Day 3 of the Discover the Tudors Tour

Today was our Hampton Court Palace day and although I have been many many times, I always learn something new and I always enjoy my time there. It was a perfect day.

We had a two-hour private guided tour from Siobhan, who focused on the Tudor side of things – the history of the original palace built for Cardinal Wolsey, the Tudor kitchens, the Great Hall, Presence Chamber, Haunted Gallery, the Chapel Royal, the Tudor Garden with Edward VI’s nursery… – and then we had free time to enjoy lunch and to visit other parts of the palace. Philippa and I visited the Young Henry VIII exhibition, the William and Mary State Apartments, the Royal Tennis Court and the Cumberland Art Gallery whose rooms are on the footprint of what was Henry VIII’s apartments (there are still some Tudor doorways, stairs and a tower room). We had a fabulous time.

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24 thoughts on “Day 3 of the Discover the Tudors Tour”
  1. This just occurred to me. It seems Francis is in an awful lot of your photos. I do hope he doesn’t have designs on England!

  2. My first glimpse of Hampton Court was the large gateway topped with the heraldic beasts of England, the lion and the unicorn and then the drive that wound up to the sprawling magnificence of Hampton Court, I was awestruck and so excited because this building was linked to Henry V111 and his unfortunate wives and I had read about it so often, photos do not do this incredible building justice and as I wandered through the apartments hung with centuries old tapestries and saw the intricate carving of the ceilings, I felt I had left the 21st c behind and was transported back to the heady court of Henry V111 and all its dark subterfuge hidden behind the chivalry and beauty of that decadent age, the long gallery where the girl queen Catherine Howard ran desperately pleading for mercy from her tyrannical husband and where her tormented shade is said to haunt, according to the tales of Hampton Court a disembodied hand has been seen on many an occasion yet the historian Alison Weir has noted that the location of the haunted gallery as it is called, could not be the one where Catherine tried to reach her husband as it is nowhere near the chapel where Henry V111 was at the time, still it makes a good story and we know she did try to see him before he left the building, the shade of Jane Seymour has also been seen holding a lighted taper on the anniversary of her death and Edward 1V’s old nurse Sybil Penn has also been seen, these are just tales of course but I was told by a lady in the gift shop that the cleaners one morning had gone into work and they were the only ones in the building, they could hear coming from one of the rooms the sound of music and chattering voices, when they entered the room fell silent and they were quite shaken by the event, a group of courtiers in Tudor dress have also been seen crossing the gardens one day by a gardener and as they reached the end they promptly vanished into the mist, Hampton Court must be one of the most haunted buildings in England when we consider the tragedy and drama that was played out there hundreds of years ago, it’s history is interwoven with the tragic story of the rise and fall of Cardinal Wolsley her builder, who in an act of appeasement gave it to his master Henry V111, in the gardens Henry V111 wandered with his wives and it is where his third queen Jane Seymour died after a long and difficult labour, after the fall of Anne Boleyn the stonemasons were busy trying to obliterate her initials from Hampton Court but they missed one out, the gateway where to this day, her initials remain and is called ‘Anne Boleyns Gateway, this forsaken queen is therefore still honoured in this beautiful building, the tranquility of the gardens also are worth a mention, the rose gardens and the exquisite Italian garden, along with the fun element of the famous maze, if ever you say you are going or have been to Hampton Court people say ‘ did you go in the maze or will you go in the maze’ it is as well known as the building it is associated with, as Claire mentions in her post Hampton Court was a home for other monarchs to, many have resided there and there are the lovely William and Mary apartments which I have seen but I feel along with others that Hampton Court belongs to the Tudor era more than any other, there were two life size figures of Henry V111 and Cardinal Wolsley on my first visit many years ago, I have since been back twice, one on a New Years trip that was organised by a haunted tour group and we visited her in total darkness, we walked down the haunted gallery and my friend and I were a bit spooked, though we didn’t see anything my friend swore something touched her knee, another time we went with another friend who spent most of the time on her mobile and then wanted to go to the pub opposite, we plan to go back next year and have a good day of it ,as you really cannot see it all in a few hours, to me Hampton Court symbolises the ancient beauty of England and just as Constables famous painting ‘ The Haywain’ came to be a symbol of the very heart of England against the nazi oppressor in the Second World War, so does Hampton Court to me at least represents England and the turbulent reign of Henry V111, long may she stand for another five hundred years and hopefully a lot longer.

