Friday, 7 October 2011
This has been a very busy week for me - friends in for tea and coffee, days out, visitors staying - a lovely, enjoyable week but no time to blog. However, things are now back to 'normal' - so I will tell you about one outing we had.
My visitor S, a friend W and I all went to Thorpe Perrow Arboretum, which I have featured several times before. We were hoping for the Autumn colours of the Acer grove but we were too early and apart from one Acer turning colour the rest have some way to go.
At the entrance there is an avenue of horse chestnut trees and underneath the ground was littered with bright shiny conkers - very tempting - I wonder why they have such fascination.
After our walk round the Arboretum, where the staff were busy putting Hallowe'en lanterns in the trees (they always have Hallowe'en festivities for children) we had a walk through the bog garden, which is already kitted out with scary creatures, and then it was into the cafe for a bowl of hearty cabbage, ham and puy lentil soup. It was delicious and I shall try it shortly.
From the car park you can see Snape Castle, so we decided to have a short trip to look at it. It is only a ruin and it is not possible to go round it as it is attached to a private house. But you can go into the chapel, which has been carefully restored (apart from the celing, which I am sure would once have been splendid) and seems to be the parish church of the village now.
But the history of Snape Castle is fascinating. Until late in the seventeenth century it belonged to the Nevilles of Middleham (who owned the castle there too) and so has an association with Richard III - with both his mother and his wife.
But perhaps the most poignant connection is that it was the home of Catherine Parr, the last wife of Henry VIII, who lived there when she was married to John Neville, the third Baron Latymer - this was before her marriage to Henry.
Catherine was only 20 when she married Henry and he was her third husband - her first marriage was when she was just fourteen.
By the time Catherine married Henry he was a very large, ugly old man - hardly the sort of chap one would chose for one's twenty year old daughter. But of course in those days women were mere commodities to be married off so that the money and the prestige was kept in a tight little circle.