Sunday 20th July – The Grand Old Duke of York…

So starts the poem I think of this morning as we drive down to Yorkshire. He must have been a bit of a twit to march ten thousand men to the top of the hill and down again but I guess that will be part of my learning next couple of days. Just why? It’s funny how BRITISH our upbringings were. These children’s games and songs being a huge part of our childhood.

Having now joined the National Trust we get into all these homes, walks and castles for the next twelve months for free. Not only for England but also Wales and Italy and NZ. And as we have a wait for the next place to open we head to Stewart Park to walk in the gardens there. It’s massive and at 11am it’s full of families. We wander over to the park and…

Turns out it’s Captain Cooks birthplace so a museum and park in his memory. Nice that there are so many making use of it. Dog walking and picnicking. Of course he was a hero to the British , conquering new lands left right and centre he was a huge part of our study too. With a globe too huge to photograph the children can walk his seafaring map and be amazed at his travels far and wide. It amazes me how many people know their history here. Dates and what happened and who and why. It all sounds vaguely familiar but maybe it was just too far removed from us for me to remember. I trust history lesson has more of a NZ flavour nowadays?

Another beautiful house and amazing garden. This many roomed mansion had some new and different treats in store for us like a map room which I thought was pretty cool having a few old maps of my own, not this old tho) and no idea what to do with! We saw a campaign bed that was lugged around so the master could sleep in comfort after battling it out across the ditch. This house was offered to his nephew when he realised he would soon go as they had no children-what the hang was the problem with these people. Heaps had no heirs??? The nephew said he didn’t want it and so it was donated in 1961 (in lieu of paying death duties) after he passed away. but his wife remained there until she died in 1984. Imagine rambling around that place till you were 89yrs old! Must e been a bit of a lonely end I thought.

We also visited Rievaulx Terrace in north York. This was a rich mans folly really and was common in the day where there was lots of oneupmanship. If you had enough money so that you had extensive views from your home you looked richer especially if you owned the view. Then it became fashionable to have the ruins of a castle, so some actually built a facade of a ruined castle at the further most point that could be seen. Then this guy realised he had a 12th century Abbey in the fields beyond so he changed the landscape slightly with eight years of earthmoving and built a small temple replica at each end of an area. Visitors would be treated to a horse an buggy ride through the forest where they alighted at the end to ‘come across’ a temple and in the distance the beautiful ruins. Ahhhh but death duties got them too, and it was given to the crown in an arrangement like many we have seen to be enjoyed by many forever! Thanks. Very much Jim.

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2 Responses to Sunday 20th July – The Grand Old Duke of York…

  1. Yvonne says:

    Love the NZ link!! Ye are fitting so much in in England and visiting some really interesting places! Looks great!

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