Showing posts from October, 2023

Houses of Interest: Shropshire

A major revamp for the Shropshire entry. Shropshire was a hot bed of Royalist support. The ECW travelogue takes in not just those sites associated with the fighting of the Wars, but also the many places that claim to have helped save the life of the future Charles II. And, of course, an infamous oak tree. I’ve wanted to visit Stokesay Castle ever since I discovered that it was in fact a real castle and not somewhere made up. The gatehouse at Stokesay has to be up in the premier league of timber framed buildings Cared for by English Heritage, Stokesay Castle is "one of the best-preserved medieval fortified manor houses in England" (English Heritage castle expert Dr Henry Summerson - makes a change from the traditional quote from Pevsner). A seemingly eclectic building programme over 400 years has resulted in the site that we have today. Owned by Sir William Craven, an ardent supporter of the Queen, providing considerable sums of money to the Royalist war effort; Stokesay had

Houses of Interest: Leicestershire

The Civil Wars in Leicestershire are overshadowed by events leading upto, and after the Battle of Naseby just over the border in Northamptonshire.  For more Leicestershire Civil War locations see  the storming of Leicester (coming soon), Market Harborough's role after  Naseby , and Belvoir Castle . Kirby Bellars , the remains of this C14th moated manor house were reinforced with earthworks to provide protection for its Parliamentarian garrison. The garrison deserted the site after the fall of Leicester. Marked on the OS map as 'moat' it is best viewed on satellite mapping apps. More hardy souls might want to take the footpath from 36 Main Street westwards that curves round to the south to meet Leicester Road. 1620s House Slightly before 'our' period the 1620s House and Gardens at Donington le Heath gives a fascinating insight into how people lived during the troubled times. Excellent tea rooms (the menu is not C17th themed). The original Tudor manor of Coleorton Hal

Houses of Interest: Berkshire

 The #ECWtravelogue finally turns its attention to the County of Berkshire. Although that isn't strictly true, having visited the County before to visit the battlefields of Newbury 1 and 2, Donnington Castle, and the rather excellent West Berkshire Museum. You can find the entry here . The Natwest Bank in Maidenhead stands on the site of  The Greyhound Inn , where King Charles met three of his children in July 1647. Littlecote Littlecote House , Hungerford, has appeared in KeepYourPowderDry entries many times before: famous for having the best preserved, intact Civil War armoury in the country. The collection was put up for sale, and thankfully purchased by the Royal Armouries. Unfortunately a small handful of items from the collection made their way onto eBay before the Royal Armouries were able to secure the sale. The House itself is now a resort style hotel, open to residents only I'm afraid. The general public can visit the grounds to explore the Roman Villa on the site. Th

Houses of Interest: Hertfordshire

The opening entries in the ECWtravelogue entry for Hertfordshire are very Army Newly Modelled* heavy, and also cover the rise of the Levellers. But first a little background October 1647: Charles is imprisoned at Hampton Court; the Army Council has abandoned any attempt at negotiating with Charles as he has refused to engage with them for a number of weeks; and, Cromwell dissociates the Army leadership from the demands of the Levellers.  With this back drop, the Putney Debates begin: the Putney Debates were a series of debates that attempted to resolve the burning question of what to do with the King, a King who refused to negotiate, in order to draw a line under the First Civil War. On one side were the Army Grandees who wanted a solution that included Charles remaining as head of state. On the other, the radicals, most notably the Levellers, who wanted a constitution based upon one man, one vote, biennial Parliaments and a re-organisation of parliamentary constituencies. Throw into t