Archive for the ‘Ricardian Places’ Category

3
Dec

More Hall in Hertfordshire

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis Tags: ,

More Hall, Brookmans Park/North Mymms, Hertfordshire

More Hall in HertfordshireIn the early 1980s I worked for a year as a German assistant at two schools in Hertfordshire, one in Hatfield and the other Chancellor’s School to the east of the village of Brookmans Park.

More Hall in Hertfordshire

Chancellor’s School, Brookmans Park, in 1981 (© D Preis))

The school opened its doors to students in September 1964, so anyone expecting medieval looking buildings will be disappointed – it’s rather run of the mill sixties’ style functionality.  However, the name reflects the connection to Richard III.  The school owes its name to “the fact that the house which stood on part of the site some 400 to 500 years ago was occupied by the Lord Chancellor of England in the reign of Henry VIII” [1]. Read the rest of this entry »

12
Nov

Hatfield, Hertfordshire

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis Tags: , , ,

Hatfield, Hertfordshire

Hatfield, Hertfordshire – History in Reverse

This continues my quest to discover a Ricardian or Yorkist connection to places in Hertfordshire.  Hatfield was fairly high on my agenda as I spent a year as a foreign language assistant teaching German at two schools, one of which was in Hatfield, in 1980/81.

After arriving on a Saturday evening in late August 1980, our first visit the next day was to Hatfield House.  As the first thing you see is the latest building on the site, this story will be going chronologically backwards. Read the rest of this entry »

Middleham in North Yorkshire is famous, today mainly as a centre for the training of horses, but also as the site of Middleham Castle, one of Richard  III’s favourite residences, and before that the stronghold of the Neville family.

St Mary and St Alkelda, Middleham, North Yorkshire

The Collegiate Church of St Mary and St Alkelda, Middleham

This post, however, deals with the local church, dedicated to St Mary and St Alkelda.  A dedication to St Mary is not unusual, but probably only very few of us have heard of St Alkelda.  There are only two churches dedicated her, this one in Middleham and one in Giggleswick (also in North Yorkshire). Read the rest of this entry »

3
Nov

Medieval Warwick Study Day

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis Tags: , ,

Warwick Castle is of special relevance for Ricardians, as it is the birthplace of Richard III’s queen Anne Neville (on 11 June 1456).

Warwick Castle was begun by William I in 1068 in the motte-and-bailey type, using the cliff and river Avon on the one side as a natural defence, the other walls are protected by a dry moat.  The castle’s most formidable defences are at the north-east end, where in the 14th century a central gatehouse tower and two other towers, Caesar’s and Guy’s Towers, were built.

The castle was part of the Beaumont and then the Beauchamp inheritance.  Through Anne Beauchamp, the title Earl of Warwick and the Warwick estates had come to Richard Neville, who became the 16th Earl of Warwick and would later be known as the “Kingmaker”.  They had two daughters, Isabel and Anne, but no sons.   After Richard Earl of Warwick fell at the Battle of Barnet, the estates were divided between Anne Beauchamp’s two sons-in-law, Edward IV’s younger brothers George Duke of Clarence and Richard Duke of Gloucester.  The earldom went to George as the husband of the older daughter.  After the deaths of both Isabel (in 1476) and George (in 1478) their then three-year–old son Edward inherited the estates.  Due to his minority it was in the custody of the crown [1]. Read the rest of this entry »

9
Sep

St David’s, Pembrokeshire

   Posted by: Isolde Martyn Tags: , , ,

The following article  was originally published in The Plantagent Chronicle, newsletter of the Plantagenet Society of Australia, Vol.12, No.4, August 2010.  You can find out more about Isolde Martyn here.

St David’s Cathedral (© Isolde Martyn)

Some of you may have recently seen the Terry Jones TV documentary series on a seventeenth century road map which showed a route through Wales to Holywell via the village of St David’s. We had the opportunity to visit St David’s in the English spring this year and discovered it to be a very picturesque area, steeped in history and as pretty as Cornwall but without the hordes of tourists. But for me, there were three surprises, which I’ll share with you shortly. Read the rest of this entry »

6
Sep

Lady Stanley Opens Her Purse

   Posted by: Julia Redlich Tags: ,

Another gem from Sir Frederick Treves’ Highways and Byways of Dorset .

Wimborne Minster – Church of St Cuthburga (© Copyright Mike Searle and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.)

Not so far from Bloxworth (about 12 kilometres east)  is the much larger town of Wimborne Minster, and it is here in the impressive ecclesiastical building that Sir Frederick remarks on the many interesting tombs. It seems his favourite is “the beautiful monument to John Beaufort and his wife, Margaret”.

John was the grandson of John of Gaunt, and his wife was Margaret Beauchamp. “The effigies,” writes Sir Frederick, “were prepared by the direction their daughter, Lady Margaret Tudor, mother of Henry VII. The two lie side by side, he a burly fighting man in full armour, she a slender and pretty woman, in robes of state. She wears a veil under her coronet and a jewel on her breast. Their two right hands are firmly clasped together, and so natural is the action that the impression remains that it was thus they died. He has taken off his gauntlet the better to hold her hand , while the empty glove is pressed to his cuirass.”

