Sunday, March 11, 2012

Eleanor of Castile

I have been reading lots of history books recently and have become somewhat
obsessed with King Edward I. It has lead me to investigate further and I am currently reading books about Robert the Bruce, Edward II, Edward III and Roger Mortimer.

Our history tutoring at school was somewhat limited, although I expect I did not give the subject my utmost attention, so much of what I am learning now is new to me.

I have been surprised to find out how significant the area I live in is historically and it has made me see my locality in a very different light. Yesterday I decided to visit a local monument that oddly enough I have driven past many times without being aware of its origins and purpose, the Queen Eleanor Cross in Northampton. (Seen here)

For anyone who does not know Eleanor of Castile was the wife of King Edward I. They married in the 13th Century and their marriage of convenience seems to have developed into a strong bond for the 36 years that they were husband and wife. Queen Eleanor died in 1290 near Lincoln and Edward had her body taken back to London for burial at Westminster Abbey.

Kind Edward had a monument erected at each of the 12 places where his Queen's body rested overnight along the journey and three of them can still be seen today.

The map here marks the journey the funeral procession took on route to London.

The other two remaining crosses are at Waltham Cross in Hertfordshire and Geddington which is also not too far from me. I am looking forward to visiting it soon.

The cross in Northampton has lost its top section, apparently as the result of a lightning strike. The cross at Geddington, seen here, is said to be the best preserved of the three remaining monuments.

It seems that all of the monuments have undergone some restoration work however I found it a very moving experience yesterday standing on the steps of a monument that was erected over 700 years ago.

Saturday, March 10, 2012


I have just been looking for a list of wood-fairs in the UK.

As the weather is picking up and the sun is shining...just, I am getting Spring fever and looking forward to the long summer to come.

Anyway, I found this website,, and thought I would share it. It has a list of woodfairs throughout the UK with lots of info and pictures and may help you plan some trips out over the coming months!

History Comes Alive

I am devouring history books at the moment! I have finished my books on Edward I and II and have moved onto Edward III, Robert the Bruce and the general history of Britain. Its fascinating stuff and we have some great historical authors about that make the information very accessible, most notably for me Marc Morris and Ian Mortimer.

I am also finding that I can read multiple books as they are reference books and much of what I am reading relates to the other. I currently have 9 books on the go on my Kindle. One of them is fiction, Simon Toyne, Sanctus, as its nice to drift off into a story sometimes, and I have James Palumbo's second novel waiting to be started.

My Kindle comes everywhere with me and I find I can often grab a few minutes here and there to get through a couple of new pages.

My recent readings have also educated me on the history of the area I live in which as it turns out is older and more significant than I knew! I am getting a big buzz out of walking down streets where Kings once trod and battles were fought. In fact, now I am getting an idea of just how many battles have been fought in this country I expect its harder to find a field where battle has not taken place at some point!

Anyway, time for a small reading session, after Robert the Bruce and Edward III I am moving on to The Crusades and Joan of Arc!

Happy Weekend Bloggers!


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