Category Archives: History

I give you Bath, no not A bath, I give you BATH…Never mind…

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Hi all, apologies, it’s been rather busy here but without further ado I give you Bath for 2012:

Bath High Street

Bath High Street

 Lots of lovely shops to visit.

Bath's Stunning Architecture

Bath's Stunning Architecture

When you’re standing on that bridge you have no way of knowing it’s a bridge because it has a road, pavements and is lined with shops like any other street!

Bath Abbey & The Roman Baths & The Pump Room

Bath Abbey & The Roman Baths & The Pump Room

Amazing how this little square in Bath contains so much of my favourite thing – History!

Bath Abbey sits straight ahead, to the right is the Pump Rooms, a famous and once fashionable place for the ton to meet and loiter and the Roman Baths sitting happily behind the Pump Room, like it has done for thousands of years…..

City of Bath

City of Bath

And of course this is just a beautiful city to see!

So, whether you want to admire the beauty of the Roman Baths:

Roman Baths in Bath

Roman Baths in Bath

Look at and try and imagine the splendour of bygone days whilst taking tea in the Pump Room:

Tea in the Pump Rooms

Tea in the Pump Room

The Pump Room Built in 1795 by Thomas Baldwin & John Palmer As The Focal Point of Georgian Society

The Pump Room Built in 1795 by Thomas Baldwin & John Palmer As The Focal Point of Georgian Society

 Walk around the incredible architecture of the Royal Crescent:

Bath Crescent

Bath Crescent - On one house there is a plaque describing an elopement of one of the women that lived there with a young man!

 Or just milling around, doing a little shopping, popping into the many art gallerys or museums, Bath is a lovely city to visit.

 

I have been and it remains one of my favourite places in England and my favourite part was Jane Austen’s house and Great Pultney Street (I cheated with two!!).

 

How about you? Have you been? What did you think? What was your favourite part?

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Tower Of London – Ideas For Days Out Spring/Summer 2012

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Hello everyone!

So, I was reading a lovely blog I follow called Part of My World, you should all check it out when you get a chance. Anyway, I read about how the writer had visited the Tower of London, a place I went as a child and have been discussing with my husband on when to take him as he’s never been! So, I thought ‘ PRIME‘ I can do a ‘things to so spring/summer 2012’ blog on ….

The Tower Of London

The Tower of London

The Tower of London

 Originally started by William the Conqueror, who built the recognisable White Tower in 1078, this castle has been the home of monarchs, the prison of traitors, the resting place of the crown jewels and the house of the Royal Mint!

The Tower of London

The Tower of London

Below is a picture of the infamous Traitor’s gate through which prisoners would travel – Just before they would be passing under the London Bridge where heads of recently executed prisoners would be displayed – EEEK!

Traitor's Gate - The Tower of London

Traitor's Gate - The Tower of London

Such famous people entered here including: Queen Anne Boleyn, Sir Thomas More & Queen Catherine Howard.

Tower of London

Tower of London

I love that it’s such an historic site and it’s right in the middle of modern London – so funny!

So much history has passed within the walls of the Tower of London, it is both an infamous place and the home of the Crown Jewels providing literally an amazing day out!

It’s a little pricey but then anywhere in London is and if you can walk where Queen Elizabeth I herself walked and was imprisoned, if you can walk past where the two Princes were supposedly killed and hidden in a wall cavity or admire the splendour of the crown jewels then I exhort you to go! (I do make it sound a little grotesque don’t I? Sorry, I just love history!)

Crown Jewels - Tower of London

Crown Jewels - Tower of London

 What do you think for a day out? Good? Have you been before?

Places to Visit Spring/Summer 2012 – Stratford-Upon-Avon

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Well, I hope you all enjoyed the Tim Flach Photography series which has now ended – Boohoo! (Thank you Sarah from Modern Country Style for your kind words)

HOWEVER, good news on the series front. As you can tell by the title of this post, I want to give you all some good, nay, Brilliant ideas of where to go this summer! And I’m so excited I’m posting this one a day early!

