A View Of Home
I visited Highclere Castle Writer's Rooms in September 2014 as a ToursByLocals guest toursbylocals. com/blog/14991/highclere-castle-writers-rooms-burghclere and wondered how the castle would look from his tomb. The windows of the castle provide a similar view to the earl in death. I was surprised by the view from here, perhaps this could explain how beautiful Highclere is. Beacon Hill is a large Iron Age hillfort located on the Hampshire-Berkshire border in southern England. The site consists of a circular earthen rampart and ditch with an entrance on the southeast side of the hill.
The ramparts are believed to have originally extended for about four kilometres around the summit of Beacon Hill although only portions remain to this day, This Is Hampshire (thisishampshire.co.uk). The final resting place of the world famous Egyptologist, George Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon is a tranquil spot to visit. Nestling in the heart of a knoll on Beacon Hill near Burghclere it affords its occupant a lovely view over his beloved Highclere Castle and estate which provides the backdrop for Downton Abbey.
Cathedral Near To Collapsing
The tower and spire of Winchester Cathedral are an iconic structure representing this important town. However, towards the end of the 19th century, it became clear that the foundations of the south-west tower were in danger of collapsing into soft silt deposits beneath. As a result, in 1901, work was commissioned to install scaffolding beneath the steeple and access cofferdams in order to repair the foundations and underpin the structure with new concrete and brickwork.
The Cathedral is one of the most important historical churches in England and visitors come from all over the world to marvel at its size and architectural beauty. Walker's work helped preserve it and it has remained standing for 100 years after 1,000 years of history. Today it is the second worst case of subsidence in the UK caring huge repairs to stabilise its foundations. Walker was the first person to ever work as a successful divers in a suit.
Before his time, working underwater was unheard of. He also had to invent much of his own equipment including a diving suit and breathing apparatus. He was almost certainly the first to use diving bells for decompression which removed the risk of decompression illness. What makes this story more interesting is that the diver who helped save the cathedral was a woman! Her name was Mary Dyer and she was the first female diver accepted by the Royal Navy.
The world's first commercial underwater archaeology expedition in 1931 (which did not involve Walker) also used Dyer to help work on their dive. The effects were eventually successful enough for the cathedral to be saved, and now a century on, it still stands proud. The diver got a £25,000 prize for his work. Maybe not what he was expecting, but I am sure it was a lot more than any of the modern day divers earn.
During the 1860s, with the Crimean War in full swing, obsession with the fear of French invasion and a perceived threat from Napoleon III, a series of forts were constructed at great expense to protect Portsmouth from a potential sea or land attack. Now commonly known as Palmerstons follies, they became rapidly outdated almost as soon as they were completed and were never used in action. These huge structures can be seen to this day and most are readily accessible and form part of local public open spaces.
My first step on a visit to this site was to get the low-down on how this fort came to be, funded by the tax payer and never used in action. For this vital piece of research I have travelled out of my normal historic bracket to delve into Portsmouth's military past, now in the distance it is too easy to just walk through this 16th historical fortification without even looking up, so let me tell you a tale of considerable intrigue.
During the 1860s a series of forts were constructed at great expense to protect Portsmouth from a potential sea or land attack. Now commonly known as Palmerstons follies, they became rapidly outdated and were never used in action. These huge structures can be seen to this day and one outstanding example Royal Armouries Fort Nelson is open to the public. Palmerstons follies are not an unusual phenomenon – they are the result of a combination of events and attractions that have been seen many times throughout history.
Whether on land or at sea Palmerstons follies have always led to the construction of defensive positions that were never utilised. Fort Nelson sits right beside the famous Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and visitors can pay a small admission fee to use the viewing platform to look down on HMS Victory and across the Solent at Fort Clarence and Gosport (where my Grandmother is from!). It's fair to say the fate of the cathedral was in the hands of one man.
The Legend Of King Arthur
It is a common misconception that the throne was made for Henry VIII, however it wasn’t. Henry VIII was just one of the many Kings (and queens) who sat upon this throne. King Arthur appears in many legends and myths dating back as far as 449AD. The stories vary from Welsh to French and Cornish but the story of King Arthur has inspired several famous writers such as Forbes, Tennyson and T H White to name a few.
The Great Hall is also where the re-enactment of the Battle of Bosworth is performed every two years. But did you know that King William III once feasted here with his family in 1689? And after he lost the Battle of the Boyne to King James II he returned with just a few guards in secret and took back food and ammunition from Winchesters Great Hall. The well-built table is one of the most impressive surviving examples in England that rarely, if ever, leaves its position at Winchesters Great Hall.
It has plenty of stories for visitors to learn about and is evidence of King Arthurs legendary meetings with his Knights of the Round Table in the quest for justice. But there is more to this medieval masterpiece than this. A controversial theory suggests the legendary round table was actually put together in Winchester Abbey, where Henry VIII spent a lot of time in his life, and given by him as a gift to his new castle.
