June 2014

RICHARD III SOCIETY

GLOUCESTER BRANCH

News & Views newsletter March 2014

 

NEWS & VIEWS

 

Magazine of the Gloucester Branch of The Richard III SOCIETY

 

 

June 2014

 

We’ve had an excellent response to our plea for articles for News & Views, so many thanks to everyone for their contributions, which make quite a substantial newsletter this time. Please keep items coming in! Thank you also to Keith for continuing to keep us informed on everything that is happening on a national level. As you know, there has been quite a lot going on already this year so we start with a report from Sylvia about an event she attended back in March.

 

Music from the Times of Richard III

On Friday 21st March a concert of Music from the times of King Richard III, took place at the BlackFriars, in Gloucester, 
The Mayor of Gloucester, who had been a History Teacher, clearly enjoyed the talk that he gave between each piece of music, with an explanation of the piece and a 'potted' history of the King himself. The Mayor did leave out one or two rather pertinent facts about King Richard and especially the reasons for his accession to the throne, but a chat with him, after the concert, ascertained that this was only to save time, and he was as even handed as one might expect. There had been an in depth talk prior to the concert.
This event was held in conjunction with the Richard III Exhibitions currently running in the City. The musicians and singers, who professed, in Latin, to have no name, were excellent. There were pieces by the few known English composers of that time and while I don't think there were any surprise pieces for those of us who enjoy ancient music, the performance was indeed very beautiful, and the acoustic helped.

 

BlackFriars is an amazing old building, dating back to the 1300s. We did not see the Scriptorium, which, I understand, is still used to house books, but the concert was given in the great hall. (A very large and very drafty area, to be avoided on windy evenings - however, even the chill did not detract from the music) 


BlackFriars is very well worth a visit and it is right on our doorstep. I have the impression that there is a willingness to host events, as the venue is relatively new to the market, so perhaps we could, as a Branch, put it to some good use. After the Reformation, the place was sold to a pin maker named Belle, hence the name of the street in which BlackFriars now stands: LadyBelle Gate. The building has been much changed and it is hard to tell, without a guide, exactly what is what and where, but it is a most interesting edifice.


There is no doubt of the pride that the City of Gloucester is taking in its celebration of Richard of Gloucester.

 

Sylvia Charlbury


 

 

Armour at the Abbey

Tewkesbury Abbey Saturday 3rd May – Monday 5th May

Although I initially intended to spend two days at Tewkesbury I eventually elected to just go along on the Saturday. Arriving late morning, I immediately drove out to view the two “horses” now sited on the roundabout south of Tewkesbury . They are a most impressive sight and I’m really pleased that, at last, Tewkesbury has something significant on view to mark both the importance of the battle and the distinction of the town. The figures were certainly attracting much interest and, I am sure, continue to draw attention to the battle and the delights of a visit to the town. I think congratulations are due to everyone who supported the project for so long and brought it to such a successful conclusion.

 

 

 

The afternoon was occupied with a visit to the Abbey exhibitions. There were many re-enactors recreating aspects of medieval activity – monastic life, longbow-men and armour experts together with domestic aspects of everyday living in the period. Medieval musicians played in the chancel employing instruments featured in the magnificent nave roof bosses above. There was much to see and I took the opportunity to revisit the sacristy door and its lining of armour collected from the battlefield and drop into the Clarence vault for a look at the “other bones”. As John Ashdown-Hill was in the Abbey shop I had time for a quick chat and pick-up my signed copy of his new book “The Third Plantagenet” . This is the first complete study of George , Duke of Clarence since Michael Hicks published “False, Fleeting, Perjur’d Clarence” back in 1980 so I’m really looking forward to John’s “take” on Richard’s colourful brother. Another highlight of the afternoon was, of course, being able to see the beautiful crown which John has provided.

 

If you are visiting Tewkesbury Abbey it is well worth taking a few minutes to visit the gardens at the rear where you can watch the Peregrine Falcons hunting from their nest on the Abbey tower.