  3. The stories of haunting do not surprise me. There is so much history there both good and bad. A couple of things I’ve heard (and we should all be thankful for the first one) is that the only reason anything Tudor at Hampton Court still exists is that William and Mary ran out of money. I also remember Suzannah Lipscomb mentioned on a program that the money Henry VIII spent on the huge ornate tapestries in in in the great Hall was as much as a warship at that time.

    1. Yes Henry was a great spender he did squander a lot of his father’s money on treasures and palaces, and a lot on the fruitless war with France, he spent loads of money on Anne Boleyn and his dream was to build a palace far more richer and bigger than Francis 1’s palace in France, which he called Nonsuch, no wonder he seized the chance to fill his depleted coffers with the money and treasures stolen from the monasteries, I can well believe he spent that much on a tapestry, he was an ostentatious King, we can see in the very he dressed, he wanted to dress and act like a king and it’s as if he wanted the world to see he was very different from his father who in his portraits appears soberly clad in his dark robes and austere looking.

  4. A great book I recommend is “Houses of Power (The Places that Shaped the Tudor World) by Simon Thurley published in 2017. It gives a pretty thorough overview of Henry’s building programs throughout his reign.

  5. I love Hampton Court. I have visited three, no four times now and each time it was wonderful.

    The Haunted Gallery is played down or at least it was when I was there as it is properly called the Long Gallery but that doesn’t detract from the event we all know happened there. Apocryphal or not there is a very strong tradition that Kathryn Howard on being prepared to be moved to Syon Abbey made a bolt for the place she had just been told His Majesty, her husband, King Henry Viii whom she actually believed had divine powers, was, the Chapel Royal along that corridor. It was more likely the upper gallery as this leads to the private entrance the King and Queen would use on holidays or Mass because it was separated from the plebs below. She rushed out and tried to get to Henry and make a personal appeal. Traditional stories say she got to the door which was locked and screaming called for Henry to let her in and listen to her. However, he didn’t and she was taken away, most probably still kicking and screaming and moved to Syon Abbey (House) Palace.

    Just what would she have said? Was she going to plead her innocence, something she maintained, at least on the question of sex with Thomas Culpeper? Was she going to beg for mercy and confess but beg for her life? We will never know. Kathryn didn’t see Henry again. He left for Windsor and Richmond and then Nonsuch. He distanced himself from everyone, from Kathryn and everything going on. Kathryn didn’t know why she was being confined to her rooms, although she could make an educated guess and took off to get an answer. Like K P, married at Hampton Court, this may have saved her life.

    KP of course found out that there was a warrant for her arrest after she had preached to Henry once too often, in front of other people this time, and she went to Henry and accepted her faults and made up. She called her educated opinions foolish talk by women and said she wanted to learn from the King. She accepted his “superior ‘ knowledge and then apologised. He forgave her because she flattered him.

    The first time I went to Hampton Court was in 1980 with the Sixth Form. I then went back the next day and told a curator all about my project at school. She was very helpful and for several weeks corresponded with me. I got extra marks for initiative and a telling off for not telling our form mistress were I was going (We also got another telling off the next day as a group of us stayed out in London until 3 a.m and went to a nightclub). Both ventures were totally worth it! We had the day free but the understanding was that we remained within the capital. (I spent the following afternoon watching Liverpool v Tottenham in a fifth round FA Cup Match and I was supposed to be at Saint Paul’s. Well, free time, means free time but I didn’t say anything as I went to the Cathedral in the morning and match in the afternoon. As long as we were back by 6.30 p.m and outside for 7 p.m for the theatre, who cares.). The project was a great success and I had parts of the palace to myself with the guide. I was told then that the story of KH probably had some truth but she personally had not seen any ghost. I must admit I was a lot more open to the story and ghosts, UFO sightings and so on aged 17 than in many decades since. Now I have to have the tangible, the evidence, the science, but I am still open to the magic and mystery. I don’t believe that ghosts exist. I believe in most cases there is a logical explanation but I don’t say other experiences are not valid. Our mind, however, plays tricks and the atmosphere can contribute to ghost claims. There are some things we can’t explain and probably never will. That is what the afterlife is for, our discovery.

