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)