Eleanor in St. Albans

I must thank Adrian for a) showing me the following photo and b) allowing me to post it here for your delectation.

Eleanor is feeling a bit neglected you know, and demanded something of a short update.

The following is an image of the plaque placed on the clock tower in St. Albans near where Eleanor’s cross used to stand.  I’m loving the flint in the tower by the way.

Eleanor’s cortège from Harby arrived at St. Albans on the 12 December 1290.  Unfortunately, none of this cross survives, the last accounts for it are from 1721, when the base was demolished to make way for a market cross, and then finally in 1810, when the cross was demolished.

Eleanor’s cortège moves on from St. Albans, to Waltham, where the lovely Waltham Cross (restored) still stands.  It’s a shame that it’s current location is in the middle of a modern shopping centre.  For those of you looking to see the original statues or sculptures of Eleanor, they have them at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

They also have a rather nice plaster cast of her tomb from Westminster Abbey, the original of which I’ve been able to visit with special permission.

Eleanor Restored

I was excited to hear recently that the Eleanor Cross at Charing Cross in London has been restored.  Though it is not an original cross, and in the incorrect place as well (outside Charing Cross station) I am still really fond of it.

It’s beautifully done, and also happens to be a Victorian replica, which makes it all the more attractive to me!

Check out the article and pictures on the BBC News website.

You can also see a postcard of the Charing Cross from my collection here (scroll down to the bottom image).

Portrait of Edward I With a Touch of Regency

Longtime readers may remember I bought an original watercolour of Eleanor some years ago.  I’ve just come across a comission the same artist has completed of her husband Edward I!

I do like it – just wish it wasn’t modelled on the Braveheart image of him.  Obviously it was a comission though.   I hope that Mark manages to do his own version!

Whilst I’m on the subject of art, and was on Mark Satchwill’s site it reminded me he also recently completed a gorgeous picture of Elizabeth and Darcy from the 1995 version of Pride and Prejudice.

This leads me to the final piece of news today…a great Austen site, which recently wrote about the recycling of Regency costumes.  Check it out for yourselves…

The Seven Ages of Britain

Hands up who’s seen this new programme presented by David Dimbleby?  I watched it on BBC1 last Sunday, second episode tonight.  You can also catch it on the iPlayer…

I really enjoyed it – not so much the speeding through history, and starting with the Romans – which always annoys me intensely.  No, it was Dimbleby’s obvious enthusiasm, and the fact we get to see treasures of Britain which we normally don’t for various reasons.

Tonight, I’m hopeful that there will be a section about Eleanor, as in the preview they have shown my favourite cross at Geddington.  Exciting!

If you’ve seen it, let me know what you think of the programme so far.

A Few Loose Ends

Here’s the part where I finally get to update on lots of things that I’ve been either doing or attempting to do this year.

With reference to castle visits.  I managed to visit Delgatie Castle again, and it was sunny too.  I think it could end up being a favourite of mine.  Apart from the usual suspects, I haven’t managed any other ones this year sadly.

Plus, the  history books I got my hands on?

The lovely people at Country Life Magazine sent me a copy of Adams Houses, I bought myself Jane Austen: the World of Her Novels by Deidre Le Faye and I’ve managed to borrow Sir Thomas Lawrence (which I love) and Treasures From the Trust.

I should also update the historic film and TV list.  I’m ashamed to say I originally missed off accidentally: Excalibur, Daniel Deronda, Dangerous Liasons, Howard’s End.  There are lots more I love that I will add eventually.

Talking of TV, after the glut of interesting stuff, there hasn’t been much on that I’ve liked lately.  Series 3 of The Tudors was pretty boring stuff, and I even missed the end.  Caught up with the predecessor of Victorian Farm – Tales From the Green Valley – which I didn’t like nearly as much, haven’t seen the new Wuthering Heights (not bothered either, I HATE the story and characters) and am currently watching the new version of Emma, which I’m not liking much either, sigh.

I hope to get out to the cinema over the Winter to see at least a couple of new films, and to get some fresh books to read as I’m getting a bit low on material.  Maybe someone will take pity on me for my birthday…

Haven’t managed any exhibitions either, though I do lust over paintings at every available opportunity.  I can dream about making an exhibition some time soon.

Last, but not least, I’ve done a little tinkering with this site, and gathered a lot of Eleanor material together.  I’m much more happy with the site now than I ever was, so I will put a proper front page up.  Not in any rush though (why rush now!) it will come when time and creativity permits.

A Forgotten Coin

Last year I chronicled the sorting of the coin collection.  It turned out I had some rather interesting coins that I hadn’t noticed before.

Namely, one of the Prince Regent, or George IV, and even more exciting, one of Charles II.  Both of these coins are farthings.

I’ve recently been going through my Eleanor of Castile collection, and had completely forgotten that I have a coin much older than both of them, and this one I purchased myself.

It is…..Edward I!  He, of course being Eleanor’s husband.  I have tried to photograph it, though as it is in a protective pouch it is not the easiest.

Quite exciting for a Friday afternoon though!

Edward I coin

Eleanor Redux

Some of the sharper eyed, or more regular visitors amongst you will have noticed that EleanorBlog has had an update and new look.

This year, it will have been going for 2 years, and I’ve just bought 2 more years with my domain, so here’s to a few more.

I have been working on some other major research projects elsewhere, so Eleanor has had to wait somewhat, but this year the main pages will at last be completed for those of you that are interested in Eleanor, or just fancy a look.  I will let you know when it’s done and add a link here.

In the meantime, if you spot anything strange or broken, please let me know!

For new visitors, here are a few posts that explain why this blog is so-called:

Let me know what you think so far, and thanks to all of you that have visited and commented since 2007.

Announcing the Blogoversary Winners

Thanks again to all of you who voted and commented on what you like to see, and would like to see in future on EleanorBlog.

Thanks to the poll people I picked being a bit rubbish, I have just compiled the top 3 votes, which were for:

  • Anything about the Castle
  • Your photography
  • Historical people

I also recieved a number of votes for all of it! So thanks for that 😀 must be doing something right here…

I found it quite hard to only pick 5 winners from the commentors, so I think I shall do another giveaway later on in the year. Here are the lucky winners, congratulations, I will be contacting you shortly to send on your prizes!

Mrs Mecomber wins the top prize of guide books, magnet, thimble and seeds, Kathryn and Laura win both the guide books, and last but not least, Claire and Margaret win the castle guide book.

It’s Exactly a Week to My First Blogoversary Already!

I’m shocked at how fast the time has gone.  This means that now I have to really sort out my website for Eleanor of Castile and upload the photos and articles that I have written etc.

The problem is I don’t actually like the theme I have on there any more.  I quite liked it at first, but it slightly depresses me now, so I don’t want to do any work on the site.  Unfortunately I really can’t afford to have a site designed, so I’m on the look out for some nice historic looking free layouts.

Anyone got any tips of good places to go?

I’m going to be giving some Castle Fraser stuff away in honour of my first blogoversary, but I haven’t decided if there is going to be a competition of some sorts in there as well.  Will announce it in a few days…