Well, we are back in the UK and back in the swing of things for the most part. I thought we might take the weekend off, but it was reasonably warm (50F or so) with a decent forecast (partly cloudy though I'm not sure who got the partly -- we just got the cloudy) so back on the trail we went.
Note: I stretched the template a bit and I'm using larger photos. Let me know if you like it or hate it.
I decided to tap a few English Heritage Trust properties to the north of us (< 1 hr away) today. First up was Bolsover Castle. It was interesting to realize that many of the castles/estates to the north of Derby are very much intertwined (Peveril, Bolsover, Chatsworth, Hardwick Hall, etc.).
The castle dates back to the 12th century when it was built by the Peveril family. It changed hands a few times but ended up with Charles Cavendish (son of Bess of Hardwick) in 1608. Charles set about rebuilding it and that work was finished by his son William Cavendish. England was at peace then but it was quite fashionable to have a mean looking castle to impress your friends and all the little people.
Here's a view of a model that may help with the visualization. We entered the outer courtyard at the top right. The large stable range is the brown set of buildings on the right. The Terrance range (expansion wing more or less) is in front and the Little Castle is on the left.
View as you enter the courtyard. Little Castle is out of view on the right; Terrance Range straight ahead.
Troops in front of the large door into the stable rooms.
former dining room area (Terrance Range side)-- obviously missing a few floors these days
Inside the Entrance Hall of the Terrance Range looking back to the Stable Range. Big door.
another room in the Terrance Range. It was fun to walk around and explore the ruins.
we had walked down the ground floor to get a different view
part of the Stable Range
Alex taking a look down the hill (I like this shot)
entrance to the Little Castle
Little Castle from the other side
As we were walking out, little man was swinging his audio device around and got himself all tangled up.
Cool tree. Spooky without the leaves.
Next, we headed down the road to Hardwick Old Hall. There's a "new" hall next door, but it was closed. I knew that and will save it for another day. It should have taken about 15 minutes to get there from Bolsover but our Sat Nav (GPS) lead us down some secondary road that had a gate and then the chief navigator lead us astray so it took 30-40 minutes instead. All was calm (we are experienced at getting lost now).
Bess of Hardwick (wiki link) was a rich and strongly connected women. She married 4 times, amassing more fortune with each husband's death, and was thought to be the second richest women (next to the Queen) in the country. Her second marriage was to William Cavendish and they had 8 children. First son William became Duke of Devonshire (lived in Chatsworth). Grandson William (from son Charles) because Duke of Newcastle (lived in Bolsover Castle). She was chiefly involved in the designs of both Hardwick Halls.
blog if you want another view of ex-pat life in the UK).
Hmm. Doesn't look open to me . . . Too much trouble to take down the sign, eh? I found this humorous for some reason.
We passed by the closed, Hardwick (new) Hall enroute to the old one. As you can see, New is relative.
cloudy, countryside view
Four stories with a relatively contemporary design. She liked her windows and glass too.
All the big to-dos were on the top floor
some of the plaster/masonry remains
full view of the height
scary in many ways
I enjoyed this partially ruined state
Here's the first verse of the Wassailing Carol for those interested. It's actually a New Year's song so somewhat appropriate. We have a version on our Scottish Christmas DVD that we always listen to (except this year -- oops).
Here we come a-wassailing
Among the leaves so green,
Here we come a-wand'ring
So fair to be seen.
Love and joy come to you,
And to you your wassail, too,
And God bless you, and send you
A Happy New Year,
And God send you a Happy New Year.
Side note: spent 10 minutes (and 2 trips) looking for corn meal in the store. Had to Google it to find out it's called polenta here. Polenta back home implies the cooked stuff I believe (or at least in my mind). One of those things that's quite irritating at the time.
Related side note: cornstarch is corn flour here.
Not so related side note: many of the vegetables are different as well (zucchini=courgette, eggplant=aubergine, cilantro=coriander, arugula=rocket, rutabaga/turnip=swede). Most times it's obvious but others it's not.
No Nicole meal-of-the week this time. I gave her the week off on this short week. She'll be back next time.
Thanks for reading.