 

It was such a fine weather day so I took a walk around the battlefield. Apart from encountering one man walking his dog the area around Bloody Meadow was completely deserted . In such conditions there is a real “spirit of place” – the adjacent field was full of rabbits and birdsong while , walking back down Bloody Meadow there was no sign of wildlife or birds singing – a strange experience even on a sunny day.

 

In the evening I attended John Ashdown-Hill’s talk on the Duke of Clarence. As you would expect from John the content was highly original and really intriguing. Using contemporary “likenesses” he drew attention to the close comparison in family facial features – primarily noses and chins – to challenge the conventional familial “doubts” which abound. I’ve never really placed much store in medieval manuscript “likenesses” but John has done an impressive job in researching some very compelling examples to underwrite his contentions. John also dealt very thoroughly with his ongoing DNA  research into the Yorkist dynasty and his comprehensive reassessment of the Clarence Vault and the surviving bones within. I’m really looking forward to reading the book which looks at Clarence in a very innovative way and will prove a superb addition to the work of Michael Hicks with which we are all familiar.

John is currently working on a new book about the sons of Edward IV and Lambert Simnel. The outline sounds ground-breaking so I will try to get him to speak on the topic during our next programme run.

 

Keith Stenner

 

 

Berkeley Castle and St Mary-the-Virgin Church - Branch visit on Sunday 11th May

Although the threat of poor weather suppressed our numbers our group were fortunate to find a pleasant and rain-free afternoon for our visit. We toured as one group with our expert guide, Jane. Most of us have visited Berkeley many times but the castle really encourages the “revisit”. It is unique in being occupied by the colourful Berkeley family for around eight hundred years. The shell-keep and bailey was built by Fitz Osborn , Earl of Hereford, shortly after 1067 but the site strongly suggests this work was supplanting an earlier timber motte and bailey structure established on the earlier Saxon minster foundation on the outcrop of rock overlooking the Severn . The most striking aspect of the building is the very distinctive colour of the stone – Vita Sackville-West  said “The castle is rose red and grey, red sandstone and grey stone, the colour of old brocade” – which certainly gives an imposing and glowering aspect akin to the approach to Gormengast. Having negotiated the Inner Courtyard gateway, the murder hole and the trip steps we were in at the oubliette and Edward II Chamber. This is always my favourite point of any tour as it is at this point the guide has to explain the traditional demise of Edward II to a mixed audience of genteel old–ladies and inquisitive school children [ who, of course, already know the lurid details ]. Usually, as you walk away, you hear one little voice say “Please Miss what’s a fundament ?” On this visit there was a new view on the expiry of Edward ; death by soft cushions …….”Not the soft cushions” I hear you say ! Apparently this was the preferred, private method of execution for aristocrats. For me this really conjured up a rather strange vision of the king being despatched by the gleeful partnership of Michael Palin and Terry Gilliam – clearly an “age” thing . Swiftly on through the King’s Gallery and the collection of paintings of royal personages connected to the Berkeleys we came to the Picture Gallery where much of the family’s wonderful art collection hangs. Again, there is much to admire including Stubb’s wonderful “Groom and two horses”. The art at Berkeley is well worth a visit and ,during the walking tour, has little time for even a mention – the fine Holbein in the Longroom was just one of the fine works which had no time for comment. The Great Hall and the Kitchen Range are remarkable medieval survivals which, again, are of special interest to architectural historians with an interest in domestic structure. Having left the castle there was only a brief opportunity for a very quick coffee before David Judd gave us a guided tour of St Mary-the-Virgin Church. The tower of the church, unusually, stands away from the main body  and on the site of the original Saxon minster church. The siting was, presumably, a defensive measure designed to prevent it being used to threaten the castle. However, of course, Parliamentary forces were able to use the church roof for cannon for the castle investment in 1645. There is much to enjoy in the church. Mural paintings of the 13th and 14th centuries, revealed during the late Victorian period, are extensive enough to give an excellent impression of the interior of a typically embellished medieval church. Presumably, at Berkeley , wall painting was a tradition maintained over several centuries as may “Sunnes in Splendour” appear in the chancel. Yorkist emblems, of course, appear in many local churches. Additional painting in the form of a Doom extract can be seen above the chancel arch. The Rood Screen is particularly fine as is the impressive square Norman font. In the nave can also be found the magnificent alabaster tomb of Thomas Berkeley III and his second  wife, Lady Katherine. Thomas was the holder of the castle when Edward II met his fate with the soft cushions and later he served with his brother Maurice at the Battle of Crecy. Further tombs appear in the Berkeley Chapel on the south side of the chancel .Sadly the chapel is closed to the public and the interior has to be viewed through a very dirty Perspex screen. The latter presumably a necessity to protect the fine tomb effigies James Berkeley [ 1417 – 1463 ] and his second son, James, killed serving John Talbot during the Hundred Years War. Both figures are resplendent in full armour with Yorkist collars of alternate suns and roses. No visit to Berkeley church is complete without paying respects at the churchyard tomb of the Earl of Suffolk’s jester, Dicky Pearce, killed during a fall during drunken revels at the Castle in 1728. It seems the “soft cushions”, which might have saved him, were not to hand – “way to go Dicky “! Many thanks to David Judd for researching the building and acting as our guide for the visit. One regret, we sadly had no time available to visit the Jenner Museum immediately adjacent to the Castle and Church – perhaps “next time” ?

