Tuesday, 6 October 2015
This chap here tends to worry the kids as some think he is alive. Sadly he is not and judging by the weight of his armour he is probably glad he is not alive. The chain mail alone may weigh around 30 kilos. He does give a good indication of the type of soldier you would see burning down your house and crops around the 1200's.
Robert de Vere was the baron who lived in Hedingham castle (not this one, it's only a model) a castle which had only one failing, it wasn't very good. The Keep seen here still stands and is well worth a visit if you like climbing stairs. Much of the time it makes money by being used as a wedding venue or similar but occasionally it is open. Some years ago a pretty girl and I climbed high up to the top and enjoyed the views over a wide area. Then she pushed me off. The layout is simle inside, one each floor you make use of the space where there are no dividing walls, just a curtain maybe to protect the Lord for you common types. The dungeon was a bit dark however.
This present exhibition concerns the 'Magna Carta,' that's 'Big Charter' to you, and de Vere was one of the local Barons who rose up against King John. The man at Stanstead Mountfichet, Pleshey and Dunmow also joined the rebelllion and after a short battle somewhere in Lincolnshire if memory serves me right King John came to Essex lookingfor the barons.
They all hopped it to London as brave men do because London was on their side and impregnible. What happened to the folks left behind was not nice if they supported their man although many moved elsewhere as the ravaging army passed by.
English inginuity has led to the small village around the castle being called 'Castle Hedingham.'
Another exhibition has been doing the rounds recently. The women knitted several buildings in the town (when I first saw them I thought they were cakes!) and these are on display at the moment. Here we see the museum including tree and statue of John Ray the naturalist in the front.
Some may prefer the view of the 'Swan' a public house that has stood here at least since the 1500's and probably before that also. Taverns have a use and before the Reformation many pilgrims passed this way heading for the shrine at Bury St Edmunds.
Amongst our new stock I discovered this, it looks more appealing than 'Lemon Cheese' whatever that is!