The Round Table is now located in the Great Hall of Winchester Castle visitors can come along, and I highly recommend a visit if you’re ever in the area. Whilst in the Great Hall, you can also look over other items such as. Walker worked away diligently without much recognition, in fact receiving less than £200 for his work. He thanks God he didn't have any kids to be sent off to war while he was doing the hard work!".
Who Done It?
William the Conqueror had three sons and he wanted to ensure that one of his sons would follow him onto the English throne. His eldest son Robert would become Duke of Normandy, and the youngest son Henry would become Duke of Anjou. The Duke of Normandy's line were known as the 'Plantagenet's', while the Duke of Anjou's family name became 'Plantegenet'(normally pronounced Plante Genat). There are two theories as to why they became known as Plantagenet's.
Those are the opening paragraphs for our blog on King William II. Some people who visit our website come from a search engine. They may type in, “history of king william”, or “King William I and II”. They want to read an article or watch a video on our topic because they have an interest in King William the Conqueror and his sons. We can improve their browsing experience by having some planned information for these kinds of visitors.
I'm taking you back more than a thousand years, to the time of William The Conqueror. Imagine you are a guard on one of the many watches fording the River Stour prior to the Battle of Hastings. As you're sweltering in your leather jerkin and heavy chainmail, you hear a twang from behind the tree line. Turning quickly, you spot an arrow caught on a branch just four feet in front of you. King William II of England (1056 – 1100), more commonly known as William Rufus or William the Red, has a legendary association with the New Forest, and in particular with the town of Fordingbridge.
We know that he was generally loathed by his people, notorious for his heavy-handed rule and during his lifetime earned the nickname 'Rufus'from the red colour of his hair and complexion. William the Conqueror's third son William Rufus was crowned in 1087, but famously was killed by an arrow in the New Forest in 1100. No-one knows who shot the arrow, but Rufus was a notoriously unpopular ruler so it may have been murder.
The Rufus Stone, near Minstead, is supposed to mark the spot where he died and his bones are found in Winchester Cathedral. My dad used to tell me stories as he drove us round the New Forest. He told me of the Rufus Stone and how William was killed by an arrow whilst hunting deer one afternoon in the summer months, at what’s now known as day’s end. The sun had just set and he lay alone, dead, dying or praying (accounts vary) on a saddle of land between two brooks.
Wreck Rises From The Ocean
In November 1982, a team of archaeologists on the seabed off the British Isle of Wight discovered what they thought was an old wooden door belonging to a sunken boat. Upon closer inspection however, it became apparent that this was in fact part of a shipwreck they had not known about. It was soon confirmed that they were looking at an entire Tudor period warship resting almost intact at the bottom of The Solent channel.
Being close to high tide and with only twelve hours left before the water level would rise, the decision was made to raise what remained of it immediately. Work began right away and over the next few weeks it became clear that hundreds of thousands of artefacts were being brought to the surface – great sacks filled with food. The remains of the Mary Rose ship, the pride of King Henry VIII's navy, was recovered from the Solent in 1982.
After four hundred years at the bottom of the Solent, she was raised with 1,500 kg of gunpowder. She was placed in a conservation tank at Portsmouth where she has been on public display since 1984. The remains of her crew have been an important element in telling the story of this Tudor ship and are believed to still be inside. Research has so far established the gender and age at death for 179 of these people and this is helping historians fill in details about life on board another Tudor ship.
When I heard about this I immediately set to work on an interactive piece that lets you see what a person. What draws us to archaeological sites and objects? The Mary Rose Act was passed in a bid to prevent looting of the site. As enthusiasts we can visit museums and proximity sites such as Hadrian’s Wall or the Roman fort at Vindolanda. We are drawn to these physical remnants because much of their history has already been lost.
For a ship, this will happen relatively quickly. An object like the Syringe Wreck is even more ephemeral. Although it is usually part of a ship’s hull, it was never intended to remain there permanently. It could be lost through plundering or removed during one of the many ship repairs that may have taken place over its long life. The Mary Rose was one of the earliest examples of a designed warship and is now one of the most recognised artefacts in British history.
She was King Henry VIII’s favourite warship, having served with great distinction from 1509 to 1511. Over 2,000 artefacts have been identified from the wreck site and include objects used domestically such as leather shoes and a needlecase as well as weapons including five guns and many thousands of shot. In the early 16th Century, King Henry VIII purchased a war ship from The Hanseatic League of traders and pirates. It was christened the Mary Rose after his sister.
The ship of 118 tons was equipped with 32 guns, and had a crew of 185 (a ship of this size now would have a crew of 70-100). She was designed for speed as well as pomp, but also to intimidate. Archaeologists are trying to piece the story of The Mary Rose together. Armed with a wealth of timber from the ship they recently made replicas of the sailing ships hull, masts and spars. They hope to use these faithful reproductions as part of a £30 million new museum which will open on the banks of The Solent in 2014.