 

Keith Stenner

 

 

THE BATTLES OF HEDGELEY MOOR AND HEXHAM - 25th April 1464 and 15th May 1464

After our last Worcester Branch Christmas party quiz where my lack of knowledge of Battles in the Wars of the Roses was cruelly exposed , I did a little research into the above.

Here is an overview.

 

The Battle of Hedgeley Moor occurred three years after Towton, which, although a crushing Lancastrian defeat left still enough surviving Lancastrian supporters to launch minor military operations – usually localised, capturing strategic towns/castle. Most of these were in the traditional strongholds of the North and only contained by the loyal Neville clan.

 

Back in June 1461 Henry VI had concluded an ‘offensive’ alliance with James III of Scotland – they had some success in the North but failed in their attempt to consolidate any Welsh support – the Yorkist forces under Edward not only contained the threat but recovered ground all over Wales and the Northern counties.

 

However all was not quiet, nor settled for the Yorkist Monarchy – in 1462 Marguerite of Anjou secured the aid of the French King, with money and French recruits.

They were particularly active in the Border areas such as the traditional loyalist area of Northumberland (whose Dukes were at heart Lancastrians and had fought on their side at Towton) and the ‘Auld’ enemies – Scotland, were pally with the French against their common enemy. It must be noted that the Lancastrian opposition was only kept going by a French Queen with help of a French King.

 

The aim of establishing a foothold, a base in the far north was shortlived- despite successes in capturing Skipton Castle their real support never came to pass. The Nevilles were in charge of the forfeited Lancastrian Percy estates.

 

When in Spring 1464 John Neville , Lord Montagu and current Earl of Northumberland rode north to Norham Castle on the Tweed to collect a delegation of Scottish noblemen and escort them to York – for peace/treaty negotiations, the Lancastrians felt emboldened to move against the Yorkist forces.

 

They laid an ambush for Montagu outside Newcastle which failed, and the Yorkist forces continued northwards – the Lancastrians headed out from Alnwick Castle to ‘ head them off at the pass’ so to speak. The two forces met at Hedgeley moor, about 9 miles west of Alnwick.

The Lancastrians under Somerset had gathered not inconsiderable support – Lord Roos, Lord Hungerford, Sir Ralph Percy, Sir Humphrey Neville, they were reckoned to be about 5,000 strong.

