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)