Hatfield before Hatfield House, Part 1

Hatfield before Hatfield House –

the Anglo-Saxons and Ely

Today’s main attraction for a visit to Hatfield in Hertfordshire is Hatfield House.  This “modern” palace was built between 1608 and 1611 by Robert Cecil, 1st earl of Salisbury and chief minister to king James I.[i]  In the 17th century, Hatfield belonged to the crown, but James I was envious of Cecil’s Theobalds House, near Cheshunt, Herts.  He therefore offered several properties, including Hatfield, in exchange.  This being an offer he couldn’t refuse, Cecil agreed and made the best of it.  While Hatfield House is most impressive and certainly worth a visit, the manor of Hatfield has a much older history, which is often overlooked.  Therefore, this is the first of a series of posts dealing with Hatfield before Hatfield House. Continue reading

Berwick-upon-Tweed

Berwick-upon-Tweed

While planning an overseas trip, I was searching for a suitable stopover point between Leicester and Inverness. Looking at the map, I thought that Berwick upon Tweed might just be the right spot.  After all, we are going to Leicester to check up on what Richard III is up to these days, and Berwick-upon-Tweed also has a connection with this king.

Berwick-upon-Tweed is not to be confused with North Berwick, a Scottish town approx. 40km north-east of Edinburgh.  We visited North Berwick a few years ago and remember the view of Bass Rock with its abundant bird life with fondness.

However, this post is about the Berwick further south.  Berwick-upon-Tweed is a town on the east coast of Great Britain on the northern side of the mouth of the River Tweed. The border to Scotland is just a few kilometres further to the north. Continue reading