    I went three times then in 2009 and again a few years ago, when the 500 years of Henry Viii was on. The fountain was made after that and was there last visit. So, yes, four visits as an adult. I was pleased with all the enactments. The various exhibitions made each visit different. In 2009 for the first two visits the tapestries had been brought together and the Council floor restored but some paintings were in London for a special exhibition which we went to. There was a Six Wives and Young Henry exhibitions and we were treated to Henry getting married to KP and him entertainment in his wine cellar. The paintings were back in October 2009. Henry was very funny.

    I visited the room were Jane Seymour gave birth to Edward, newly restored. The later parts of the palace are wonderful and the gardens just go on forever. I found the Great Hall breathtakingly beautiful and the Watching Chamber is wonderfully magnificent. I did have a quick peep around the door marked private which is where Henry Viii originally had his private chamber, but to be honest, there wasn’t much to see. The working kitchens kept me busy on one visit and we were lucky to go on a day that they were doing a demonstration. But, oh my favourite place is that Chapel. I love the blue ceiling and golden pillars and stars and the woodwork. The heart of Jane Seymour is said to be under the alter. I heard that behind the wooden panels over the Sanctuary there was a window showing Katherine of Aragon and the young Henry Viii and the Virgin Mary and their daughter, Mary. It is now in Saint Margaret:s Church in the grounds at Westminster Abbey. The window has a connection to Sir Thomas More and I forgot what.

    All in all Hampton Court is brilliant and thanks to Queen Victoria opening it up to the public and to Historic Royal Palaces for keeping it in such good order.

    1. I don’t necessarily believe in ghosts either but I certainly think it is possible for traumatic experiences to be impressed upon the fabric of a stone or brick building especially if that stone or brick contains crystal which we know today is used as a storage medium. What we call ghosts may simply be repeated ‘playback’. Who knows but it sure makes for great stories.

      1. The Idea of ghosts has certainly intrigued the human mind for as long as man can remember, and I too have heard that theory that ghosts are merely images caught in time which would explain the fact that they tend to do the same things over, for eg walking through a wall or a door which isn’t there, but is such a thing possible, Arthur C Clarke had the theory that sometimes the eyes are like a camera, and when we see an object in front of us, it sometimes can act in reverse and show us an image that isn’t really there, however there was the case of a young mum and her little girl who both saw a monk in the daughters bedroom, after the daughter had said she saw a cloaked figure many a time in her room, the mum thought it was just make believe but then she saw the figure herself one day, I think they moved after that, I doubt if there will ever be an explanation for this most mysterious of mysteries but as Michael says it does make for good stories and no old house or building would be complete without a grey lady or a headless horseman, and Christmas certainly isn’t Christmas without the good old ghost story on the telly.

      2. Yes, now I have heard of this, either that or I have watched one too many episodes of Sleepy Hollow, yes, it is believed that stone holds memories like a storage and every now and again that memory replays like in a tape recorder. The mind certainly holds memories, especially of traumatic or special events and we replay them. We may be seeing things that our mind knows from history as with a visual recording. Some people believe we have collective memories or racial memory as human beings and we have universal visions. Some pathologists believe that the eyes of a murder victim retain the last image of their killer. Pet scans on the brain show this is possible and there are researchers trying to access these lost memories. A natural part of the grieving process when a loved one dies is to see or to believe we see them in a real situation, not as a ghost, but how we remember them. It is actually a very physical experience but a very natural one, for example seeing my nan on her bed while looking at it, not as if it was a ghost but a memory or vision. It is not beyond reasonable deduction that buildings also contain the memory of those who lived within its walls. I think most sightings are imagination but there are echoes of some traumatic events and some people claim they can feel those echoes. Maybe they can, maybe they can’t. However, if people expect to see something because of a story, they will see it, hence people expect to see or hear Kathryn in the Long Gallery and the imagination obliges. We often see something we can’t fully explain but we know they are not real because logic takes control and reality returns.

