Category Archives: History

Dreaming in Wandlebury Ring

I love the atmosphere at Wandlebury Ring, near Cambridge. Standing in its deep ditches it is easy to feel slightly lost in time. I can dream of giants (Gogmagog), warriors (Romans),  knights (see Gervase) and of Kings (James II). Way … Continue reading

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Looking forward to a Burns Night Supper ….

… and how did an English vegetarian get here? A while back, when my husband and I still did astronomy, we were seconded to the Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes on La Palma in the Canary Islands. It was a … Continue reading

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Will you go a-wassailing?

Do you want to ‘wake up’ some apple trees, so that you get a brilliant crop this year? Then you need to go a-wassailing and tonight is the night to do it. Twelfth Night, the evening of 5th January, is … Continue reading

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Through mud and water to a Gothic Tower

Yesterday we left the younger generation in their beds to take our traditional New Year’s Day walk around Wimpole Park and up to the Folly. The previous night’s heavy rain ensured that it was a muddy affair from start to … Continue reading

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A Walk to the Bronze Age Barrows on Therfield Heath

Minus numbers on the thermometer this morning meant that gardening was not a good option first thing, but with bright blue skies and sunshine it was ideal walking weather, especially with hardly any wind. Sometimes I long to get a … Continue reading

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Quince – Paradisal fruit within our reach

Imagine the Garden of Hesperides. Imagine eating one of the mythical golden apples that grant immortality. Then picture a quince. It’s possible they were one and the same (the ancient roman agricultural writer Columella speculated that they were). So there … Continue reading

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Hatfield House – The romance of knots, fountains and horseshoe elephants!

A number of years ago we visited the romantic gardens of Hatfield House, Hertfordshire and I retain an impression of wonderful Elizabethan glories from that trip. So a couple of weeks ago when we were lucky enough to be able … Continue reading

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Lanhydrock, a Victorian manor set in a green tapestry

Just South of Bodmin in Cornwall is a large National Trust property called Lanhydrock. I don’t think that it is particularly well known, but we had the opportunity to visit it on holiday recently. I already had some interest in … Continue reading

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Phases of the Maze

I think mazes are tremendous fun: From the glorious, historic hedge mazes of palaces and castles (e.g. Hampton Court, Hever Castle) to the local Victorian yew hedge maze in Saffron Walden. I invariably get lost in them too, even though … Continue reading

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Managing Flamingos at Madingley Hall

Last weekend we visited the ‘Open Garden’ at Madingley Hall, Cambridgeshire. It was a miserable day weatherwise, so it was unusually empty and it felt like we had the run of the place. The grey skies served to exaggerate the … Continue reading

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