Hunsdon House

Hunsdon House – 

One of the most important medieval houses in Hertfordshire

A few years ago, an attempt to find traces of Richard III’s family in Hertfordshire led me to Hunsdon.  This is a small village in the south-east of Hertfordshire, near the border to Essex.  The former manor house, Hunsdon House, is situated to the south of the actual village, next to the church of St Dunstan (find it on a map here).

Hunsdon House

A glimpse of the present-day Hunsdon House

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The Manor of Ware

The Manor of Ware in Hertfordshire during the Middle Ages

The town of Ware has a long history.  The oldest dateable artefacts found in the area go back to the late Paleolithic period (c.25,000 – 10,000BC).  There is evidence for a more permanent settlement in the Mesolithic period (8,000 – 5,000 BC).  The Romans were also there and so it goes on into the Middle Ages, which is the period this post will be dealing with.[i] 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

Merevale Abbey

Merevale Abbey – for a good night’s rest while travelling to and from Bosworth

One year, while travelling in Richard III’s footsteps, we went on to Atherstone, after spending a fascinating day at the Bosworth Battlefield Centre.  We had booked accommodation at a B&B, Abbey Farm , which had come highly recommended by a friend from Canada – and we were not disappointed!

I knew that the B&B had got its name from its proximity to Merevale Abbey (the address – Merevale Lane – was a certain give-away), but had not realized that some of the ruins of this former abbey are actually in its garden and the only remaining complete buildings, the gate and gate chapel, are right next door. Continue reading

All Hallows by the Tower, London

All Hallows by the Tower –

a church and its connection to Richard III

Today, 1 November, is All Hallows (or All Saints) Day.  From this comes our Halloween (= All Hallows Eve, 31 October).  On this day all saints, who have attained heaven, are commemorated.  It was a Holy Day of Obligation, meaning the faithful were obliged to attend mass.[1]  Growing up in a traditionally Catholic area in Germany, I can remember our Catholic neighbours decorating the graves of their family members with candles the evening before.  And of course it was a public holiday, which meant a welcome day off school! Continue reading