        Our ancestors accepted the presence of ghosts because death was closer to the door, it was an era of spiritual meaning and supernatural belief and before that our ancestors were closer to nature and talked to the spirit of the dead. We no longer believe in much of this, although our search for the afterlife continues. Our desire is to know if our loved ones are safe and at peace and if not many still believe they walk among us until they can rest. Kathryn Howard met a tragic and traumatic fate, a violent death, she was a sympathetic character, hearing her story at Hampton Court, it is not surprising that some people feel connected to her to the extent that their mind replays her legendary desperate attempt to flee to her husband and plead for her life.

        1. Yes and one thing scientists agree on is that one must never be told a place is haunted as it is then in the mind and our senses are then heightened, we can hear a noise and think it is supernatural when really it could just be a creaky wooden floor, but years ago my cousins husband was playing in our local park with his friend and his friends dad, and they all saw a woman dressed in a Tudor costume with a ruff, she smiled at them and vanished, an Australian couple were taking a photo previously and the image of a woman was in the photo, resembling the same lady my cousins husband and his friends had seen, intrigued they took the photo to Kodak who examined it and could find no explanation, it was not an image superimposed or a double exposure and that’s all Kodak could tell them, are ghosts if they do exist the souls of the dead or merely images caught in time, I like to think there is an afterlife though I am not particularly religious and that one day we all meet up with our dear departed loved ones.

        2. Wow, now that is the point I think I would freak out, if someone in Tudor dress vanished in front of me. How very odd. Perhaps it really was a Tudor lady. If I ever do see a real ghost I just hope he or she is friendly. But yes, I believe in an afterlife. I have a long list of historical characters I want to have a party with in heaven. However, there are definitely a few I hope I don’t bump into before hand.

          One thing I particularly enjoyed from one of my visits in 2009 was the bringing together all of Henry Viii’s tapestries. One tapestry they used a lazer light to restore the colours and brightness as it would have been at the time and it was dazzling with all of that gold and silver thread. Henry was King Solomon and the Biblical patriarchs were members of his Court and his wives are in there as well. It was a very beautiful tapestry with all sorts of holy people and mythical ladies. The tapestries still look very good for 500 years old, but to see how bright they would have been was a real treat. The Great Hall would have shone with gold and silver, the floor would have been green and the ceiling blue with stars as in the Chapel. The other walls would have been painted as well. If you came from the provincial countryside you would have been totally overwhelmed.

  6. I personally have no doubt that there is an after life. To me a possible ‘scientific’ explanation for ghosts is that energy can be neither created or destroyed. If that is so after death what happens to the coherent energy that is us? Just a thought.

  7. How beautiful yes it’s great when they can restore things like that, the tapestries really are huge and I recall thinking how bright they must have looked in there day, as when I saw them the colours were faded, many people also do not realise that the oak panellling that covered the walls of the Tudor and Stuart homes were a golden in colour when new and over the centuries it darkens with age, which is why now they look gloomy but in its heyday it would have looked a lovely light shade, with the painted ceilings and the colourful tapestries Henrys court must have looked breathtaking, we have the report of a foreign visitor who was over awed by its magnificence, no wonder it was described as one of the magnificent Renaissance courts of the age, Henry was determined to live in style and he certainly loved to impress, with the beautiful costumes and the lighted candles we can see into a past that’s long dead but Hampton Court and other beautiful places like Windsor Castle etc can bring it back to life again.

