596 days ago
I have no idea what this object is or when it was made but it emerged from the work in the fields here at the Welsh Hovel today. It is made of sandstone and looks like a bowl of some sort – it is clearly man made. There are three holes manually drilled in its base but they may not have been drilled when the original bowl was made. It is about seven inches in diameter.
681 days ago
If you were to stick to the banks of the river Dee, I guess the castle is only c300 yards away. But that is not possible – one has to head up the lane and then down another, rather muddy, path to reach the ruin of what was once a great fortress. The stones from here were bought by the Duke of Westminster to build his pile down the road in the 1670s, the fortress itself having been largely destroyed after a Civil war siege. Almost certainly, stones from the castle were also used in building the Welsh Hovel.
717 days ago
The big project at the Welsh Hovel this Autumn has been the restoration of an old kitchen from the 1600s. By Tuesday I hope to be able to show you something that is 90% complete but here is one piece of history now coming to life. The view is from the hall in the centre of the house into the kitchen; you can see the new Aga at the far end and the beams which we have exposed and got back towards their original condition.
795 days ago
Okay, I accept this is work in progress. Gone are the carpets and wallpaper from the 1970s and also the plaster from the early twentieth century. What you see now is a room almost stripped back to the 1680s or whenever it was built. I shall come to the dating issue and mystery below.
2345 days ago
Though not a great fan of the spectacularly unsuccessful Home Secretary Mrs Theresa May, anyone who is attacked by the loathsome child of privilege the Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee, cannot be all bad. And thus in her column today La Toynbee starts with the words "If Theresa May is the answer, what is the Question?" Perhaps you would care to answer that one.
2346 days ago
Sorry it is a poor quality video and yes that is Abba in the background. I shot it on the penepenultimate evening at the Greek Hovel. I was travelling down from Kambos to the sea at Kitries for a last meal of octopus. About two miles from where, just outside my home village, one leaves the main Kambos to Kalamata road, there is a small hamlet.
I stood above this hamlet looking down on its church in the sunset. Then I panned the camera around. I hope you can make out the 180 degree view starting at the Frankish castle above Kambos, moving down to the bay at Kitries and onwards to the church. And so why would one live anywhere else?
2349 days ago
The road to Mistras was an "interesting" drive but it was worth it as we headed round a corner and suddenly saw this great fortress on a hill. This truly is a place you must visit, yet, as we entered the site, there were just six cars in the car park. It is a hidden gem
The site was originally built by the Frankish prince William II of Villehardouin and lies on a spur of Mount Taygetos a few miles from the town of Sparta. Its claim to fame is that it was a Byzantine outpost long after Byzantium itself was in decline and falling. The Despotate of Morea controlled the whole of the Peloponnese between 1348 and 1460 with the Turks over-ran the area.
In part one of this article
2574 days ago
We do not normally run adverts on this website for commercial enterprises but I was just wondering where to take the Mrs on a romantic weekend when a kind shareholder in Sefton Resources (SER) sent me this archived link to a charming little B&B, sometimes described - innacurately - as a castle in the Malvern hills. Apparently it is run by an elderly couple but the young son earns a bit of pocket money doing the washing up and helping out now and again.