Me and my husband realised we probably can’t afford a real holiday this year so we may plan day trips instead throughout the spring and summer so we get to do something together and it’s away from the norm.

These are just suggestions and I have to be honest they’ll come a lot from where I’ve been or want to go!

First up – Stratford-Upon-Avon

Yes, I have been here before, the wee town where Shakespeare lived, but I SOOOO want to go back again because it was fabulous…..

Stratford-Upon-Avon

Yes it really looks like this...not kidding!

The house where Shakespeare was born

The house where Shakespeare was born

Stratford-Upon-Avon Attractions

Stratford-Upon-Avon Attractions

Now this town has so much to offer with it’s obvious historical interests, very beautiful setting, array of shops and markets (which sell very nice silver rings if I remember correctly), theatre and of course rowing a little boat down the Avon which I did with my family taking a picnic and eating on the river – So idyllic!

Boating in Stratford-Upon-Avon

Boating in Stratford-Upon-Avon

And if you venture just outside Stratford then you can visit Anne Hathaway’s cottage – where the young Shakespeare courted his future wife Anne Hathaway. It’s a beautiful cottage filled with history where Shakespeare himself actually stood and breathed and outside are the most beautiful gardens with traditional shrubs and beautiful flowers!

Anne Hathaways Cottage - Stratford-Upon-Avon

Anne Hathaway's Cottage - Stratford-Upon-Avon

Anne Hathaway's Cottage - Stratford-Upon-Avon

Anne Hathaway's Cottage - Stratford-Upon-Avon

Have you been here before? Would you like to go?

The Origin of Halloween

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I am not exactly a fan of halloween, in fact, I don’t like it at all. I think I just don’t really get it – I mean, dressing up like horrible things and scaring people – What is that about!?

The Origin of Halloween

The Origin of Halloween

Then again, I’m not much for scary films either – Don’t see the point in scaring myself – Why would I like that? Anyway, I thought, as I’ve read a few blogs today about halloween and what everybody’s up to I thought I would delve into the origins of halloween.

Historian Nicholas Rogers, exploring the origins of Halloween, notes that while “some folklorists have detected its origins in the Roman feast of Pomona, the goddess of fruits and seeds, or in the festival of the dead called Parentalia, it is more typically linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-an or sow-in)”, derived from the Old Irish Samuin meaning “summer’s end”.  Samhain was the first and by far the most important of the four quarter days in the medieval Irish and Scottish calendar.

There was also a sense that this was the time of year when the physical and supernatural worlds were closest and magical things could happen. To ward off these spirits, the Gaels built huge, symbolically regenerative bonfires and invoked the help of the gods through animal and perhaps even human sacrifice.

The Origin of Halloween

Okay, TIMEOUT! So we’re not doing well here for assuaging my fears that maybe I should just like halloween..hmmmm….

Falling on November 1st and 2nd respectively, collectively they were a time for honoring the Saints and praying for the recently departed who had yet to reach heaven. Trick-or-treating resembles the late medieval practice of souling, when poor folk would go door to door on Hallowmas (November 1), receiving food in return for prayers for the dead on All Souls’ Day. Even Shakespeare mentions it in his play ‘The Two Gentlemen of Verona.’

Initially confined to the immigrant communities during the mid-nineteenth century, it was gradually assimilated into mainstream society and by the first decade of the twentieth century it was being celebrated coast to coast by people of all social, racial and religious backgrounds.

The Origin of Halloween

So, the way it brings people together is good I guess but I have to admit, from this background I’m far from convinced about the holiday – Isn’t it a bit worrying that horrible things bring humans together? I think so, but at least the kids get a giggle and a few sweeties…

What are your guys thoughts?

Lizzy x

p.s. There is a fantastic Farrow & Ball giveaway on Modern Country Style – Go have a look for your chance to win some expensive and simply gorgeous paint!

p.p.s. The text quotes and the pictures are from wikipedia so I don’t claim any rights…

Downton Abbey Series 2

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Downton Abbey series 2 hit the screens of TVs yesterday and I did not know about it!

