Sunday, 25 October 2015

Never far from Loughborough!

This last week has seen me staying in South West Wales, Llanteg, to be precise. At one time I used to stay at Llanteglos every October half-term holiday, until we decided that we should investigate the whole of the Welsh coastline! We've done that now, apart from Swansea, so this year we decided to go back to Llanteglos, without the children, to celebrate the fact that we finally got married 5 weeks ago.

So, this time, we decided to visit some places that we'd been to before with the children, including Pembroke, Narberth and Llawhden castles, the National Botanical Gardens of Wales, and the towns of Pembroke, Sandersfoot and Tenby. We also visited some new places, like the Heritage Museum in Pembroke, Picton and Laugharne castles, and Lamphey Bishops' Palace.  And we did some different things, like walk from Llanteg to Saundersfoot, Tenby to Saundersfoot, and from Freshwater East to Lamphey and back!

Interestingly, I learned all about flying boats and the difference between these and planes that can float, at the Pembroke Heritage Centre. I'd never heard of Sunderland boats before, but how strange to read all about them and to then go back to the holiday accommodation and find that they were being featured on the One Show!!

So, the area of South West Wales is not Richard III country, so there was much information about his adversary, Henry VII. I don't purport to be on any particular side of the Richard III argument. Being Welsh myself, one might suppose I support Henry VII. Having parents who've lived in Yorkshire for 39 years, one might suppose I support the idea that he should have been buried in Yorkshire. Having myself lived in Loughborough for 37 years, and worked in Leicester for 29, one might suppose that I support the Leicester case!

Whatever my thoughts and feelings on the matter, I was impressed to see the house in Tenby where Henry VII is reputed to have escaped to France through a tunnel, in 1471,

and equally impressed to see his birthplace in Pembroke Castle.

A couple of other Loughborough - or at least, Leicestershire - connections caught my attention whilst I was visiting Pembroke castle.

The information boards talked of Lord Hastings: was this the same family as were formerly Lords of the Manor at Loughborough?

They also talked of Simon de Montfort, a name which is very familiar to me!!

And then there was a quotation about seeing Henry VII's birthplace, from John Leland, a traveller who wrote about his journeys, which included comments about Leicester and Leicestershire, and whose words are quoted in Nichols.

In one of the rooms in the castle, there was a display about more recent wars, and it was here that I spotted the uniforms of the Pembrokeshire Yeomanry, and was reminded of our own Leicestershire Yeomanry, whose collection is in the Carillon. [Apologies for the poor quality photos].

Then there was the town hall in Laugharne: a beautiful white building with a tower and a bell which struck the hour, which reminded me of our own town hall with its bell, and of our bellfounders, Taylors.

Picton Castle has never been open when we've been past before, but this year they had extended their opening hours (as had Laugharne Castle). We went on a guided tour of the castle, and when we heard that the owners were Phillips, it did make me wonder if they were related to the De Lisles of Garendon!

Wandering around Tenby one day, we went into a bookshop, where I was very surprised to see someone from Loughborough with whom I worked in Leicester about 23 years ago!!

On our final day we visited the National Botanical Gardens of Wales, which we discovered are built on the site of Middleton Hall. I've no idea why the hall was so named, as the owner was a William Paxton, so no relation to the Middleton bankers of Loughborough!

Unfortunately, I missed all the excitement of the Loogabrooga Festival, but I hope you managed to catch some of it!

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