Saturday, 16 May 2015

Pleshey Castle

Last Sunday, myself and the boy visited the earthworks of the motte and bailey castle that is Pleshey. The land itself has not been interfered with much since its construction after duke William's victory at the battle of Hastings, so there were many knolls and steep slopes. The castle does not exist today (as to be expected).

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The land is now private, so we were actually very lucky to be able to go and visit. I had not understood exactly why it is not open to the public, but I soon found out. A bridge exists over the fosse which has the potential to cause many an accident. This bridge conjoins the man-made motte (hill), with what we see today as a green hilly clearing (the boy called it a sun-trap - it was very hot on Sunday).

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The event we attended, was a medieval fayre. There were market stalls, a jester, and a kind of fashion show, which focused on what folk wore in the 12/13 century.
The reason this fayre focused on this period, is because of the 800th anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta. Geoffrey de Mandeville was one of the barons who forced King John into signing the great charter at Runnymede in 1215, and was residing at Pleshey Castle at this point.

If you wish to find out more, click here - pleshey castle

The dress I am wearing is from Topshop, and was purchased last year in a sale (about £20).

Monday, 27 April 2015

Now the last poppy has fallen

Our local museum is running a temporary exhibition at the moment (until May 31st), about the shire of Essex's part to play in the Great War.

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It is interesting to read about how many men were called to arms (420 from the town of Witham) and how the women coped with their loved ones abroad, fighting.
These days when soldiers are away from home, phone calls and skype messaging are possible. Imagine being a young pregnant woman of 20 whose husband has been called to arms, and is unsure if he will ever return to her... I have to admit, it is quite difficult.

Unfortunately, this is the boy's favoured historic era and not mine, but then, that might be because of GCSE History. Almost two years were spent covering this war, and WW2, and I eventually left school feeling rather drained!

Outfit;

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coat - primark via a blog sale (£12.99)
skirt - h&m (£3.99)
cat-print t-shirt - topshop via a charity shop (£2.99)
bag - h&m via a charity shop (£1.99)
brogues - topshop in a sale about 3 years ago (£25)

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Danbury Country Park

The sun was out today, so myself and the boy decided to check out Danbury Country Park. It is only a few miles down the road from where we live, and we'd never been there as a couple before!

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It has fantastic lakes, a woodland area, and many a year ago, a palace stood presiding over the space, the grounds then being a medieval deer park.
The mansion was built in the 16th century, and by the 19th, was the home of the bishop of Rochester. It quickly fell into disrepair, and is now is a building site, the constructions works to be modern-day housing.

:(

Staying upon a historical note, myself and the boy will be attending the medieval festival at Pleshey Castle on the 10th May, too excited!

Outfit

t-shirt - george kids & asda (£5)
skirt - topshop in a sale (£7) - recent purchase
cardigan - topshop via a charity shop (£3)
coat - vintage (£6.99)

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Hadleigh Castle

This is one of my favourite castles in Essex (not difficult seeing as there are hardly any!).
The reason I love these ruins so much, is because they was fortified by King Edward III during the 1360s (during the hundred years war).
I have had doubts in my head, in regards to believing the common reason of the King's "restablishment" of the citadel. The first part of the hundred years war had waned after the Treaty of Bretigny (1360), therefore I do not think Edward rebuilt most of the castle (royal lodgings, a portculis, a drawbridge, the `High Tower` etc), because he feared a French invasion.

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Stratgeically yes, Hadleigh is the perfect spot for a fortress. It overlooks a green clearing, and the River Thames winds straight past; access to the castle proving easy. The fortress would also protect the estuary from an attack.
However, it is more sound, that his reasons were more on a personal level - he craved privacy.
His Queen, Philippa, had died in 1369 and he was not in a good way, it is possible that he wished to stay off the radar, and most likely, court Alice Perrers in peace.

outfit;

coat - topshop in a sale (£40)
blouse - miss selfridge via a charity shop (£2.99)
skirt - topshop via a charity shop (£3.99)
wellies - primark (£12)

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Long time, no see

Apologies for not posting sooner, has just been a very busy month - working on Uni stuff, novel, various other bits and pieces... we haven't even gone on any days out!

We took a stroll to Writtle last week, the boy's grandparents are buried there - chose a lovely day for it :)

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We are planning to visit Colchester again soon, London in May (Magna Carta exhibition), and hopefully Hampton Court.

coat - topshop via ebay (around £14)
skirt - h&m (£3.99)
t-shirt - topshop via a charity shop (£1.99)
shoes - primark (£3)
gloves - primark (£2)
bag - h&m via a charity shop (£1.99)

Eventually i'll get around to continuing my posts about Edward III... got good news though, Alice Perrers novel is currently being edited :D

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Clink Prison Museum

We'd been planning this day out for months, and what does it go and do, it rains! Typical English weather. It was sunny yesterday, and then the heavens open on the day in which we wish to venture out.

After stumbling across this museum last year when we were on our way to QI, we made a decision to visit the infamous medieval/tudor/stewart/georgian prison when he found the time.

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It opened in the year of the Lord 1144, and was attached to the bishop of Winchester's household (otherwise known as Henry of Blois; brother to King Stephen of England).
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It housed vagrants, vagabonds, debtors and various petty criminals, and was in use until 1780 until it burnt down. 

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The torture devices that were on display, were fascinating, and I think one of the most vile, is the heretics fork - used for sleep deprivation.

`The heretic's fork was a torture device, consisting of a length of metal with two opposed bi-pronged "forks" as well as an attached belt or strap.
The device was placed between the breast bone and throat just under the chin and secured with a leather strap around the neck, while the victim was hung from the ceiling or otherwise suspended in a way so that they could not lie down.
A person wearing it couldn't fall asleep. The moment their head dropped with fatigue, the prongs pierced their throat or chest, causing great pain. This very simple instrument created long periods of sleep deprivation. People were awake for days, which made confession` 

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Its made me think about how lenient we are on felons today, and whether one would deserve the heretics fork, whipping post, stocks, or the infamous rack!

quote from http://www.medievalwarfare.info/torture.htm#rack



Saturday, 14 February 2015

Great Dunmow and St Valentine's Day

A few weeks ago, myself and the boy took a stroll around Great Dunmow in Essex. It was absolutely freezing and the shoes in the pictures below, had to be thrown in the bin!

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It is very difficult in the winter months to think of things to do (especially when you're on a budget and when medieval castles are closed), so that is why I have not blogged for a few weeks (don't fret, am working on part three of my Edward III post).
I have also just finished a draft essay about Cleopatra for my course, and still need to type it out, and have been working on a novel about Alice Perrers (80,000 words in folks) :)

Anywho, I had just dropped in to say, happy Valentine's day, and hope it's special

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(please excuse my boy's socks on the rad)