Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Blood everywhere

Lack of 3G made posting impossible but here we are again.

We left Castor on a bit of a cloudy morning.  We had another mammoth cruise of several hours but I am getting used to that now.  I started off in one fleece but soon put on another, then my windproof jacket, later the hood went up and we enjoyed hot coffee.  A few locks to do but here they don't really warm you up much, just this aching finger business.

Open meadows, see on the roof our cratch carpet? Its our drying after water shot up the "Scuppers" in a lock to soak it.  Thought the wind would blow it off at one point, but no.

Lesley and I took it in turns to turn the lock again after leaving it, sort of leap-frogging, as I have said previously there is no room to pick up crews for two boats on the dolly sized lock landings.

Yarwood following us at this point

Forgive the rubbish quality of my phone zoom but this is actually a Grebe with TWO young on her back, they comically shot on at the same moment one from each side.

Finally arriving at our destination Fotheringay.   HERE   Knee deep in history here, bare with me non UK readers. King Richard III  (of "A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse" fame)  was born here, it was a Yorkist castle occupying a strategic position on the River Nene.  Much later it castle was "Given" to Catherine of Aragon, she spent a lot of money on it in her time making it more comfortable and when after twenty five years or so marriage to King Henry VIII his interest wandered, the castle passed down the list of his wives, but there is nothing to say here if they actually visited it*

So below, this is what remains today of the Motte and Bailey, after Mary Queen of Scots was beheaded inside the great hall here in 1587  (Can you imagine the mess?)  the local population fell dramatically   it seemed that nobody wanted to stay living there with its association of Queen killing, the castle was unoccupied and in merely 50 years or so later it was dismantled and the stone removed, not everyone was a loser as the stone was recycled to build a pub in the town of Oundle near-ish by.

The remaining Motte

WaL on the left and Yarwood on the right, photo taken from the top of the Motte.

Castle Farm barn, impressive eh?  Now a B&B and campsite.

Tomb of Richard III's parents.

Altar of church 

Queen Elizabeth did visit here, she was upset that the graves of her relatives were not suitable so ordered two tombs to be made for them, so that is King Richard's parents on the left and his uncle on the right.  Look above the alter and see the archway in the plaster.... this is where the church was once "Extended" making it double the size to what it is today, and today it is impressive, but we were told that the Duke of Northumbria pinched the lead off of the roof, the wet got in and as we all know what damage that causes, the rest of it had to be demolished.  Its a very interesting village to visit so do so if you are nearby.

We spent the weekend here and lovely it was too.  Sunday  lunch in The Falcon was FAB  HERE.  I had the roast lamb and cheesecake.  We three cycled all around the villages hereabouts and had a very jolly time of it.

* Much of the history of the castle and church was told to us by a chap in the church, I took him to be a member of the very active Richard III Society, however I cannot find any online references to back it up, but I believe every word!

Ha! Just found this snippet     HERE    if you have an interest scroll down and here they talk of the changes Catherine of Aragon made to the castle.


  1. Hi Lisa and David, Lovely to read about Fotheringay - I last visited there with my aunt who was a keen Ricardian. The Ricardian group (sub set of the R III Society) she belonged to embroidered the kneeling pads for the church. I am sure I couldn't identify Daphne's one but it was moving to think about how dedicated the society is to righting the view of Richard still held as correct . If you want more info in a very readable style, get hold of the novel (it's available on kindle if you own one) of Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey. Proves his innocence through comprehensive historical research which can be followed through today.
    Cheers, Marilyn PS I always enjoy your posts! They are so entertaining.

  2. Dear Marilyn,
    Thank you for your information. I have to say yes it was very touching that the Richard III Society had left flowers on a side alter in the church and also at the castle, there is a largish piece of stone and rock from the old Gatehouse I think, its surrounded by railings and had a wreath of white roses for the House of York.
    I have never thought Richard was guilty of murdering those Princes in the Tower.... I hope the book doesn't conclude he did!! I have brought it just now and will read it after this Poldark book, I really need to savour and save the last two...
    Have you visited Leicester to the exhibition there? Last year I think it was when on the Ashby canal we went to Bosworth which was very interesting,
    Thank you for the kind comments about my blog too.