 

Now not a lot known is about this battle – it is thought that the superior tactics of Montagu as a commander were most decisive, there was a certain might is right moral superiority and confidence – yet again from the Yorkists. The Lancastrians were soon routed – only Sir Ralph Percy fought on to death – ‘I have saved the bird in my bosom’ – famous last words which have never been satisfactorily explained.

 

Somerset regrouped, and, with enlisted support, made a stand at Hexham barely 3 weeks later. This time was no different – a contemporary chronicle reckoned that Montagu had a superiority of 8.1. The outcome not surprising, most leaders were captured – Somerset, Roos, and Hungerford were executed and the Lancastrian cause in England was virtually extinguished – Marguerite and Prince Edward fled to France – Henry was captured in Lancashire and imprisoned in the tower.

 

The following years of the decade were still not smooth for the dominant Yorkist King, but it took the treachery of his own brother and cousin to shake him off the throne rather than any radical Lancastrian opposition.

 

Mickie O’Neill

 

 

Medieval Floor Tiles

Henry III married Eleanor of Provence in 1236. This was unpopular in England for many people arrived in France seeking better prospects, not only the Queen’s relatives, but craftsmen, builders and foreign designers, which annoyed not only English skilled craftsmen but Barons as well. But Henry’s major contribution was his love of building and as well as Westminster Abbey, he reconstructed many castles and he saw that crafts-people involved were regularly paid and that his instructions were carried out, including the use of floor tiling.

Floor tiling had been known in England for decades but apart from its tonal use in monastery floors, it was not widely considered as something decorative. However, people saw the work devised by foreigners and everyone thought it was very good and wanted floors the same. Terracotta tiles were re-developed and considered and they began to be decorated with lovely, flowing white patterns – eye-catching and a permanent reminder through the design of the owner of the building.

 

Tilers were hard-working men, sometimes based at permanent tileries due to clay being at hand. These were men with two jobs – farming or something similar – they were patient and intelligent and knew all about glazes, firing, construction and kilns, clay supplies, weather-forecasting which knowledge was all part of the job. Designers and carvers may well have been women, who carried out this work in the Winter and Spring, when the men were busy about the farm. Due to increased demand, more tileries were started. Pay was good and a foreman received 8d a day. Before that, tiles were produced by itinerant craftsmen as well be seen from the same design repeated at various sites. Some lay brothers were trained in the production of tiles, which was useful in case of need in a monastery. Tilers were often looked down on, in spite of their skill. It was messy, they left muddy footmarks everywhere, their clothes were a disaster and smelt of fumes from the glazes! Consequently, tileries were situated in the suburbs of towns or in the country so wealthy clients would travel out to them. Decorative floor tiles were not found in peasants’ houses so their use did indicate an affluent life-style.

 

To fire kilns, wood was used from nearby copses. Sometimes there was a big enough supply of wood for other workers – wattle, basket and bean pole makers. In the North, coal was used to fire the kilns. As tiles became widely used people bought them by the cart-load and the execution deteriorated and became careless. Some of it may have been done by women and children, with insufficient training, particularly after the Black Death when so many craftsmen died. Some people bought damaged tiles (seconds!) which would later split to reveal stones inside. Deliberately incompetent tillers found themselves in prison! Some wealthy Landlords would lease cheaper land to tillers with the proviso that he would have first chance to buy and use the best finished tiles.

 

The kilns used to produce tiles were fired in Summer once a week but not during wet weather as this lowered the temperature and spoilt the glaze. The process throughout a week was: Monday the kiln was packed, Tuesday a slow fire assured that any water in the tiles was disposed of, Wednesday and Thursday a quick fire , Friday – cool down, Saturday the kiln was unpacked and Sunday, the Holy Day – a day of rest. The colour of the clay denoted a good firing but what despair must have been felt if it was unsatisfactory and all the work wasted.

