Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Kedleston Hall

Kedleston Hall was built by Robert Adam for the Curzon family who have owned the estate since the 13th century in 1759.

It's a lovely place for a walk and to sit and watch the world go by.

Sunday, 23 September 2018

The West Coast of Gernsuey

I do like the west coast of Guernsey, it's easy to get about (the south coast is harder to get at...) and has some lovely views and historic buildings.

On my first full day I wandered to the west and Roquaine bay..

The view to Fort Pezeries

Fort Grey - now restored and an interesting museum about the shipwrecks on the west coast.

Rousse Tower

 Le Trepied a passage grave which is 4500 years old.

Les Caches farmhouse

This is the view back from the L'Eree battery to Fort Sausmarez.

Fort Grey again

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

St Peter Port - Guernsey

Earlier in the month I visited the island of Guernsey. For those who don't Guernsey is part of the Channel Islands and a south governing Crown Dependency off of the coast of France. It is the last remaining part of the Dukedom of Normandy that the crown retains.

Its capital is the delightful town of St Peter Port. Much of its charm is that many of the big chains stores are absent and it retains a small town atmosphere.

I highly recommend a visit to it together with day trips to its sister islands Herm and Sark.

Guernsey was occupied in WWII, the Channel Islands were the only part of the British Isles that was, and the Liberation May 9th 1945 is a big celebration. This is the Liberation Monument.

The old Post Office

Morris Dancing in Candie Garden

This is the light house just beyond Castle Cornet. Cruise Ships behind it and behind them Herm

Sunday, 5 August 2018


Sorry for the lack of posts.... the heat is getting me down a bit!

Anyway I recently spent a lovely if VERY HOT week in Norfolk!

Castle Acre Priory. This is the ruins of a Cluniac Priory established in 1089. The priory was dissolved in 1537. The west front and Priors lodgings are fairly well preserved. It and the nearby Castle are owned by the Earl of Leicester (who lives at Holkham Hall) but are in the care of English Heritage.

The church of St John the Evangelist is next to Oxburgh hall and as had a hard last 70 years. In 1948 the steeple collapsed destroying the nave. And recently someone stole the lead from the roof from the Bedingfield Chapel (which has some fine Terracotta tombs)

Rising Castle in Castle Rising.... and confusingly it is known as Castle Rising Castle as well!!

Although it is an English Heritage property it is not owned and managed by them. Which I assume explains why the audio guide is a £1 and not free?

The castle was built some time after 1138 by William Albini. There is a story that a French Queen threw him to her pet lion and William wrapped his cloak around his hand and ripped the Lions tongue out. The most famous resident was Isabella the She Wolf (wife of Edward II)

 Houghton Hall which was built by Sir Robert Walpole the first Prime Minister although technically there was no such thing as a Prime Minister at the time.... QI will tell you its Arthur Balfour.

I have been going to Holkham Hall for over 40 years and I have seen many changes over the years .... some good some not. In the old days you were able to park under the trees overlooking cricket pitch and lake.... Mum & Dad loved this they could have a walk and sit and enjoy the view....now there is a purpose built car park.... a few years back I was told that it was to present the house as you would have seen it....Which I assume is uhm bumkum as there are cars parked in front of the house!

There used to be an old boy who collected a 50p parking fee. Apparently it was a job created for an old retainer because when he stopped doing it the charge was dropped. Today you are charged £3 (as an HHA member this was waved). I have no problem to the charge BTW it is a big estate and takes some upkeep (oh and they got plenty of cash out of me.... water, diet coke etc :) )

 Holkham was built by Thomas Coke another Thomas (the son of his nephew) was to inherit and he was a great Agricultural Pioneer. He is known as Coke of Holkham or Norfolk.

I forget when I first went to Hunstanton probably late 70's ? I have memories of a pleasant little sea side town. It was split in two the south bit a bit more kiss me quick but not overly the north a lovely expanse of grass with putting greens, bowling lawns leading to a ruin chapel a lighthouse and a pitch and putt.

Ironically given the heat I once visited with Mum and Dad and dad walked along the grass with the wind blowing a gale wrapping his trousers round his skinny legs... Mum was in hysterics..

Felbrigg is an old friend.....I'm not sure that doing the 1.5 mile lake walk was sensible :)

St Nicholas Church, Great Yarmouth

The church was founded in 1101 and due to it's floor area it is the biggest parish church in England. It has had a checkered history during the Second World War, the building was bombed and nearly destroyed by fire. It was rebuilt by the architect Stephen Dykes Bower and re-consecrated in 1961. It has a notable collection of 1960's glass.

 Horsey Windpump is a type of windmill used for pumping water. There were once over 200 in Norfolk but these have been replaced by electric ones. The one at Horsey was constructed in 1912 on the ruins of an earlier 18th century one called Horsey Black Mill. The National Trust are restoring it after it was struck by Lightening in 1943 and further storm damage in 1987. It's cap and sails have been repaired and the plan is to get it fully operational.

 Hoveton Hall Garden is a garden near to my hotel... it had a sculpture trail on....

Octagon Unitary Chapel Norwich

It was completed in 1756 and is a perfect Octagon. It is an example of English Neo-Palladian. It was built as the first Methodist chapel but is now used by the Unitarians

Ah Blickling Hall ! I have been coming here for 40 years. In the old days you could park your car in the orchard and Mum & Dad would sit in deck chairs and picnic.... today  you park in a .... car park.....

East Ruston Old Vicarage Garden. It is a 32 acre garden a mile and a half from the North Sea.  It was designed by Alan Gray and Graham Robeson and is highly regarded. I have never been before.