    1. I can still visualise when the Tudors recreated the Great Hall, presumably at Greenwich where the meeting took place, to receive the couple of gentlemen who went in December 1536 to negotiate with King Henry on behalf of the pilgrimage from Yorkshire. John Constable and Robert Aske in the series arrive thinking they are going to present a list of demands to Henry Viii, who himself is larger than life, the doors open and in they go. However, the Great Hall is full of people and on the raised dais is the King in his best clothing. The hall had been recreated, either with CGI or imagination, with all of the glory of the time, high ceilings, a balcony full of noble ladies, the glowing beems, the place was dripping in gold and the tapestries as bright as day, colour everywhere, the room was full of the assembled Court, at the end on a raised throne is the King, his chief minister and nobles at either side, the room was full of noise and in they came, lambs to the slaughter. They looked astonished and of course terrified. For the real men it must have been awe inspiring. And of course they end up kneeling and barely splutter their intentions but end up with a lecture instead. Even though the real Robert Aske spent 10 days at Court with his companion, be feasted and treated as a guest, he was betrayed as others back home didn’t accept the offered agreement and again rebelled. Aske was ultimately executed.

      1. Yes I felt sad about that it wasn’t his fault but he was used as a scapegoat and paid the ultimate price, to travel all the way to London to put before the King their list of demands shows they were men of purpose and real courage too, as Henry V111 was not exactly known for his affability, years before of course he was very friendly and approachable but now he was famous for having executed one wife and several courtiers and his reputation as a tyrant was growing, I thought The Tudors depicted it very well he was shown as a decent family man which I believe he was, it’s a pity Henry could not spare his life but Aske did not have the chance to see him again to plead his innocence and he lost his life, I feel that was another piece of Tudor injustice.

        1. Yes, Aske was definitely a scapegoat even though he played his part, was a bit rough and ready, as a lawyer he was the ideal spokesman for the pilgrimage, which was an armed rising with genuine aims and grievances, but they had negotiated a pardon. The second rising was the crown ‘s excuse for revenge and Aske was targeted. He had spoken against another rising but something he wrote to Lord Dacre after the pardon was used against him. There was no way Henry would let this pass. Although only 226 people were executed out of 30,000 (I say only but still a shocking large number of people who suffered horrible deaths) the selection was somewhat arbitrary and designed to affect every village. Monks were hung outside their own Abbey or Cathedral, Aske was hung in chains on the walls of York Castle, probably from what we know as Clifford Tower, the notorious Medieval Keep, for what is reported as three days. Fortunately, unlike the man in the Tudors, he wasn’t married and had no children to watch this terrible event. One noble woman, Margaret Bulmer, related to the Duke of Norfolk, was burned at the stake for treason because her husband was lulled into the rising by circumstances and friendship.

          Henry was certainly not the man they still believed him to be, fair and just. He was ruthless. It occurred to me that had they come to Court a year later they would be faced with a full sized giant portrait of Henry Viii in his presence chamber. Imagine that. The copy from the time in the Walker Art Gallery is huge and frightening enough. The King full faced stirs out at you. It is quite unnerving and yet ever since I was a kid I have gone there just to look whenever I am able. Talk about weird fascination.

  8. In The Tudors it showed Aske in his cell in chains and his wife and children were crying when they saw him, I’m so glad that did not happen and really I should have known since that series was notorious for its diversions from the truth, iv googled the art gallery you spoke of and it says it’s got the largest selection of art and sculptures in Europe, you are so lucky living nearby and I’m somewhat envious as it also houses paintings by J W Waterhouse he’s my favourite painter, years ago in the early 90’s I visited the NPG in London and saw Princess Diana she looked lovely, she was on an unofficial visit and it was such a surprise seeing her I must admit, it made my day, is the Henry V111 painting you speak of the one by Holbein?, it certainly is not weird going to see him I think in his own day and in the centuries since Henry V111 was and always will be a larger than life figure, he continues to exert fascination the way his ill fated second wife does, they were both such forceful personalities no wonder when they clashed it was like igniting a powder keg, in Madame Tussauds he stands majestically surrounded by his six queens and even as a wax figure, he steals the show from the other historical figures in the room, his eyes are sharp and blue and I should imagine in real life, they could chill the blood of anyone who roused his anger.

