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

Dawn of Empire

Burghley House, built by Elizabeth's chief minister, William Cecil.

The roots of modern Britain Somehow, Elizabethan England has a very different atmosphere to any previous period in British history. Queen Elizabeth I succeeded to the throne on the death of her elder Catholic half-sister ‘Bloody’ Mary in 1558.  She was twenty-five.  Her 45 year rule is popularly seen as heralding a new age for […]

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Brits invent parliamentary democracy

Parliament, Westminster, London

The medieval roots of modern British government Most people know that the ancient Greeks invented democracy (demos – ‘the people’ and kratia – ‘power’).  But we Brits like to imagine it was us – Westminster is “the mother of parliaments”, and all that.  In fact, Iceland’s Althing and Sweden’s Jamtamot date back to the 10th

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The George Inn at Borough

I wonder how many pints of ale have been supped here?  Let me see: if just twenty people drank a modest 4 pints every night, that would be, er, 29,200 pints a year – 2,920,000 for every century.  But the revenue generated by that amount of beer would not be enough to make the place

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Kipling’s House

Bateman's, Rudyard Kipling's House in Sussex, England

We travelled to Bateman’s, Rudyard Kipling’s Sussex home for 34 years, through the impossibly pretty village of Burwash, all whitewash and weatherboard.  You reach the house down what Kipling described as “an enlarged rabbit-hole of a lane” to arrive in what is now a car park.  I wondered how it had all looked when the

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