Fotheringhay has such history. Births of princes and kings, sanctuary for a Queen fearing the country was turning against her, a home, the rally and meeting point for a family in a country torn apart by war, the prison where a Queen was held and ultimately beheaded.
It probably has one of the most oddly notorious histories for a small and insignificant castle in, well, history.
Today it is just a hump, a motte, the remainder of a torn down strong hold, a place which was once great and suffered the ultimate humiliation for it.
But for us, Max and I, it is a hill by a beautiful church, near a beautiful and friendly pub, where we went on that day of days, the day we said the final goodbye to our son. We’re drawn back from time to time, to this place of local history; for some reason I never came to before, I passed many times but just never visited. It always felt like there would be a right time and eventually, there was.
We go and we eat, then we walk and we climb to the top of the motte. It’s easy to feel history there, overlooking a flood plain which mustered troops, by a river that fed the castle, looking out on the places which were once owned, possessed, by the people who perched a precarious existence there. We go and we look and we think for a few minutes of everything that has happened and who we are now. Of what we have and of what we’ve lost.
At the bottom, a tree. Knarled and weathered, still there, still clinging on, saluting us as we arrive and standing guard till we leave.
I like to think Fotheringhay gathers our rememberings and soaks them into the soil, so that they, the things we got from Freddie, stay there till next time. That he is part of the Edwards and Richards and Elizabeths and Marys who have bided there and become, in the end, part of history.