Memorial

A statue or other structure dedicated to or associated with a famous British person or event.

Lawrence of Arabia’s bolt-hole

Clouds Hill, T E Lawrence, Dorset

A tiny cottage, close to the Dorset HQ of the Royal Tank Regiment at Bovington Camp, was once owned by one of Britain’s most fascinating and enigmatic figures, T E Lawrence – also known as Lawrence of Arabia.  The cottage is called Clouds Hill and it was built in 1808 as a forester’s or labourer’s […]

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The pity of Culloden

Leanach Cottage, Culloden, battle, Jacobites

The Battle of Culloden, fought on 16th April 1746, was the last pitched battle fought on British soil. Like many battlefield sites, Culloden’s oozes an atmosphere of profound sadness, embroidered by its own mythology.  It was a long time ago, but, even now, Culloden’s misleading myths can be powerful: this was the place where a

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Was England born in Athelney?

Sign to Alfred's monument at Athelney, Somerset

Christmas in the year 877 did not turn out as Alfred planned. One minute he was celebrating, the next his hall was overrun by screaming, violent, bloody-weaponed, pagan warriors.  He escaped with his life and a small band of followers, ending up in hiding in the swamps around Athelney, in Somerset. Today, Athelney is a

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Finding George on Portsmouth’s Naval Memorial

Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Southsea Common

A recent visit to Portsmouth necessitated a walk along the seafront – really, it has to be done – and a visit to this enormous monument.  The seafront was familiar from childhood and I remembered the memorial well; I might even have played within its semi-hallowed embrace and fidgetingly attended a remembrance service there. I

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The Ypres Salient, 1914-1918

Sanctuary Wood near Ypres

The Belgian town of Ypres, now more generally and correctly known by its Flemish name, Ieper, is very close to Britain.  Geographically, it is only about an hour and a half away – through the Channel Tunnel from Folkestone to Calais, head north to Dunkirk, hang a right and you’re there.  Spiritually, it’s even closer.

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Manchester’s John Rylands Library

The John Rylands Library, Manchester

It’s funny how things turn out.  John Rylands was born in St Helens, Lancashire, in 1801 and helped to create what was at one time the biggest textile company in the UK.  At its peak, John Rylands & Sons employed 15,000 people, mainly across North West England in and around Wigan, Bolton and Manchester, in

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The massacre at Glen Coe

Glen Coe, massacre, Jacobites

Scotland’s Glen Coe is justifiably well known to walkers, geographers, geologists and nature-lovers as a place of beauty and interest. It also has a rich history of saints and Vikings. Yet, year after year, visitors from all over the world are drawn by a single event, the terrible massacre at Glen Coe that took place

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National Wallace Monument

National Wallace Monument

Beyond Scotland, ex-pat Scots and a few informed corners of Britain as a whole, not many people would have heard of William Wallace before the 1995 film, Braveheart.  The American, Mel Gibson, directed and starred in the movie, playing the downtrodden, noble, medieval Scottish hero battling the evil English, led by Patrick McGoohan – who

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