    1. Yes, the Walker is old and huge. There are a few famous paintings here. Once when we had a special exhibition of the School of Holbein the Image of a King and it was all the versions and sketching of Henry by Holbein and his school brought together. Apparently there were several done to give out to favourite nobles as a warning to behave. The image is based on the lost Whitehall Mural paintings with his wife and father, the wife being Jane Seymour. Henry then commissioned a more powerful single portrait looking full facing and in an imposing stance. Different versions arose and today there is the modern day debate on if they are all by Holbein. The display looked at this aspect as well. It hangs high on the wall, several feet high and Elizabeth I hangs opposite, although I don’t know who her portrait is by but it is fairly famous.

      On the day we went we also visited the Renaissance Galleries and Michael Portilo the M.P and train journeys star was having an impromptu look at one particular painting. He was very charming and stopped to chat with us curious onlookers. He has Spanish blood and he is very interested in art. He was on an official visit to open something or other and afterwards had come to visit our Gallery. I have to say all I was thinking was hubba hubba hubba! He was asking about the special exhibition and changed his plans to go and see it. People just respected his privacy. It was great. Oh boy, you were so lucky to see Princess Diana, that poor lady. I still can’t believe she was killed in such a terrible accident in 1997. When they had the 20 years Anniversary last year it was so sad.

      You don’t appreciate the size of the Walker until you try to do it in one day. I don’t think I have ever seen all of it. Our Turners are back again now as well having had a world tour. As you know we also have some very special museums. The World Museum (Museum of Liverpool) next to the Walker has the Terracotta Army or at least a selection of them until the end of October. We went in May. You need to book and you have a time slot. It was fantastic. One looks like Bobby Firmino who plays for Liverpool F.C. ha ha. The new Museums and the Tate Liverpool are great on the Waterfront as well. The Tate is not my idea of Art, you know baked beans in a bath with a bucket next to it, but they have had some interesting exhibitions. They had a collection of Picasso once which was very exciting. The Maritime and Slavery Museum is also worth a visit. I would swap them all for a collection of Tudor and Stuart whose whom, which is another reason I enjoyed Hampton Court, with a few on display there. I believe I will be paying King Henry a visit soon.

      1. Yes that Sunday morning 31st August 1997 was surreal, we were going to the maritime museum in Greenwich and put on the telly to catch the weather, as my mum always insisted, and we saw the news saying she had died, the radio was playing such mournful music and when we was on the trains everyone was reading the newspapers, it was so quiet, no one was chattering and people just had their heads stuck in the paper, we enjoyed the day but we couldn’t stop talking about her and to me the image that was so poignant was the little girl who went to Kensington Palace laid some flowers and said a little prayer, my cousin laid some flowers outside the gates and as we know, they soon piled up, her death was unexpected and shocking and we all felt so sorry for her boys, when I saw her she turned round suddenly and saw me staring at her, and I thought how gorgeous her eyes – were really blue and she had such slim legs, il always be grateful I saw her and fancy you seeing Michael Portillo, iv always liked him and when there was a survey to vote on your greatest Briton of all time, he was routing for Elizabeth 1st, he said at the time people may think it’s odd since he has Spanish blood but he was definitely a fan of good queen Bessie, I too don’t like this idea of modern art, I think it’s rubbish, as you say a tin of beans in a bath or a splodge of oils on a canvas, there’s no skill in it and it’s something a child could do, to me art is sketching or painting something as lifelike as possible, I like the impressionists also as the colours are very soft but I didn’t like Van Gogh, his famous Sunflowers painting is in London, which iv seen and also Constables paintings, I love wandering around museums and art galleries and to me the nat history museum in London is the best, people come to stare at the exhibits but the building itself is definitely worth a mention as it is a work of art in itself, it has the most intricate carvings of animals in the stonework and insects and birds, it was also featured in ‘Paddington’ the movie which was shown last Christmas, and you could see it more clearly as there were only the actors in it, I don’t go much to London now but I’m only a stones throw away, but I will probably go near Christmas as my friend likes to look in Harrods and there’s my fav shop, John Lewis and sometimes I go to the ballet, Liverpool is a beautiful city as well and well worth visiting as well as London.

