It’s inevitable that many of these locations feature as castles belonging to John of Gaunt: Tutbury, Leicester, Herefored and Hertford to name a few. I’ve also included a few places associated with Mary de Bohun whose household Katherine is listed in during some of the period when she and Gaunt went their separate ways.
Double click on the pointer to open up a box with a snippet of information about each of these locations. If nothing else it is possible to see how widely travelled John of Gaunt was within England. It is possible to see the lines of Roman roads as well as the marches between England and Wales as you look at the locations, a reminder that in the past boundaries determine fortifications and that key transport networks made it possible for the great and the good to administer their estates.
I stood at the base of High Street over a Lakeland mountain side. A long ramble over the Roman paving to the summit. To think that 2400 years gone by they knew how to drain flag and build as in Pompey I was destined to be one month later. For me Rome was the best of bests. What ever their sins , and they were many. The world they built was the greatest in Gods world. Perhaps we have never come to understand just how it worked. Perhaps we have never reached that standard since. Taxation being the cost of Government without the hot baths the mighty architecture or that army that held the empire together.
I was very smitten with the hot bath until I read that it was only emptied periodically at which point I became much less enthusiastic about the Roman bathhouse. It always amazes me that so much of Rome remains – clearly they hadn’t heard about the importance of built in obsolescence.
Love learning about John of Gaunt and Katherine Swynford! I will have to add these locations to my list of places to see when I get to England!
Some of the places are magnificent – Lincoln Cathedral for instance but others are a little less inspiring these days- Pontefract Castle now contains a municipal park. If you squint you can just about imagine the cell where Richard II was imprisoned but only if you have a good imagination! Bolingbroke Castle in Lincolnshire looks better from the air as its footprint remains but the walls are a bit lacklustre. Tutbury is very evocative but nothing much is left of Leicester Castle. Kennilworth is more associated with the Earl of Leicester these days and the Tudor period. Its all fascinating stuff and I do realise how lucky I am to live in a place with so much history.
Gaunt’s castle in Lancaster is open to the public after being a prison. It is also next to the railway station, so could not be easier to visit.
True – and whilst Katherine Swynford didn’t go there, so far as I know, Carlisle Castle – a rather wonderful red sandstone gem- is a railway journey from Lancaster!