The kilns were built in the Spring and were about 4 feet high, built into a hill to make access easier and sometimes a roof was made to cover it but this often burst into flames and was too dangerous. Clay was dug up in the Autumn and turned over at Christmastime. Farm animals trod on it and it became malleable. During April and May it was prepared and cleared of stones, then punched and wedged like potter’s clay or bread dough. Then it was kneaded into a tile shaped form made of wood and the top was flattened with a scraper. The design was carved out of a block of wood with any important features reversed. This was placed on top of the tile and pressed in. After 24 hours the cavities were filled with white clay (generally from St. Austell, Cornwall) dribbled in using a cow horn. The clay had to be of a similar consistency otherwise it all fell out. To help this, a piece of wood called a striker was pressed on top to

Glaze was composed of lead made by putting this into a furnace in an iron pan. It was raked with an iron rake until it turned into lead oxide, mixed with silica and alumina which was in the clay already. It made a good hard-wearing coating and interesting colours were produced by controlling additives. Copper and brass filings were used and sometimes a white firing slip was used containing kaolite which gave the tile a yellowish hue.

 

When the tiling was completed, the itinerant tillers moved out to the next assignment , taking the blocks with them. There are many superb designs to be seen and names were given to their type and the area. Some can be viewed on site or in museums such as Cleeve Abbey, Hailes Abbey, Malvern, Chertsey, Wessex, Clarendon, Barnstaple to name but a few. The skill of craftsmen used hundreds of years ago can still be seen and appreciated today.

 

Elizabeth Clarridge

 

Liz submitted a lot of lovely pen and ink drawings of tiles, some of which are reproduced here and some I’ve saved to include in future editions. Coincidentally, immediately after I typed up Liz’s article, I read a most interesting piece in the June edition of the BBC History magazine about women who took over their deceased husband’s, father’s or brother’s business after the Black Death. In fact, girls were sometimes already apprenticed to their father or brother in artisan businesses.

 

These 13th Century tiles were found at Baynards Castle so Richard III may well have seen them!

 

 

 

A Devon Tribute to King Richard III

Members who are travelling near Dawlish in Devon may be interested in seeing a Ricardian tribute on show in the Dawlish Museum. This was thought out by my sister, Ann Brightmore-Armour, who lives in Dawlish, and is a calligrapher. She has produced informative items for people to read about King Richard’s visit to Exeter in 1483, when he stayed at Bishop Peter Courteney’s Palace. Whilst there, he allegedly executed certain traitors and held people for questioning!

 

Ann has made a felt model of King Richard on his charger, White Surrey, out of recycled materials. She has also made other Ricardian items as a commemoration of the King. She has also found space for a few of my small decorative banners.

 

Dawlish is still recovering from the major disaster of the Winter storm and the museum is an intriguing place to visit, containing many items of local and historical interest. The museum is situated at The Bartons (near the hospital) and is open from April until the end of September from Wednesday to Sunday – admission £2 for adults and £1 for seniors and children.

Elizabeth Clarridge

 

 

Book Review

A Dangerous Inheritance

by Alison Weir

There’s never been so many historical novels on the 15thC and, generally speaking, many of them eminently readable. I’ve just finished one on the Mortimer Family featuring the Roger, the 1st Earl of March by local Ludlow author Fran Norton, and although I don’t agree with some interpretations, she captured the essence of the Medieval world. Definitely in the eminently readable category.

 

However the one I want to review here is yet another offering by Alison Weir. If that sounds a little pejorative, it’s not meant to! A huge volume, gifted to me for my birthday provoked the reaction “oh no, not another one” but I determined to give it a chance. It is, ‘the dramatic story of two heroines, separated by time, but intriguingly linked by history’s most famous murder mystery.’

