When Max was little, he had a game called Kingmaker that he and his brother played. Joe still has in fact and i think i’ve played it once with them, but both Lou and i were pregnant and i have a feeling we both fell asleep. Anyway, it’s a game of intrigue amongst royalty and nobles and one of the playing cards in it commands you to “Marshall at Castle Rising” – every time we go past Castle Rising we say it, or think it, or remark that we must visit sometime soon.
When we left Hunstanton we fancied a stop off with the Beans somewhere, since we only had an hours drive home, so after we had stopped off at the “prettiest craft shop in Norfolk” we did indeed marshall at Castle Rising and after some sustaining apple turnovers in the car park, we headed in, pausing only for cheerful banter with the gatekeeper, who was very understanding about my lack of EH card (due to it being lost somewhere i think!) I paid for 2 handheld things to listen to, refused to get one for Amelie on the basis that she never uses it and therefore ensuring that she listened to every bit of it via borrowing the other twos devices. Not ideal given how cold it was, but worth the subtefuge!
Castle Rising is a phenomenal piece of engineering really; the defensive earthworks are incredible and i’d guess a fair few people died in the making of them. We walked round the top (no mean feat in the wind and with 6 flighty children in tow!) and to be honest, i’m not sure you’d survive a tumble down the outer edge of one of them. It can’t be far off a 100ft drop and virtually sheer; you wouldn’t stand much chance of grabbing hold of anything on the way down. It prompted a reasonable discussion with all the kids about what you’d need to overcome to attack. In fact, as Helen and i remarked as we left, if you turned up on the offensive, you’d take one look and think “we’re going to die.” And i imagine you’d be right.
The commentary centred on the wife of Edward 2nd, who was exiled there after her part in the death of her husband (him of the red hot poker up the bum fame – not a great way to go). It isn’t a bit of history i know much about, but i would like to and i’m off to Amazon this evening to hunt up some good books on the era. The commentary was nicely done and all the rooms were really well described. It was rather high though but i just about coped with board walks and children leaning against perfectly safe high up cast irn grates! I did lose my cool at the well though!
SB came up with the rather excellent “this is where the chaplains wept” (slept) and Fran informed me in the chapel that Isabella worshiped Allah, though i really don’t know where she got that!
There was some fairly welcome respite in the one still whole room near the top and it was distinctly gusty!
Anyway – it was a very pleasant stop and it always makes me happy to see the kids keen to listen and learn in such an informal but positive way when we go round places like that. Plus i got to add to my list of bizarre places to breastfeed but adding a windswept, freezing, 2nd storey, runined medieval chapel! 🙄 Josie had a meltdown and i was very glad of still having the required optional extra feature ready for immediate download 😉
Photos all courtesy of the Beans as my camera had expired by that point, thanks to me forgetting the essential little piece of cable again!
Friday evening took us speedily back to the more prosaic round of dancing and theate arts for the last time this term and now we get short respite from such things. Hurrah!