Sunday, 31 August 2014

Sandford Lock

I have lived in the same town all my life, and am only just beginning to discover how beautiful it really is.

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I'd known about the children's science museum which is close to where we live, but had no idea about the beautiful lock right beside it where you can rent boats, buy boats to "do up" and even live in them!

The stunning bridge, reminds me so much of Edith's Nesbit's The Railway Children. I'm sure there is a scene in one of the versions where Bobbie, Phyllis and Peter are on a bridge and are watching the canal folk go by in their boats... it is definitely in the book, so forgive me if i am mistaken.

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There is also a beautiful, winding walk which leads past the river Chelmer... great inspiration as a writer ;) It is also possible to follow the walk all the way to Heybridge (near Maldon)... perhaps that is slightly too ambitious!

Since moving out, myself and the boy haven't been able to spend as much on days out, but on the 12th October, I can confirm that we will be attending the Battle of Hastings re-enactment, cannot wait. I'm not sure about dressing up yet... shall see how we (I) feel on the day ;)

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Rayleigh Mount

Rayleigh Mount (or Rayleigh castle) was built soon after the Norman conquest. It's an 11th century motte and bailey castle and today, the only remnants of it, are in the earth.
It is one of the 48 castles mentioned in Domesday (1086) and was built by the Sheriff of Essex; Sweyn or Swein. He was the son of a wealthy Norman Lord; Robert FitzWimarc who was a favourite of Edward the Confessor.
Upon Sweyn's death, it passed to his son Robert, and then to his son Henry. However, by 1163, Henry had lost the estate due to losing in a trial by combat (he was accused of cowardice in battle) and the property passed on to King Henry II.

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By the time Henry died, it had been passed on to the formidable King John, and from there, to Hubert de Burgh, and from there, to Hubert's son. By this time, it was the late 13th century and according to Wiki, documents state that at this point, the castle was no longer being used for a fortification... only for pasture. King Richard II in 1394, gave the folk of Rayleigh permission to use the structure as a source for stone, and i suppose not long after this, all structures dispersed.

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^ We climbed to the top which would have been the motte and found that the pond is still use by ducks :) i think this pond might have been where the original fosse was.

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coat - primark via a blog sale (around £12)
t-shirt - qwertee (£8)
skirt - topshop via a charity shop (£4.49)
bag - vintage - (£6.99)

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Chipping Ongar

Chipping Ongar is a small village within the county of Essex. When the boy and I were in Maldon last month, we picked up an information leaflet up about the village and were thoroughly intrigued.

Behind thick greenery and barbed wire, is the remains of a 12th Century motte and bailey castle. Sadly however, the land is privately owned so you can't hop the fence!
All that remains, is a mound surrounded by trees... its quite difficult to imagine the size and scale of the fortress unfortunately... picture prompts are duly needed!

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The original fortifications are believed to have been built by Eustace II, Count of Boulogne as he purchased the manor at Ongar in 1086 & built St Martin's church which is a little way from the castle :)

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Overall I was a little disappointed with the remains, but the village was beautiful and we certainly chose a good day to travel down.

Dress - topshop via ebay (around £10)
Shoes - george @ asda (£5)
Bag - tesco (£13)

We also visited London on Tuesday briefly!

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And a little outfit picture taken outside our Edwardian house ;)

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Dress - h&m via a charity shop (£6.50)

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Sunday Morning Walk

Awoke this morning to find the temperature had gone down, so i pulled on my jeans, trainers and a t-shirt and quickly persuaded the boy to drive us down to our local reservoir.
I think I blogged about this particular nature reserve/reservoir last year. Its got woodland, bird hides, a cow field and an awesome nature walk.

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There was an event going on there today for the kiddies now its the summer hols, but we avoided the bouncy castle etc and took a leisurely stroll through the field (was amass with hay) and followed the nature walk.
Twas very relaxing and is certainly how Sunday mornings should be spent!

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Pippa jeans - topshop via ebay (around £7)
t-shirt - h&m via a charity shop (£1.49)
bag - tesco (£13) - as in previous post :D
trainers - forever 21 (around £5)

Thursday, 24 July 2014

New Buys

My posts recently, have been related to history (:D), so i thought i'd be nice and show you two of my recent purchases. Both are pale pink and did not break the bank.

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The bag is from Tesco (£13) and the shoes are from Topshop (£16). I have been after a new pair of shoes and a bag for ages so it was nice to get them both in the same colour!

I'm afraid it'll be back to sightseeing and history next week as the boy and I are off to London on Tuesday and Ongar in Essex next Friday.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Chelmsford Museum

Woooop, two blog posts in a week, i'm on a role!

My local museum, changes around its exhibits a lot. The last time the boy and I visited, was when the Dukes Nightclub one was running (twas brilliant).
The one we went to see today, was the changing of Chelmsford highstreet from Roman times, to the present day.

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It was interesting to see how little the actual layout has changed (from around the Georgian era). The shire hall which was built in 1791, is still here today (although rather dilapidated) and served as the county court until 2012.
The old county gaol is now a hairdressers, the old Inn "The Black Boy" is now a Next and until the late 20th century, it wasn't even pedestrianised!

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What I found most interesting, was when King Henry VIII was desperately trying to get an annulment from the Pope from his marriage to Catherine of Aragon, he separated Catherine from their daughter Mary, and apparently Mary spent much of her time in Chelmsford.
Also, a lady named Agnes Waterhouse, was from Chelmsford and she was the first woman to be executed for Witchcraft in England (1566 - before Mr Hopkin's time ;)).

All in all, it was a very enjoyable visit and I think when i next walk down the highstreet to work, i'll take my time and think about what it looked like to people 20, 50, 100, even 200 years ago :)

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Colchester Castle

Colchester, as you may know, is Britain's oldest recorded town (Camulodunum to the Romans and Cunobelin to the Celts).
After the Roman occupation (AD 43), it became the capital, but only until the Queen of the Iceni Tribe (Boadicea) rebelled against the forces of the Roman empire. In AD 61, she destroyed the town and soon after that, London became the capital of Britannia.

In regards to Colchester Castle which has recently been through some heavy refurbishment, it opened again to the public in the spring (yay) and as the boy and I woke up to sunshine, we decided to head down to the Norman keep (it opened about 1100).

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I first visited the castle as a young child and loved it then, but i think you appreciate History more as an adult because you understand it.

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There were a lot of school children hanging around but we still had a great time. You could dress up, try on helmets (my particular favourite was the Norman one ;)) and watch interactive videos of what the castle looked like in 1120, through to the dilapidated state in 1800.

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What interested me most about the castle, was that the Witchfinder General; Matthew Hopkins, used the castle as a gaol in the 17th century.
I will have to write a book about him one day after I am finished with the 14th century......

Dress - vintage (£4.99)
Necklace - topshop (£7)