Saturday, March 26, 2011

Medieval Priory Wall - Musket Ball Holes?

The brown/red stonework on the left of the entrance door to historic Lanercost Priory is a little unusual. It is peppered with holes ... but these are no ordinary holes. Look at them close up and they are a uniform round shape - as would have been made if musket balls had been fired at the wall.

According to a local historian that we spoke to, no-one seems to know for sure when and how they got there but one theory is that the holes could have been made by soldiers camped nearby during the Jacobite Risings who needed somewhere for target practice. We have found no evidence to substantiate this (as yet) but if true, it just goes to show what medieval architecture has to be able to withstand!

You can see the holes close up in our video clip on the medieval castles video channel

* Read more about the Jacobite Rebellion in the immediate area on this Knol article about Hadrian's Wall

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Monday, March 14, 2011

Medieval Sunset Nr Hadrian's Wall

We recently launched a medieval castle videos channel which we hope our medieval castle readers will enjoy and continue to return to view more video clips with a medieval angle.

Apart from covering medieval castles, we have also been busy filming places relating to medieval worship and medieval gardens. A video we recently uploaded is called 'Medieval Sunset' and it was shot at the historic site of Lanercost in Northern England, not far from Hadrian's Wall, just as the sun was setting. The entrance of the medieval priory is west facing so the golden glow of the setting sun reflected off the red stonework of the historic building's facade, making a wonderful sight. The only evidence of other people around was the odd car that passed on the nearby road and a lady out walking her dog - listen out for her comment to us about the beautiful light on the priory windows! Other than that we were alone and the calm atmosphere that prevailed in the golden glow made us think that the view was perhaps little different to what the likes of King Edward I and his queen might have witnessed over 700 years ago when they stayed in this very place.

Lanercost Priory is a little known yet very special building in a truly historic location. Not only is it of significant medieval relevance but it is just a few miles from the World Heritage site of Hadrian's Wall, in the heart of Border Reiver country.

Hadrians Wall cottages for holiday stays can be found right next to the priory in fact so if you ever visit this part of the world, you could be sleeping clost to where medieval royalty slept!

We have a number of previous blog posts about Lanercost

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Monday, March 7, 2011

Medieval Kings Of Note

Medieval kings are a fascinating subject. They all have their own story and some had the most amazing lives. Take Henry I for example - a son of William The Conqueror, it was never envisaged that he would be king but a forceful character and an opportunistic nature proved worthy assets when his brother William was killed in a hunting accident.

Henry's own grandson, Henry II went on to have what is arguably an even greater life and greater kingship. His wife Eleanor of Aquitaine proved to be one of the most formidable women in medieval history and their son Richard (The Lionheart) became a legend in his own lifetime.

Considering the times in which they lived, medieval kings such as Henry II and Richard I had truly remarkable lives. These are but two kings from many whose lives can still fascinate and inspire us today. Read more on our medieval kings page.

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