Stuart

Places, people or events associated with the Stuart monarchs, or the Stuart period in Britain,

Walking around Oxford

All Souls Oxford

I’m not easily given to hyperbole; I’ve told you that a million times.  But it is genuinely hard to think of a British town that can be quite so achingly beautiful as Oxford. Perhaps I should qualify that by saying that I refer to the few square miles of the city centre where, quite frankly, […]

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Pilgrims, Pie, and Plymouth Rock: the British roots of the USA’s Thanksgiving Day

The First Thanksgiving

A guest post by Anne Clare The United States’ celebration of Thanksgiving might seem, at first glance, like a surprising choice for a blog dedicated to Britain. After all, modern U.S. celebrations largely focus on eating turkey (a bird native to the New World), watching football (the American variety, naturally), and gearing up for Christmas

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The time capsule of Culross

Culross and the Forth

It’s become something of a cliché, to describe a place as ‘being frozen in time’, or similar.  But in the case of Culross, a small village on the north bank of Firth of Forth in Fife (try saying that after too many sherbets), there’s an element of truth in the statement. Most of Culross manages

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Touching the lost past of Ninekirks

Ninekirks, St Ninian's, near Penrith

It’s hard to beat soaking up the atmosphere of an elegant historic house, or imagining life being restored to the grim ruins of a once-mighty castle. But there’s also a special kind of magic getting off the well-beaten tourist track to explore some less obvious aspect of our past, an attraction that isn’t widely advertised,

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What does Gawthorpe Hall remind you of?

Gawthorpe Hall

The first sight of Gawthorpe Hall may strike a chord with fans of Downton Abbey, the period soap-opera that follows the fortunes of the Crawley family and those that serve them.  I’m sure those of the true Fellowes’ faith will correct me, but doesn’t this Lancashire house look a little like Highclere Castle, the real

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A Bit About Britain’s History repeats itself

A Bit About Britain's History

Finally – A Bit About Britain’s History (From a long time ago until quite recently) is available as both an e-book and paperback on Amazon. A Bit About Britain’s History is a light introduction to Britain’s fascinating story.  It could be a selective reminder of what you might have learned at school; or if you

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Brough Castle, Cumbria

Brough Castle, Cumbria

The bleak ruins of medieval Brough Castle perch on the western edge of Church Brough, a peaceful collection of attractive, solid, old dwellings huddled round a small square with St Michael’s church in the background.  The village of Brough is divided by the busy A66.  The larger portion, Market Brough to the north of the

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London’s medieval Jewel Tower

College Green, Westminster

Regular watchers of TV news will be familiar with the scene outside the Houses of Parliament, where journalists interview politicians on a patch of grass opposite Old Palace Yard, against a backdrop of Gothic architecture and the appropriately barbarian howls of protestors.  While you’re hanging on every sage sound-bite tripping off the tongues of our

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Through cloisters and gardens – a visit to Lacock Abbey

Lacock Abbey, Wiltshire

For some, Lacock Abbey will always be associated with the invention of photography; for others, it is the Tudor-Gothic-Victorian house that gets the juices flowing; for me, the real pleasure was in wandering through cloisters and gardens. It was September and a stroll beyond the inevitable National Trust shop took us past pastel-shaded cottage-garden style

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Exploring Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square, treasure buried?

Trafalgar Square is one of those places that have always seemed to be there.  It is so famous, such a focal point, and featured in so many news clips and photographs – including those taken by most of London’s tourists – that it’s easy to take it for granted.  Its name commemorates, as most people

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Is the Cerne Abbas Giant one of Britain’s most loved figures?

Cerne Abbas, Giant, Dorset

This is an appropriate question, since it is rumoured that couples creep up to the Cerne Abbas Giant at night in order to make babies.  As the Giant is cut into a hill with a reasonable degree of slope on it, the mechanics of their actions must be somewhat of a challenge; but each to

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