Thursday, April 21, 2011

Queen Mary Stayed Here

Last Sunday, I made Lee pick where we went :) I know he doesn't much mind going anywhere I want to, but I don't *always* want sole responsibility for picking out enjoyable activities for us. He did a good job choosing a destination though: Framlingham Castle, a mere 12 miles from Orford. Once again, we were gifted with gorgeous weather.

I'm starting to think that the thing about England being constantly gray and drizzly and cold and ug-tastic was a myth invented by the French in an effort to draw tourists (and their money) away from England and towards France. (I do want to go to France, too.)

So, back to the castle. Orford, the first castle we visited, has lost its curtain wall over the centuries while the keep itself remains almost completely intact, but the opposite is true at Framlingham--fairly complete curtain wall and pretty much no interior buildings. The original castle wasn't typical anyway, and didn't have a central keep as such. Framlingham dates from roughly the same time period as Orford, and when you're past 800 I don't think that five or ten years makes much difference :)

Ok, so I couldn't choose which of the tree shots I liked best :) Anyway, the castle first belonged to the Bigod family, but it was forfeited to the Crown and given back on several occasions when the Bigods got too big for their britches by the estimation of the king. In fact, in 1215 Roger Bigod was one of the barons who forced King John to sign the Magna Carta.

I had photographic honors for the most part last weekend, I particularly like this shot :)

This is Framlingham College, which can be seen from the castle walls (although this photo was taken from ground level). Anyway, by the 15th century, the castle had been confiscated more than once and ultimately passed into the hands of the Howard family. Thomas Howard, the third Duke of Norfolk, was quite the ambitious little schemer and married off not one, but two of his nieces to King Henry VIII--Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard, who were the two that Henry had beheaded. I feel sorry for the women married to Henry, don't you?

Anyway, after Henry's demise, Framlingham belonged briefly to Bloody Mary before she got all bloody.

Bet people were too skeered to tell Mary she had something on her nose. Anyway, I've talked before about what happened when Henry VIII's son Edward VI died and how Lady Jane Grey became the Nine Days' Queen but was deposed in favor of Mary. Mary was in residence at Framlingham when she got the news that she had been accepted as Queen of England by the Privy Council, and she rallied support from East Anglia when she marched into London. (I feel even sorrier for Jane than I do Henry's wives). After she took power, Mary gave the castle back to Thomas Howard and released him from prison. I wonder if there was any kind of weird family dynamic--after all, Howard was related to Mary's stepmother(s) and her half-sister Elizabeth. But anyway, the castle went back to the Howards and I'll tell you more about what happened to it after Tudor times in my next post.

So here's a view from inside the curtain wall; the open space is quite large and absolutely perfect for a picnic lunch, and indeed several groups were doing just that. If we'd thought of it, we could have totally brought a picnic lunch with us (and the dogs for that matter, several people had dogs with them) but instead we had Sunday roast at a local pub on the recommendation of the lady who gave us our tickets. It was totally delish.

After we looked around a bit, we went into the little shop and saw the displays depicting part of the castle's history. Here's a recreation of clothing similar to what Bloody Mary and Henry VIII used to wear:

And in contrast there's this:

This is a recreation of the clothing provided to people who lived in the castle when it was converted into a poorhouse (more on that next time).

Anyway, since I last posted, I have not made anything paper-crafty, but I have uploaded several hundred pictures to Winkflash to have printed out. However, I'm irked at the moment that I STILL haven't gotten the last set of pictures I ordered from them and which supposedly shipped out like three weeks ago. Grr. If they're not here when I check the mail tomorrow, I'm going to contact them and say "what up, yo?!" I've uploaded all the England pictures that we've taken so far (well, not ALL of them 'cause that's a lot, but the ones I like best that I want to use in my scrapbooks) and I'm slowly working my way through the China pictures from last year. I've come to the conclusion that I may have to make FOUR separate albums for my China pictures, one for each city. Which is ridiculous for a 12-day trip but I don't see myself returning to China ever, so I may as well really do up the scrapbooks nice!


Lee said...

I vote for the very first photo on this post. I REALLY like it, and BTW Christy took it. By far my favorite picture of the day really. I might get that one blown up and framed.

CCsMom said...

And Lee, I think you guys will eventually run out of walls. (Hee hee!)

Yes, it looked like an absolutely beautiful day. I just got on the computer this fine Saturday morning and Dad has it set up to show temperature and weather in North Richland Hills and Feltwell -- how about that -- we both are at 77 degrees at this very moment. Except you have sunny skies and we have cloudy, muggy air with the possibility of thunderstorms looming. Oh well.

Great post. I am enjoying every one of them.