Granted I am not exactly fabulous at knowing what’s going on on the old moving box as I find myself most of the time aggravated by the amount of rubbish on the TV these days. However, Downton Abbey is one of the very few exceptions.

Julian Fellowes is the writer behind the complex storylines and confrontations between upper and lower stairs characters. The man manages to weaves in numerous plot-lines seamlessly, with an ability to have you captivated by each character and easily being able to follow their lives among the myriad of others.

Of course it’s on the news now that Downton has managed to swipe both the Outstanding Writing in a Mini-Series Award and the Best Supporting Actress at the Annual Emmy Awards in Los Angeles.

I believe Fellowes really did deserve that award for his brilliant writing and Dame Maggie Smith….What else can I say?

Quite a lot actually. Dame Maggie Smith is one of those actresses that time and again just blows you away and for some reason manages to act brilliantly in any role given her. Below is a picture of her as the pushy, aristocratic mother of the Lord of Downton Abbey. Violet (Dame Maggie Smith) stands in the centre in purple while her son, Robert Earl of Grantham (Hugh Bonneville), stands to her right, his wife Cora Countess of Grantham (Elizabeth McGovern) beside him and Thomas (Rob James-Collier) the shadey servant. On Violet’s left, her grand-daughter, Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery), the servant Anna (Joanne Froggatt) and the honourable valet, John Bates (Brendan Coyle).

Downton Abbey Series 2 - Lizzy Bradbury

Downton Abbey Series 2

I am excited about this series and comparing it to something like Eastenders – Well there’s no comparison is there? At least Eastenders have done something worth-while in their recent storyline by having Tanya Jessop realistically diagnosed with Cervical Cancer – They have even been working with a Charity named Jo’s Trust behind the scenes to ensure they accurately reflect the disease and help to raise awareness for it – For the first time I hear myself cheering them on!

Anyway, back to Downton, I shall be relaxing this evening, having a bath, pampering myself and most definitely catching up on the TV series which I can’t believe I missed!

 

The Battle of Britain Day Today – 15th of September, 1940

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Churchill’s famous ‘Battle of Britain’ speech made in the House of Commons on 18 June, has come to refer solely to the RAF –

…If the British Empire and its Commonwealth lasts for a thousand years, men will still say, ‘This was their finest hour.’

This epic conclusion, from one of many famous Winston Churchill speeches, is something that makes you want to find out exactly what the Battle of Britain is and why it was so important. Being as the Battle of Britain Day is in two days time on 15th of September, maybe we should find out what it’s about and who we owe gratitude to.

So, brief historical run-down –

Battle of Britain Day
A Spitfire Flown at the Battle of Britain

In world was II, the summer and autumn of 1940, the English and French have been evacuated out of Dunkirk and Hitler is planning to launch Operation Sea Lion a.k.a. An amphibious and airbourne invasion of Britain. Little did he know that this would be a turning point in the war, and it would not turn in his favour.

Germany’s navy (the Kriegsmarine), had already been decimated by the Norwegian Campaign. With this in mind, Hitler and the majority of his advisors could only see the success of Operation Sea Lion possible if the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) gained air superiority over the Royal Air Force, to support the amphibious invasion.

Germany’s pilots had better training, they had more experience and there was a greater number of them.

Britain’s pilots had less training, rigid and unhelpful formations that helped the untrained but left them vulnerable to attack.

However, the British fighter squadron formations allowed for sufficient reserve pilots when casualties or fatalities occurred whereas the Luftwaffe were unable to produce enough pilots to prevent a decline in operational strength as the battle progressed.

With bombers attacking first the RAF bases and then moving on to Towns and finally terror bombings you can imagine the carnage the planes would have left behind and the fear which Britain would have been gripped with. It seemed that a German invasion was all too possible, and the politicians were split. Some wanted to pursue peace with Germany, whereas Winston Churchill and others would not give in, he would not let Britain fall and he urged us to fight until the end.

