I like symbols, trying to work out the meaning of them and learning about the origins. The ones I’ve chosen are English, with one exception, and span early English history through to the 20th century.
The Royal Mail symbol, to be found on bright red post boxes all over the UK. It’s current incarnation has the initials E11R, Elizabeth the Second reigns, but earlier ones have GV1R and even VR can occasionally be found.
Dieu et Mon Droit. God and my right (shall me defend)was the battle cry of Richard the Lionheart. With it’s lion and unicorn, it’s now the royal coat of arms and refers to the divine right of the monarch to govern.
The Tudor Rose is the floral heraldic emblem of England. It was adopted by Henry 7th, it joined the red rose of Lancaster with the white rose of York after the war between the two royal houses.
Lastly, the Green Man, a pagan symbol of fertility that can be found not just in England but also France and across Europe. It’s a pre-Christian symbol that can be found in many churches – this one is from Spreyton in mid Devon – how interesting that a pagan symbol survived in parallel with Christianity. Perhaps they were hedging their bets when it came to mans reliance on nature!
There will be lots of symbols over at Ailsa’s place, check them out http://wheresmybackpack.com/2013/12/06/travel-theme-symbol/#comments
and click on my photos to see a bigger view!
I popped down to A La Ronde, a little National Trust property that overlooks the Exe estuary, a few weeks ago. It was one of those beautiful autumn days that I add to my memory store, to help me throught the winter. A La Ronde was built in the 18th century and isn’t actually round – it has sixteen sides! Those of you who love windows would fall for it, they are a delight. I hope this photo is legible, read a little of its history.
And here is some of the exterior, click on any photo for a better view.
The Old Laundry
I’ll be back sometime with some inside shots, the Parminter ladies had some bizarre design ideas and quirky collections. Meanwhile here is the outside of the house, just before the painting was finished.
So many of you were interested in yesterdays picture for ‘stone’ that I felt I had to show you a little more of the building.
Aren’t they pretty? And thanks to Nikki for adding this link to Facebook,
Last week my daughter took me to Bishop’s Waltham, a village a few miles from her home in Hampshire to see the ruins of its medieval palace. The buildings are full of atmosphere and set in lovely grounds.
This is the great hall, imagine how magnificent it would have been.
The buttery, pantry and servery, rebuilt in 1387-90 by Wykeham.
Intriguing little peepways, including narrow ones for arrows. I’d like to know what the curve shape is about in the second photo.
The Bishop’s tower, where he had his private apartments.
I loved the shape here and the feel of the stone, each one laid by some secret hand from long ago.
The bakehouse and brewhouse, my favourite part, I think because of the chimney breast, again marvelous stonework with different bits added and repaired over time.
This palace was mainly constructed by William Wykeham who was bishop from 1367. It has earlier history though, with important royal visitors, King Henry 11 visited in 1182 and Richard the Lionheart in 1194. Henry V prepared for the battle of Agincourt here and Queen Mary 1 waited for King Philip of Spain to arrive for thier marriage in 1554. Imagine the ghosts!
English Heritage look after the site and its free to visit all through the summer.
See what a wonderful family picnic spot the palace is! http://sugarandspiceandallthingslife.com/2013/09/02/a-family-picnic-at-the-palace/
. . . and some of the views from it!
The theatre was built by the Greeks and then re-built by the Romans, on the side of a hill overlooking Giardini-Naxos and Mount Etna. Originally it could seat 5000 and the Romans used it for gladiator battles, today it is still in use. We had just missed a film festival and the throne in the photo was for the next production, Verdi’s Rigoletto. I can imagine that it would be mind blowing in this setting. Apparently Plato conceived his theory of forms in the amphitheatre, and it does have a feel about it that somehow grabs at the belly.
Sicily is full of antiquities, but if you go, visit Taormina and the theatre that is part of its ancient heart.
Cheri says ‘Sometimes, we long for the past: for moments we want to remember or recapture. The good times. The golden years. Or perhaps we’re homesick, or longing for something — or someone — that might have been.’
Here are my entries
I wonder if he is nostalgic about travelling back in time.
Boats like this always make me feel nostalgic, I wonder what she was like in her heyday.
An old soldier shares stories with his grandchild at Gallipoli.
Do you have something nostalgic to share?http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/07/05/nostalgic/
Lat night I went with my friend to Exeter Phoenix, the local arts centre, where a group of volunteer researchers and story tellers gathered to talk about Exeter’s multi coloured history. We learnt about the city’s medieval Jewish population, and about a visit to the synagogue.
American GI’s were stationed here in World War Two and were segregated, with the black soldiers being kept over the river in Westexe and not allowed into the city centre. They won the hearts of the people in the St Thomas area and had some good times with the local high school girls!
Our Royal Albert Museum has had a beautiful carved and painted stone Ganesha in its colections for many years. It inspired some of the group to tell the story of how Vinayaka Ganesh became the revered deity, that drives away sorrow and obstacles. Maybe Madhu will tell us the story.
To bring us into the 21st century some young women from St James High School performed their own play, ‘Anna’s Story’, a moving story about the impact of racism.
There were several more stories and two super musicians, with an eclectic mix of instruments, who improvised thoughout the performances and during the interval. A fab evening and I’m looking forward to the next.
‘It is easy to forget how mysterious and mighty stories are. They do their work in silence, invisibly. They work with all the internal materials of the mind and the self. They become part of you while changing you. Beware of the stories you read or tell: subtly at night, beneath the waters of consciousness, they are altering your world.’
A few weeks ago I did a series of posts about Buckland Abbey , but I left out it’s most famous owner, Sir Francis Drake.
Buckland was paid for with Drake’s earnings – or plundering on his early voyages. The treasures he brought home to Queen Elizabeth 1 provided him with wealth and his title. Even though he had no children his heirs lived at Buckland for eight generations, until the 1940′s.
The most famous anecdote is of how he supposedly continued a game of bowls on Plymouth Hoe, saying that their was plenty of time to deal with the approaching Spanish Armada afterwards.
Artifacts relating to his journeys can be seen at Buckland, the most important being a late 16th century drum, decorated with Drake’s coat of arms, one of the oldest surviving in Europe, and possibly one of thirteen bought in 1595 for his last voyage. The drum is said to beat if England is in danger, most recently during the Second World War just before Dunkirk was evacuated, spooky eh?
In 1596, as he lay dying of dysentery, he is reputed to have asked to be dressed in his full armor. He was buried at sea in a lead coffin, near Portobelo. Here are a few of Bucklands Drake treasures.
Sir Francis is the knight in this chess set.
Plotting his course.
Across the oceans.
A beautiful golden miniature.
The drum, lets hope it doesn’t sound.
A scaled replica.
The man himself.
Drakes Coat of Arms.
I’m just choosing one photo for Ailsa’s challenge of Costume because I think this guy deserves it for wearing armour that weighs a ton and still being able to stand up!
Check some more entries and post yours at http://wheresmybackpack.com/2013/05/31/travel-theme-costume/
As you know I was captivated by Buckland Abbey. It isn’t the most grand of National Trust houses but for me it is an interesting one, packed with history and little surprises. Here are a few of the things I enjoyed.
I know, it’s just a chair leg, but imagine all the ankles that have brushed against it.
Time flies indeed.
I loved the little incense boat.
A 17th century sea chest.
A model of the Golden Hind.
This chess set has Lord Burghley as King, Queen Elizabeth as Queen and Sir Francis Drake as the Knight. Each of the Pawns is a miniature Golden Hind.