Royal connections

Places with connections to kings, queens or other significant members of the British Royal Family.

The Loveliest Castle in the World?

Leeds Castle, Kent

This is Leeds Castle, nowhere near the city of Leeds in Yorkshire, but located some 240 miles to the south, in Kent.  It was once described as “the loveliest castle in the world” by historian Lord Conway and understandably, but slightly tediously, Leeds Castle ensures his words have not been forgotten – even if most […]

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Althorp, Northamptonshire

Althorp (sometimes pronounced ‘Awltrup’) is the Spencer family pile in Northamptonshire.  Who amongst us lesser mortals had heard of either the estate or the family before Lady Diana Spencer shot into public awareness like a blazing comet?  Perhaps, some may have vaguely thought, the family was something to do with that other lot, the Marks. 

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Geddington’s Queen Eleanor Cross

Geddington is an attractive Northamptonshire village, with Saxon roots.  It boasts an ancient church, St Mary Magdalene, and a ford over the River Ise with an attractive old bridge, said to date from 1250, alongside.  However, it is probably most famous for its Eleanor Cross, the best preserved of three of the twelve original crosses

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Why 467 pubs are called the Royal Oak

Boscobel House, Shropshire

What might be called ‘the Royal Oak Incident’ took place when the future King Charles II hid in an oak tree after the Battle of Worcester in 1651.  This was a real event, which might have had a very different outcome, and is a fascinating story.  You can visit the spot where it happened, Boscobel

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Visit the Tower of London

Tower of London

The Tower of London has been sitting on the north bank of the Thames, watching the tides of a great city ebb and flow, for around a thousand years.  The city has grown up around it and it is part of it; it is impossible to imagine London without the Tower.  Think of all that

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Why visit Berkhamsted Castle?

Berkhamsted, castle, Herts

Good question.  You can see for yourself that there’s very little of it left.  True, there’s a fine motte, traces of a few fireplaces, site of a kitchen, with an attractive gap-toothed inner curtain wall built mainly of local flint – and a well.  But that’s about it – and the massive moats, which would

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The Battle of Bosworth

Battle of Bosworth 22nd August 1485

The Battle of Bosworth is one of those events that changed the course of history.  Fought on the 22 August 1485, Bosworth was the last significant armed encounter of the so-called Wars of the Roses, the medieval dynastic struggle between the houses of York and Lancaster and their allies, which had rumbled on for three

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1066 – so what?

Battlefield, Hastings, 1066

Every action has a reaction, but there are some events that so obviously and profoundly shape the future.  One of these was the Battle of Hastings on 14th October 1066*, when heroic Harold, King of England, got beat by wicked William, Duke of Normandy.  Of course, nothing’s that simple – but one thing is for

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Battle of Towton

Great events fall upon people and places, sometimes without warning.  But time takes everything out of focus until there’s nothing obvious to show that anything ever happened there, and no trace of the people who took part.  For example, take the peaceful, and fairly nondescript, farmland south of the little Yorkshire village of Towton: here,

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