        1. The Natural History Museum is a beautiful work of architecture. It featured of course in One of our Dinosaurs is Missing and in the Fourth Highlander Film: Endgame. In fact the Younger MaCleod, Duncan was living in an apartment there. The two fights and Quickenings were set on the roof and the heating rooms, but in CGI and the building was set in several scenes. The London Dome was in the same film.

          We had just come home from Italy that morning and knew nothing about the death of Princess Diana. As this was before we all lived on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram so we didn’t know anything for two weeks (bliss) and we went to Church and the pastor said we should pray for the Royal family and the sad news that morning. We had to ask him because he wasn’t precise. When he told us Princess Diana had died we were very shocked. When he told us the details it was horrible. What a sad death, in her thirties and about to find happiness at last. I have never liked the press, they have no restrictions, and I never will. Which reminds me The Sun have come to something in Liverpool (not the Match) tomorrow so they are in for a hot reception. One even had the cheek to sneak into Klopps press conference as an independent. He was told we won’t speak to him and he can listen, then leave. Everyone has banned them. Anyway I digress. Her two sons were still young, just teens, if that and in one sense I can understand why the Queen remained with them at first. The pictures of the crowds and the flowers and cards was very moving. I signed a Book of Condolence at our Town Hall. The funeral in Westminster Abbey was appropriate as the People’s Princess and the guests and modern touches like Candle In the Wind, Elton John were very much her. I am glad her remains were taken to her home to lie in a beautiful place, and maybe her dying young preserved her beauty.

          I wish I had the energy just to pop into town now but well it has to be as and when I am able. Actually there is a Museum not far from me. You need the weather for it, but the Georgian Sudley Hall is in its own grounds, free of charge, as are all the Museums, and is a nice Sunday afternoon walk. It is mostly an art gallery but it has a dolls house and old kitchen. Then of course we have our Stately homes, Knowsley Hall, Croxteth and Speke and the last comes complete with three ghost stories which make no sense as the historical people didn’t die young, in a cot which was tossed into the moat or by violence. It also has a spy hole and two fully functional priest holes. I got the creeps one day while in the Library when in the corner of my eye I saw a woman in Tudor dress in the Long Gallery and when I turned she had gone. I looked but saw nobody. I went outside and there she was. Thankfully she was real, a historian dressed as Lady Norris.

  9. Bet you couldn’t believe your eyes, they do that for tourists but it can be a shock, I remember when we took my nephew to the transport museum in Convent Garden, we all climbed up the stairs to the top deck of an old bus from the early 1900’s, there were some dummies there a boy with a cap and some severe Edwardians sitting rigidly on the seats, my heart flipped as I thought the boy who I saw first was a spook, the seats were very hard no fabric then and it was very Spartan, but in the day they must have thought they were wonderful, no trudging about with baskets of heavy shopping doen the high street, now one can take the bus, there are some nice museums next to me, and connected with Elizabeth 1st and Edward 1Vth to, there once stood an old palace where as children they would study but that building has long since gone, however several artefacts have been found, further up we have a Jacobean house which was owned by a Derek Parker Bowls, he was a relation to Camilla, now the Duchess of Cornwalls ex and he was a world famous horticulturist, their tombs are in the church opposite, the house is now owned by the local preservation society and it has a wonderful park as well as a cafe, music festivals are often there and at Xmas they hold a fair, that was the place where my cousins hubby saw the Tudor lady, about poor Diana I can also see why the queen stayed in Balmoral when news of her death broke, she was only thinking of the boys, it was common sense to keep them away from London and the media frenzy, up in the quiet of Scotland they could grieve properly, as for The Sun what a joke that paper is, its only famous for being sued for writing slanderous comments about certain people, oh and not forgetting page 3!

    1. They both sound like two very interesting houses. It’s great when they put on tasteful music festivals and shows. I think we are blessed to have so much history around us. I agree the Sun are just a rag. Covent gardens is a lovely spot as well.

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