Sooth and some History

Well, here I am in the south of England at the family château.

This is my family home, where I have lived since I was five years old.

Built in 1700, the house was originally the stable block complete with cobbled courtyard, a chapel, a ballroom attached to one of the original royal manor houses/hunting lodges.

There has been a hunting lodge here since the Middle Ages as it was considered an easy ride for from Windsor.

It was here that Henry VII arranged the marriage of his eldest son, Arthur (older brother of Henry VIII) to Catherine of Aragon.

Henry VIII subsequently married his brother’s widow, Catherine.

Many years later, having not produced a male heir and refusing to divorce him, Henry wanted Catherine dead because the Pope would not annul the marriage.

Henry arranged for Catherine to come here to stay; in a damp place because she had a bad chest.

So the poor lady spent a miserable few years at the hunting lodge (one of the many that, over the centuries, burned to the ground), waiting to hear news of her divorce and Henry’s subsequent marriage to Anne Boleyn.

And, yes there is the ghost of a lady riding a horse at night outside as well as a man in a leather suit, looking very sad who sits on a staircase, which is no longer there!

Every morning we take Mum’s dog for a walk – a beautiful Patterdale called Pip.

And we walk across the original parkland to feed her pet duck and a pair of Egyptian geese and their three goslings.

I will be here a while but it is a beautiful place to be.

(Oh, and by the way, I never knew any of this!)

10 thoughts on “Sooth and some History

  1. Gwen

    Wow Frances what a lovely place, hope you are ok and all is going well for you, just have a good rest in those beuatiful gardens and hope you will feel better when you come back

  2. doris eckerlein

    try to find peace in this beautiful gardens – it seems like souls like to linger in there….interesting aqua

  3. Nancy

    Wow, what a beautiful, beautiful place!!
    I’m sorry to hear that you had to visit on a sad occasion, but at least the weather seems lovely.
    Thank you for sharing your childhood home with us!

  4. Kris

    With your obvious writing skill, I can imagine a novel emerging after being surrounded by all that history and sumptuous settings. Hmmm.

  5. Louise Stopford

    What a fabulous place and chateau. You were very lucky to grow up in such beautiful surroundings. I suppose I just presumed you were originally from Shetland. Sorry to hear that it is a sad occasion that you have had to return for. I am really intrigued about your life now and wonder how you have ended up in beautiful Shetland (It’s so very different from your childhood home). Sorry, being nosy. The photo’s are wonderful, thank you.


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