Well, before I go to bed and recharge my batteries for day 2 of The Executed Queens Tour, I just thought I’d better fill you in on day 1 which has been a great start to the tour.
Tim and I met 22 of our group at Victoria Train Station in London at 11.30 this morning and from there we went straight up to Bradgate Park in Leicestershire, the deer park which is home to the ruins of Bradgate House, the family home of Lady Jane Grey. It was overcast and a bit chilly but it didn’t rain (phew!) so we were able to enjoy walking through the park, looking at the deer, the river and the ancient oak trees. When we got to the ruins we looked at the plan of the house in Lady Jane Grey’s lifetime and identified the Great Hall, Lady Jane’s Tower, the tiltyard and the servants’ quarters, and visited the chapel where Lady Jane would have worshipped. It is an incredibly beautiful park and looking at it from the ruins you can just imagine Lady Jane looking out at the expanse of parkland and deer in the same way we were.
We got to Bosworth Hall Hotel at about 5pm, checked in to our rooms, freshened up and then met for an informal get-together before dinner. Another couple of people had turned up by this time so there were 24 attendees plus Tim and I – 6 people from last year’s Anne Boleyn Experience and 18 new people.
We had a lovely dinner – I had prawn cocktail, roast beef and all the trimmings, lemon meringue pie and coffee with chocolates, yum! – and then we gave out goody bags and introduced ourselves. A funny moment was when we all suddenly started singing “I’m Henry VIII, I am” and the fire exit doors suddenly blew open. Was it Henry VIII? Was it the Grey Lady of Bosworth Hall?! It was quite amusing. Some people then retired to bed and others socialised in the bar. A good first day was had by all and it was very heart-warming to hear of people’s excitement and their joy to be on the tour.
You can see more photos on our Anne Boleyn Files Flickr page at http://www.flickr.com/photos/theanneboleynfiles/sets/72157626604614693/
We’re off to Sheffield Manor Lodge tomorrow so I’ll write about that and our talk from historian John Guy tomorrow night.