It seems that their daughter, who – as we all know became Lady Stanley a couple of husbands down the track – was anxious to portray her parents in the best possible light. If only they were as serenely happy as portrayed in Wimborne Minster.

Bibliography:

Sir Frederick Treves, Bart. GCVO, CB, LL.D, Highways and Byways of Dorset.  Macmillan & Co. Ltd, 1906. No ISBN.

You can find a photograph of the grave here (scroll down to the bottom of the page).

4
Sep

Treves versus Morton

   Posted by: Julia Redlich Tags: ,

Following the reference to Cerne Abbas by Sir Frederick Treves in his book Highways and Byways of Dorset, Ricardians will be interested in this comment about another Dorset village.

Bloxworth Church (© Copyright John Lamper and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.)

Sir Frederick, after some kindly comments about the little church in the village of Bloxworth, goes on to make some not so kindly ones about one of its former rectors.

A very famous rector of Bloxworth was John Morton, Cardinal Archbishop of Canterbury in the time of Henry VII. For a prelate, he led a most adventurous life, not without the usual episodes of imprisonment in the Tower and flight to Flanders. He comforted Edward IV when that king lay dying, and was the stoutest advocate of Henry’s marriage to Elizabeth of York, whereby the red rose and the white became blended in the rose of Tudor. As Bishop of Ely he takes his part in Shakespeare’s play of Richard III, wherein occurs “the incident of the strawberries”, as described by Sir Thomas More, once a page in his household.

Describing how the Duke of Gloster [sic] had asked Morton for some strawberries from his garden at Holborn, Sir Frederick tells that the Bishop replies, ‘Gladly my lord quoth he, would God I had some better thing as ready to your pleasure’.”

Sir Frederick’s comment: “These are indeed ready words for a crafty plotter like the Bishop, who wished the Duke of Gloster [sic] to perdition, and who had no “better thing” in store for him – if he had his way – than the dungeon or the headsman’s axe.”

Bibliography:

Sir Frederick Treves, Bart. GCVO, CB, LL.D, Highways and Byways of Dorset.  Macmillan & Co. Ltd, 1906. No ISBN.

1
Sep

Cerne Abbas, Dorset

   Posted by: Julia Redlich Tags: , ,

Cerne Abbas is a small village in central Dorset. In 1998 it had a population of 780, that had fallen to 732 by 2001. The peace of such a small settlement could have been why it was voted Britain’s Most Desirable Village in 2001. (As my mother’s family comes from Cerne, it has always been a most desirable place for me!)

Abbot’s Hall Porch, Cerne Abbey (© Copyright Chris Downer and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence)

From earliest times, Cerne Abbey, founded in AD 987, was the cornerstone around which the village grew. The Domesday Book (1087) tells there was enough cultivated land for 20 ploughs and 26 villeins. The Abbey remained the focal point of the area for over 500 years until Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1539 brought about its surrender. Most of the buildings were destroyed, but the Abbot’s Porch and the Guesthouse still remain, as does St Augustine’s Well, blessed allegedly by the saint himself. The parish today is centred on St Mary’s Church which was built in the late 13th century by the Abbey for the local people. Read the rest of this entry »

16
Jul

Carew Castle, Wales

   Posted by: Isolde Martyn Tags: ,

This ruined castle in Pembrokeshire was the home of Rhys ap Thomas, the Welsh lord whose support for Henry Tudor was a crucial factor in the overthrow of King Richard III. After Bosworth, Rhys became the highest officer of the crown in southern Wales.

Carew Castle, built on the upper reaches of the Carew River, which flows into Milford Haven was Rhys’s favourite residence and although it is now a ruin, it has a cosier family atmosphere than the huge, intact royal castle at Pembroke. Read the rest of this entry »

14
Jun

The Cells of the Abbey of St Albans

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis Tags: , , ,

The Cells of the Abbey of St Albans

“Little better than brothels” – the Cells of the Abbey of St Albans, Hertfordshire

In my recent post about the quarrel between William Wallingford, Abbot of St Albans, and John Morton, Archbishop of Canterbury, we saw that John Morton declared in his letter to Abbot Wallingford that the nunneries at Sopwell and St Mary de Pré were “little better than brothels”.[1]  Rather strong words, so I decided to find out a bit more about these houses of ill repute.

They were two of the three cells (or daughter houses) which were situated close to the town and the abbey of St Albans.  The third one, the Hospital of St Julian, was for leprous men and was not mentioned in Morton’s letter.  It was founded by Abbot Geoffrey (1119-46) along Watling Street.  In 1344 it was decided that it should house 6 lepers, primarily from the abbey.  If a married man wanted to enter, he had to adopt a religious life, which freed him from the tie of marriage.  The hospital was annexed to the abbey in 1505.  There are no remains of this hospital, though the name St Julian is still used for an area of the modern city.  Several skeletons have been discovered during building works at the corner of Vesta and Watling Street, which probably come from St Julian’s cemetery.[2] Read the rest of this entry »