The Castle on the Hill…

Corfe Castle

Corfe Castle, Dorset

Not the traditional view of Corfe Castle, but one I think, that illustrates its strong strategic location. 

Built in the 11th century by William the Conqueror.  He chose the location well.  High on a hill, easy to defend on all sides. It also provided great unobstructed views over the Isle of Purbeck, to the coast and inland over the Dorset marshes and countryside.

These extensive ruins stand above the town of Corfe.  Both Town and Castle are a must to be included on any tour of Dorset.

One day we will be able to tour again….  until then…

Please Remember to ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

19th March

(C) David Oakes 2021

Wordless Wednesday…… Another Favourite Place

Bamburgh

Location:-  A weather change at Bamburgh on the Northumberland Coast

Wherever you are…..

Please Remember to ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

3rd March

(C) David Oakes 2021

It might have been very different….

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Charles Edward Stuart   —-   Bonnie Prince Charlie

Standing in the shadow of  Derby Cathedral*, is this statue to commemorate the visit to Derby of Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1745.  I say visit, but really it was his Army’s Occupation (all be it briefly) of the Town of Derby.

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It was all to do with the Jacobite Uprising in Scotland in 1745….known simply as the 45.  It started in August at Glenfinnan, when Prince Charlie started  to amass a Jacobite Army in Scotland.  The plan was to march to London and retake the Crown of Britain for his Father Charles Francis Edward Stuart, who expressed Claim to the Throne.  Support was substantial and he marched south.  Taking Edinburgh, defeated English Troops at the Battle of Prestonpans.  Crossed the Scottish border into England secured Carlisle Castle and marched on south. Prince Charlie arrived in Derby on December 4th 1745.  Not a bad achievement for a large army that had to travel by foot.

It was here in Derby that things changed.  Many suggest that if Charlie had stuck to his plans the History of the British Throne could have been so much different.  But his pause at Derby allowed time for his advisors to gather up-to-date intelligence of what might lie ahead for the Jacobite Army.  True, the British Army was being organised and a fighting force built to repel the Jacobite’s.  Maybe Charlies advisors were correct in persuading him to rethink his plans, maybe if he had gone forward his Jacobite Army could have overcome that anticipated resistance. Who really knows what that outcome would have been.

What we do know is that 2 days later on the 6th December 1745, Prince Charlie made the decision to return to Scotland.

It was along slow return journey.  His army became demoralised.  The slow progress gave the British Army time to build and pursue the Jacobite’s.  They caught up with them at Culloden.  On April 16th 1746, The Duke of Cumberland engaged the Jacobite Army. It was by all accounts a massacre.  The British Army had superior numbers, they had Cannon Power and highly maneuverable Cavalry.  The Battle of Culloden was won by the stronger British Forces. The Jacobite Rebellion was over.

_DOI0577qqq Despite the bloody and crushing defeat, Charles Edward Stuart has remained in the hearts of many.  Despite the blood shed and failure the story of Bonnie Prince Charlie has been and still is romanticised…. folk lore, legend, tragedy and the real history all blending together… the lines of truth becoming blurred.

I say, romanticised as Bonnie Prince Charlie is immortalised in the famous Scottish Ballard… ‘The Skye Boat Song‘.

” Speed, bonnie boat, like a bird on the wing,
Onward! the sailors cry;
Carry the lad that’s born to be king
Over the sea to Skye “

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So Charles Edward Stuart made his escape.  The British Army began building extensive defences across the Highlands to deter  a further uprising. Those tensions around identity continue today.

  •   I mentioned Derby Cathedral.But in 1745 it was called All Saints, Derby’s Parish Church.  All Saints was only made a Cathedral in 1927.

Please Remember to ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

23rd February

(C) David Oakes 2021

The Lamp Room……. A sign of the Times

The Lamp Room

The Lamp Room….

There was a time when the Lamp Room was one of the most important rooms in our large Town and Country Houses.  The heart of those houses was debatably the Kitchens, but like all the other rooms, from Bedroom the Ballroom, Lounge to Library, Nursery to Games Room…. all needed light when the days became darker.  A light switch and electricity were not an option.

So, you can understand why the Lamp Room was so important.  In this room a member of staff was responsible for cleaning the lamps, trimming the wicks, filling with oil….and the distributing them as needed in the house.

Tonight, we have a change in TIME…….  24th October the last day under British Summer Time.  Tomorrow we are back to Greenwich Meantime.

As we gain on hour overnight, as we ‘put our clocks back’ by one hour….  you could say that time, for a short while, stands still.

So, remember to change your watch and also….

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

24th October

(C) David Oakes 2020

For Better or the Worse…..

Heage-Windmill

Heage 6 Sail Windmill, Derbyshire

For better or worse, this year’s Harvest should be safely in.   The weather has been, let’s just say strange and unpredictable this year.  Reports sound as if overall it has not been anywhere near a bumper crop of cereals.

The magnificent Heage Windmill with its 6 sails is in full working order.  Lovingly restored with challenging work for volunteers and fund raisers…..  a true labour of love.

In none CV19 times it is open to the public.  Then it is worth taking a step back in history to view a Windmill, which just like the Harvest, is dependent upon the weather.  The name Heage is derived from the Ango Saxon word  Heegge  which became ‘High Edge’…. easy to understand as you stand beside the mill on top of a high hill. 🙂

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

10th October

(C) David Oakes 2020