian architecture including Royal Crescent.

Friday was a trip North to two historic battlefields, Tewksbury (1471) and Evesham (1265). The former was much better set up than the latter. At Evesham, Simon de Monfort came up again Prince Edward, who would later become King Edward I. Simon was keen on taking power from the King and setting up a parliament. The King was none too chuffed about this, and the resulting stouch at Evesham saw Simon coming 2nd, and it was not just the battle he lost – his arms, legs, head and a few other sensitive bits were chopped off on the battlefield.

Tewksbury is a wonderful medieval town. The history of the battle and the wonderful abbey are not lost on the locals – the high street is full of colourful banners replicating those used on at the battle in 1471. The only way to work out which knight was who was via their flag. The video show the boar emblem of the Kings brother, the future King Richard III, who fought with the King at Tewksbury, who was to die at Bosworth Field in 1485. Bosworth was the big victory for the Lancastrians, that saw Henry VII become king and the start of the Tudor era. But Tewksbury was a big win for the Yorkists. Margaret of Anjou (Lancs) had returned from France to try and put her son Edward on the Thrown. King Edward IV (Yorks) wasn’t having any of it, and chase her army to Tewksbury, where they rested before crossing the river Severn, by the Abbey.

Edward IV was a brilliant strategist, and routed the more heavily numbered Lancs, who were cornered as they crossed the river, and slaughtered. Others were caught taking refuge in the Abbey – they were removed, tried and beheaded. Prince Edward died here and his remains are buried in the Abbey. On the ceiling right above Edwards plaque is King Edward IVs emblem, just in case the Prince needed any reminder of the result.

We walked the battlefield, eating blackberries along the way. Wonder what the fertilizer was, Lancstrians perhaps?! After a trip round the Abbey we had tea and stickies!

Tues 17/8/10 – Meet the neighbours

The clown on the video got the date, or day, wrong. Probably both. Anyway, the wildlife is worth viewing!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Sun 15/8/10 – Bath

On Sunday we visited the Roman Baths in, er, Bath with Nor in mid August. This was not the last time Stuart was to visit this wonderful monument. This place is truly remarkable. The built history dates back 2000 years but it is possible that the water coming up from the ground at over 100 degrees C fell as rain 10,000 years ago. Wow.

Thurs 12/8/10 – Balloon Festival, Bristol

Our first visitor in Leigh Woods was Stuart’s mum, Nor. She popped down “Sarf” over the International Balloon Festival weekend in mid August, which of course meant is was a mix of glorious sunshine and howling rain. The balloons take off from Ashton Court, Leigh Woods and given a prevailing Westerly there are spectacular views from the Clifton Suspension Bridge as they wend their way East, over the Avon Gorge and Bristol. Ashton Court is a beautiful old manor house in massive grounds complete with Deer Farm. Get the barbie on, I smell venison...