Windsor Castle

When I posted the other day about my forthcoming fortieth birthday (eek!), many of you expressed astonishment that I had ‘visit Windsor Castle’ on my Things To Do Before I Turn Forty List. Which is fair enough – after all, I am a history blogger and have been resident in the UK for my entire life so far so how come I’ve never managed to visit? The thing is that I HAD actually been to Windsor Castle before. Well, sort of. I spent a lovely afternoon in the private bit of the estate, near Frogmore House, there a couple of […]

Summer is coming!

The Victoria Memorial statue outside Buckingham Palace. I’ve been wanting an excuse to use this picture for AGES and now, finally, I have it! Photo: Melanie Clegg. I hope I’m not jinxing everyone when I say that I think that summer might actually almost be here. Finally and at last! Certainly, round these parts, if you’re able to sit out in the garden to eat in ice cream for more than two days in a row then clearly something is going on! Anyway, as soon as the sun comes out, my mind starts to turn to holidays or, more particularly, […]

In Fine Style – a superb Tudor and Stuart exhibition

Photo: Melanie Clegg. I was lucky enough to be invited to the blogger’s preview yesterday morning of the new exhibition In Fine Style: The Art of Tudor and Stuart Fashion at the Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace. It must surely be testament to how thoroughly excited I was about this exhibition that I did not at all begrudge getting up at 3.30am to get there for the 9am start and proof of how ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT it is that I think it was an entirely well spent effort. Photo: Melanie Clegg. ‘This exhibition explores the sumptuous costume of British monarchs and their […]

Lacock Abbey

Lacock Abbey. All photos: Melanie Clegg. The sun is finally starting to come out in the south west so we decided to make the most of it by heading to nearby Lacock Abbey for a day of historical treats which had the additional bonus of giving me a bit of time off from the gloom and gore of 1888 Whitechapel. It also happened to be the National Trust’s regular ‘free weekend’ so that was great timing! I know that we really ought to still be members of the good old National Trust but we’ve run out of places to visit […]

Farleigh Hungerford Castle

We’re peculiarly un-blessed when it comes to castles in our part of England, so much so that we commit the ultimate middle class crime of not having membership of the National Trust or English Heritage because they have naff all properties nearby. I know. I know. Although maybe that’s an excuse as I’m just about to buy a family membership to Historic Royal Palaces for the year so that we can have lots of trips to the Tower of London, Hampton Court and Kensington Palace. Anyway, there are few things I like better than scrambling all over ruined castles so […]

CSI: Plantagenet

Richard III, unknown artist. Photo: National Portrait Gallery. Like millions of other people, I excitedly tuned in to Richard III: The King in the Car Park, last night’s documentary on Channel Four about the recent discovery of the remains of Richard III, looking forward to an hour and a half of superb and unmitigated history geeking about DNA, osteo-archaeology and carbon dating. What I got instead was a little bit of all of that (which was much appreciated but, honestly, we’re not stupid and could have handled a LOT more of the science stuff) and a lot of peculiarity involving […]