 

The two heroines are Katherine Plantagenet, bastard daughter of Richard 111 and 60 years on, the younger sister of Lady Jane Grey, another Katherine. Alison Weir does not always paint a sympathetic portrayal of Richard, nor his family but, leaving that aside I couldn’t take issue with her interpretation of facts and figures. Alison Weir herself admits to ‘ some dramatic licence’ and fully explains her thoughts, her analysis and interpretation of facts known about the protagonists.

 

I knew very little about either ‘heroine’, and was intrigued by both. The premise is that Lady Katherine Grey, as a young woman in 1550’s England who (while living at Baynards Castle) discovers a chest of documents and a portrait of a young lady, wearing a blue pendant. She determines to find out who this sad and enigmatic girl was. Now this sounds a little lame and a bit Famous Five discover the truth about a century old mystery but ……despite the obviously contrived plot Alison Weir makes it all seem plausible. The action moves between the two protagonists and the intervening years quite seamlessly. It’s the sort of historical novel that I started reading half a century ago and got me into this mess! While I read now through the eyes of a reasonably well read yet cynical Historian it still makes a jolly good read. We will always treasure the more factual offerings of modern Medieval historians but historians like Alison Weir will bring in the historians of the future, like Jean Plaidy drew me in, in a previous century. To prove my point about the readership it is aimed at, I leave you with this quote on the fly leaf:

‘If you don’t cry at the end, you have a heart of stone’ The Times.

Well, I didn’t.

 

Mickie O’Neill

 

 

Blanche Mortimer’s Tomb

Suzanne reminds us that Blanche Mortimer’s beautiful tomb at Much Marcle has been cleaned up and was being re-dedicated on Whitsunday. Well worth a visit.

 

 

LEICESTER CITY VISIT WITH GLOUCESTER CIVIC TRUST - SATURDAY, 7TH June 2014

KING RICHARD III TOUR

It was an appalling wet morning! Every scene was viewed from under an umbrella and note taking was not possible but a few photographs were. The coach dropped us in Richard III Road and the guide assembled us at the Bow Bridge.

 

Bow Bridge is an 1863 replacement of a medieval bridge and is a memorial to King Richard. The ironwork is ornate and depicts York’s white rose and the Tudor rose and the emblems of Richard – Loyaulte me Lie (Loyalty Binds Me) and the white boar. On the town side of the River Soar and side by side on a wall, there is a blue heritage information board, a large old stone plaque and a much smaller plaque put up by the Richard III Society in 2005. This small plaque disputes the 17th century belief that Richard’s body was disinterred from his Greyfriars tomb and thrown into the river Soar. How right this has proved to be! The Blue Boar Inn once stood nearby and a model of it was seen later in the old visitor centre, sadly for us the new centre will not be open until July.

We left the scene where Richard had crossed the old bridge for Bosworth and returned defeated, dead and degraded. We crossed another waterway and busy road and entered the Castle Gardens. Without the torrential rain and given a nice day, it must be so pleasant to walk through because a part of the Grand Union Canal runs beside the gardens. Our guide apologised for a pile of masonry by the pathway and explained that a day or so before, a bronze statue stood on top of it.

 

Richard III Statue had been removed to be replaced in a new amenity area close to the Cathedral. Work is in progress at the new site and sadly, we did not see Richard’s statue at all. In 1980 the Richard III Society commissioned the effigy of Richard with a crown held high in his left hand and a sword held low in the right hand. That year Princess Alice, the Duchess of Gloucester had unveiled it.

 

Still in the Castle Gardens, we climbed a long flight of gravelled steps. We were in the castle area and arrived at the top out of breath and hardly able to hear our guide, for the noise of rain falling on our umbrellas even though we were under mature trees. We saw a flat grassed circle and I’m afraid I lost the plot at this point due to the weather! However, on 18th August 1483, Richard had gone to Leicester as king and wrote a letter containing the words, “from my castle of Leicester”. He probably stayed there several times. Edward 1, Edward 11 and Henry IV, also stayed at Leicester Castle. Because I had lost the plot I can only quote that Leicester Castle is open to the public on the last Sunday of the month from 11.00 am -3.00 pm. Another visit on a fine day and I will be better informed about the castle. We left the castle area for the Newarke religious precinct district where Richard’s corpse was put on public display after Bosworth.