Winston Churchill & Battle of Britain
Winston Churchill

Even George VI and his wife Queen Elizabeth, both stayed in London while the bombing was taking place. After two bombs landed in the grounds of Buckingham Palace on the 10th & 13th of September, another two bombs destroyed the Royal Chapel while the royal couple were in a small sitting room about 80 yards from where the explosions took place!

The battle raged on from mid-summer right through to October and beyond, though October was seen as the official end to the Luftwaff campaign. This aerial war was seen as a massive turning point when the RAF maintained air superiority against the Germans. If they hadn’t, Operation Sea Lion may have taken place and we would be in a very different England today.

So, I’m urging everyone on Battle of Britain Day to not only honor the RAF for the past and continuing work but also visiting the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund Charity which helps current soldiers, and veterans from as far back as the Battle of Britain:

http://www.rafbf.org/

RAF Benevolent Fund - Battle of Britain
RAF Benevolent Fund

Pay tribute to those who gave their lives and put their life on the line to keep a free Britain for the future!

Winston Churchill summed up the battle and the RAF in these words –

‘Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many, to so few.’

The Battle of Britain – 15th of September, 1940

Standard

Churchill’s famous ‘Battle of Britain’ speech made in the House of Commons on 18 June, has come to refer solely to the RAF –

…If the British Empire and its Commonwealth lasts for a thousand years, men will still say, ‘This was their finest hour.’

This epic conclusion, from one of many famous Winston Churchill speeches, is something that makes you want to find out exactly what the Battle of Britain is and why it was so important. Being as the Battle of Britain Day is in two days time on 15th of September, maybe we should find out what it’s about and who we owe gratitude to.

So, brief historical run-down –

Battle of Britain Day

A Spitfire Flown at the Battle of Britain

In world was II, the summer and autumn of 1940, the English and French have been evacuated out of Dunkirk and Hitler is planning to launch Operation Sea Lion a.k.a. An amphibious and airbourne invasion of Britain. Little did he know that this would be a turning point in the war, and it would not turn in his favour.

Germany’s navy (the Kriegsmarine), had already been decimated by the Norwegian Campaign. With this in mind, Hitler and the majority of his advisors could only see the success of Operation Sea Lion possible if the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) gained air superiority over the Royal Air Force, to support the amphibious invasion.

Germany’s pilots had better training, they had more experience and there was a greater number of them.

Britain’s pilots had less training, rigid and unhelpful formations that helped the untrained but left them vulnerable to attack.

However, the British fighter squadron formations allowed for sufficient reserve pilots when casualties or fatalities occurred whereas the Luftwaffe were unable to produce enough pilots to prevent a decline in operational strength as the battle progressed.

With bombers attacking first the RAF bases and then moving on to Towns and finally terror bombings you can imagine the carnage the planes would have left behind and the fear which Britain would have been gripped with. It seemed that a German invasion was all too possible, and the politicians were split. Some wanted to pursue peace with Germany, whereas Winston Churchill and others would not give in, he would not let Britain fall and he urged us to fight until the end.

Winston Churchill & Battle of Britain

Winston Churchill

Even George VI and his wife Queen Elizabeth, both stayed in London while the bombing was taking place. After two bombs landed in the grounds of Buckingham Palace on the 10th & 13th of September, another two bombs destroyed the Royal Chapel while the royal couple were in a small sitting room about 80 yards from where the explosions took place!

The battle raged on from mid-summer right through to October and beyond, though October was seen as the official end to the Luftwaff campaign. This aerial war was seen as a massive turning point when the RAF maintained air superiority against the Germans. If they hadn’t, Operation Sea Lion may have taken place and we would be in a very different England today.

So, I’m urging everyone on Battle of Britain Day to not only honor the RAF for the past and continuing work but also visiting the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund Charity which helps current soldiers, and veterans from as far back as the Battle of Britain:

http://www.rafbf.org/

RAF Benevolent Fund - Battle of Britain

RAF Benevolent Fund

Pay tribute to those who gave their lives and put their life on the line to keep a free Britain for the future!

Winston Churchill summed up the battle and the RAF in these words –

‘Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many, to so few.’