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Showing posts from 2014

Museum

With it being winter and there not being a lot to do, we found ourselves at our local museum again on Sunday. It is your average city museum - focusing heavily on local history and relying on donations to remain open.

As you walk in, you are bombarded with the image of Marconi, and how the revolution altered Chelmsford from a mere market town (awarded the status in 1199), to a city worthy of being pin-pointed on a map of the British Isles (slight exaggeration but meh).
Now, this does not interest me... although, perhaps it should. We bypassed most of this and entered the medieval section of the museum where images of the now derelict Pleshey Castle and the formidable King John's manor at Writtle dominate the plaques.
According to the information given, Kings Henry III and Edward I stayed at the manor on occasions and this somewhat impressed me as I had thought that Chelmsford would've had little significance in the 13th century.

Pleshey Castle;


King John's hunting lodge





T…

Life

The reason for not blogging for a few weeks, is because i have done nothing remotely interesting (save for a lot of writing and reading!)



About a month ago, myself and the boy took a trip to Colchester, had lunch and loitered about the shops  - me purchasing a couple of classics from an independent bookshop, and snorting over the prices in Waterstones.
I have asked the boy for The Winter Crown by Elizabeth Chadwick for Christmas just so I do not have to buy it for myself... it's just ridiculous.



Anyway, with that aside, we are thoroughly looking forward to our first Christmas together in our flat and are hoping to purchase a tree tomorrow. It will be so strange this year not waking up to my excited siblings; eager for their presents at 5 in the morning, hogging the tv, bickering as they cannot decide what to watch... ah, that I will not miss.

I am planning on writing a post concerning King Edward III as the novel I have just finished writing, is concerned with the battles of Slu…

Hylands Park

Huzzah, finally, myself and the boy made it to Hylands Park this afternoon!

The day did not start out fantastically though. We experienced biblical rain until about lunchtime, then, as I was eating my soup and the boy was munching on chicken pie, it ceased.

The Hylands estate, began life in 1726 where the land was purchased by a Sir John Comyns. The construction was complete by 1730 and was red-brick, not white as we know it to be today.



Sir John, died in 1740 without a surviving male heir, so the estate passed down to his nephew, John Comyns of Romford. In turn, this Sir John left the family home to his son Sir John Richard Comyns in 1760 (too many Johns!)
By 1797, it no longer belonged to the Comyn dynasty and was swiftly purchased by Cornelius Kortwright who employed the famous landscape architect Humphry Repton to redesign the gardens of the house. Kortwright however, moved to Fryerning (Essex), and the property and land was bought by Pierre Cesar Labouchere in 1814. By his death,…

Sunday

Now, I had planned on writing a blog-post about the Hylands House estate in Chelmsford (accompanied by my pictures), but seeing as there was a wedding fair on today in the grounds, I've decided to try again next Sunday! - fingers crossed.

2014, has gone unbelievably fast and it is difficult to believe that November is almost upon us - huzzah for Bonfire night!
Myself and the boy have had such a good year; moving in together, finally agreeing on when to get married (next autumn folks ;)), and just generally living like adults.
We awoke today - remembered to put the clocks back (d'oh), and thought we should walk around the delightful Sandford Lock again. It was a lot muddier than last time, but was still as lovely as ever.



Afterwards we nipped into town, had a coffee and I found some lovely owl gloves in Primark (£2), so adorable. As a rule, I don't buy proper clothes from Primark as I've heard some awful stories about the quality (one conversation overheard today "…

The Battle of Hastings reenactment

I had been wanting to attend this event for the last two years, and yesterday, my dream came true. It was called off last year due to continuous rainfall (water-logged ground), and back in the summer when I heard it was on, I booked tickets immediately.

As per my last post, everyone is (should be) aware of the battle that took place on Senlac Ridge on the 14th October 1066. King Harold Godwinson and his array of exhausted men, traveled from Yorkshire. The reason they were so exhausted, was because they had beaten Harald Hardrada, Tostig Godwinson and the Scandinavian army at Stamford Bridge (26th September). He was in London within four days (!), and after quickly rounding up farmers, shop-keepers, any man capable of fighting, he marched further south when he heard that the Duke William was causing havoc in Pevensey (East Sussex). The two armies met at Senlac Ridge, and with the English forming a shield wall, the Norman army relied on heavy cavalry, crossbows and infantry (whom were o…

Waltham Abbey

I had a rare day booked off work on Tuesday and as per my last post, we had been meaning to walk to Papermill Lock. Rain destroyed this dream on Monday and we decided it was not worth ruining shoes for.

Waltham Abbey was an idea conjured up by me (as usual ;)), and the boy was easily persuaded (he's the designated driver). I've been dreaming about visiting the market town ever since reading Helen Hollick's `Harold the King` and it was everything I expected it to be.



Harold's Tomb is within the grounds of the Abbey, but there has been debate as to whether his bones are lying under the great stone slab. Everybody is familiar of the story of Ealdg╚│├░ Swann hnesce (Edith Swanneschals or Edith Swanneck) being given permission by William the Conqueror to search for her husband's body within the mass of dead, bloodied, butchered Saxon housecarls, thegns, mercenaries etc). She recognised Harold's corpse by an intimate scar on his torso and begged for William to allow th…

Writtle

Writtle, is an exquisite village that is about 3 miles away from where I live.
Today, the boy and I decided to take a walk there as I had never completed the countryside walk before.

It was peaceful, quiet and we forgot that we were still in Essex!


The village of Writtle itself, has a rich history. It was in Domesday book and was recorded to have had 900 inhabitants. In 1211, King John erected a hunting lodge within what is now Writtle College, and it is also rumoured that Robert the Bruce, King of the Scots (1306-29) was born in the village... the Bruce family owned lands in Writtle dating from the Norman Conquest, and that is why it is believed he was born there.
If it is true, then it would be pretty awesome as Robert and his son feature in two of my novels.
The Weeping Damsel and Lovers Entwined - hopefully one day my dreams will come true.



On Tuesday, we are planning to walk to Papermill Lock... its about six miles away so it will test our fitness levels ;)

Outfit;

top - h&m…

Stock Windmill

Last weekend, myself and the boy drove down to the Windmill in Stock, Essex. It was built in 1815 (the year the Duke of Wellington crushed Napoleon Bonaparte at Waterloo ) and is only open to the public on the 2nd Sunday of each month - those months being from April-September.



As you can imagine, it was fairly busy, but there was tour guide on each of the four floors and as we did not know much about mills before the trip, we found it very interesting.
We found out that all of the equipment in the mill, and the narrow wooden ladders, are all genuinely Georgian - nothing has been replaced since it was built.

Stock itself, is a beautiful village - only a 15 minute drive away. I do feel fortunate to live near such beautiful countryside and villages. Essex is such a diverse county - London is thirty miles away, the seaside is about the same distance away and yet, 70% of it is grass and fields. It is depicted dreadfully in the media, however I don't think it is a bad place to live... …