 

Newarke Chantry House plaque commemorates a building erected in 1512 by William Wygston, a generous benefactor of Leicester, wool merchant, founder of a hospital and four-times mayor, among other credits. I missed most of the guide’s information here as we clustered on a narrow pavement and I was not near her. My concentration went on keeping myself covered and not standing in puddles I’m afraid. We left there and were soon at the Newarke Gateway.

 

Newarke Gateway was built around 1410 and is known today as Magazine Gateway which refers to its use as a gunpowder and weapons storage place in the English Civil War. Richard’s body passed through this gateway for burial at Greyfriars.

 

Our tour then brought us into the town and along Greyfriars. It was disappointing not to see the car park area where Richard’s bones were found especially as a friend had visited some time ago and saw the area from a raised viewpoint. The best I could do was photograph a padlocked iron gateway with an information board and say the spot was inside the gateway and ‘up there’.

The Guildhall was an important building in Richard’s time. It was important for us on the tour too because as soon as we reached there, the rain stopped. The Great Hall of 1390 was where the Guild of Corpus Christi met and these were the town’s gentry and businessmen. It became the Town Hall by 1563 and just escaped demolition in 1876, was restored and opened to the public in 1926. It is a wonderful old building and fortunately, most of the original Richard III Exhibition was still there for us to enjoy. In the courtyard I photographed a small statue of Ethelflaeda who did so much for dear old Gloucester. In Leicester, she is appreciated for expelling the Danes in 918 AD. After refreshment at the adjoining St. Martin’s Centre and drying off a little, my next stop was on my own to the Cathedral.

 

Leicester Cathedral lies across a cobbled street from the Guildhall. Since 1926, the Church of St. Martin has been Leicester Cathedral. In the chancel there is a large floor tablet dedicated to King Richard III and two new stained glass windows have been commissioned to commemorate the discovery of Richard’s remains. Here, at long last Richard will be buried and a new tomb erected. May he rest in peace and dignity and be well remembered.

 

Church of St. Nicholas, the Jewry Wall, Roman Baths and Leicester City Museum. On leaving the High Street and crossing a traffic underpass, one comes across the old St. Nicholas Church. In the churchyard are the only upstanding remains of Roman public baths known as the Jewry Wall. Several feet below in a grassed area are the foundation remains of the baths and an information board with a wonderful illustration of how the baths would have looked when they were used by the Roman population. (Did Gloucester have baths like this that have yet to be discovered?) The view from the modern museum looks across the remains and up to the Jewry Wall and St. Nicholas Church. It is a remarkable scene. Another visit to Leicester is hoped for when Richard is in his resting place, the new visitor centre is open, the Cathedral gardens are laid and the current archaeological sites have been investigated.

 

P. Daw - June 2014

 

 

Tewkesbury Medieval Festival and Battle Re-enactment

As you know, the next big event on the Ricardian calendar is the Tewkesbury Medival Festival and Battle Re-enactment. This annual event is taking place on 12th and 13th of July at Lower Lode Lane, Tewkesbury. It is easy to find as there are good directions. As you will probably also know, a group of enthusiasts in Tewkesbury has, over many years, produced duplicate banners of the people who took part, both for the Lancastrians and Yorkists. This is an on-going project and this group meet on a weekly basis to produce more banners. A few weeks ago, an exhibition of the Banners took place in the Tewkesbury Town Hall prior to them being displayed around the town. There was a lady painting a new one on the spot as it is an on-going project. She offered to do one for me – at a cost I expect! I was hoping to buy a badge but the only Yorkist ones available were Clarence’s and Buckingham’s – I declined!

 

M. Lewis