Wednesday, 2 September 2015

It's been a long time...

Apologies for the hiatus, I can see my blogging becoming sporadic for the next few months, so bear with me.  We are busy with a lot of things, not all I want to share on here, and our regular routine has gone out of the window for the forseeable future.

However, for the time being I have a day out to share with you, and a sprinkling of charity shop purchases.

On the 7th of August we ventured over to the lovely county of Shropshire again, to visit a couple of English Heritage managed properties there. Boscobel House and White Ladies Priory are both former refuges of King Charles II after his defeat by Oliver Cromwell at the battle of Worcester in 1651.

White Ladies Priory is a small ruin in a field near to Boscobel House, and was active as a priory until Henry VIII's dissolution of the monastries in 1537.  It is alleged to be haunted and has a certain atmosphere about it.  The approach is off a narrow country lane, barely wide enough for one vehicle, then a walk down to the ruin along a very leafy path.  

 We spotted this amazing old Beech tree nearby, with carvings going back over 100 years!  I showed this photo to the guides in the nearby Boscobel House, who were staggered as they hadn't noticed it.

 The ruins are small, yet incredibly tranquil

Boscobel House is a mish mash of building styles, parts of it dating back to the 1500s, when it was a farmhouse.  Over the years it has grown gradually, with bits added on here and there.

The inside is sparse, not much furniture downstairs as major renovation works are being carried on outside, affecting the main facade and downstairs rooms, which are now partially shrouded in sheeting.

We did, however, get a grand view of the very hidey hole that the 21 year old King Charles II hid in as he fled from Cromwells army.

The hole he had to climb down through is tiny, I am fairly slim and think I would struggle, the guide said the young king was 6'2", same height as him indoors who wouldn't have been able to squeeze through that opening!  

 The above photo is the actual hideout and hatch, which would've dropped into place to block the entrance.  The hatch was then covered with fresh blocks of cheese to put any dogs off the scent.

The king would walk up and down this attic room for exercise and observe comings and goings on the nearby road from the window in the photo above.  Below the window, in the floor, is the entrance to his hideout.

The countryside around Boscobel House is serene and the gardens and outbuildings overflow with history.  We walked to the end of the gardens and sat on a bench with our backs to the field containing the Royal Oak

 We suddenly heard the sound of hooves and watched as the whole field of sheep disgorged into an orchard next to us,

each one stopping for a drink at their water trough before coming through the gate.  Some had a nibble from the trees!

  This went on for about 15 minutes until all but one sheep were in the orchard.  The last sheep then bleated loudly from the gateway, and all the sheep trouped back out of the field!


The gardens in parts were fragrant, with herbs and old English flowers surrounded by vibrant green box hedging, butterflies and bees enjoyed the chance to collect nectar in peace

We had a good meander around the grounds, sampled some tea and cake in the tea room, and admired the antique farm machinery

I always find the outside of English Heritage properties much more interesting than the insides, this one's a beauty!

It was another lovely day out and another place we will return to soon.

I also have a few charity shop bargains to share.  I found these lovely items of jewellery in a three for a pound basket.  One I cannot share as it may be a present for a friend though!

The necklace above looks like bone or horn, not sure which, 33p

This lovely bracelet isn't real silver but the stone isn't plastic either, also 33p

The crocheted top was just 50p

As was this gorgeous Boden corduroy skirt! 

Hopefully, my blogging mojo will return soon, and I may be back with more regular posts.

Now it's time to catch up with your blogs!