Rain overnight but by the time we were on the road, bright sunshine. Didn't last long though, a big storm, "Brian", is moving in from the south with strong winds and rain. We made it through the day without the rain but the cold wind was not fun when out of the car,
Headed south through Nottingham just driving through the centre of the city. After so many of the places we've been through, Nottingham struck us as being a more modern city. From there, we continued south to Leicester on the trail of King Richard III. If you are unaware of the story of Richard III, in particular the last few years, here is a summary. King Richard III died in a Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485. For various reasons his body was brought back to Leicester and buried in Greyfriars Priory, not far from the cathedral. A tomb was erected but when the priory was later destroyed, the tomb was also destroyed. In the early 1600s a mansion and gardens were erected on the site of the priory and in 1740, a road was built through the gardens. In 1872, the mansion was demolished and a new road built through the site. In 2012, an archaeological dig discovered what was later proven to be the body of King Richard III. In 2015, a reinterment was conducted with his body being buried in the Leicester Cathedral. Although only a small and intimate cathedral compared to some we have seen, this visit took quite a bit longer than planned and unfortunately, the official photographer and assistant both forgot to get a photo of the Cathedral.
From Leicester, we headed east to Oakham to visit the Rutland Falconry and Owl Centre. The centre is set in ancient woodland that the owner allows to remain in that state for the native birds and animals that live there and to provide a better environment for his birds. Also a wildlife sanctuary, injured birds are cared for and wherever possible, released back into the wild. Visitors are able to walk through the woodland and sight native animals and birds in their habitats but unfortunately, due to the approaching "Brian", we were unable to enter the business as the strong winds were considered too dangerous in the high trees with the danger of falling branches.
We moved onto the Rutland Water Reservoir, one of the largest artificial lakes in Europe and by surface area, the largest reservoir in England. Very cold and windy at the time and the ducks nestled down in the grass under one of the seats looked like they had given up for the day. A beautiful peaceful setting but probably not always as the reservoir is also used for water sports.
Not one of our stops but we passed through Stamford to check out a village known for its five medieval churches most of which you see as you drive through the narrow winding street through town. And not just the churches, so many of the buildings in this very old town are made of a similar stone it really give the impression that you have gone back in time. Virtually no modern buildings to be seen.
On to Peterborough and stopped at an old Tower in the village of Longthorpe. The Longthorpe Tower has an interesting history being built by a man whose family went from serfs to knights of the realm in three generations. The house and the associated 14th century tower was an expression of their wealth. During the 1940, prisoners of war were being used to clean up the interior of the tower and discovered paintings on the wall. Apparently the paintings had been whitewashed over around the time of the Reformation to hide the ones with religious significance. The paintings were uncovered and not successfully protected and have lost most of the original colour but the paintings of historical significance remain. In a repeat of this morning, we were so excited over the paintings and the next stop, we forgot the photo of the tower itself.
Into Peterborough and a visit to the 12 century Cathedral which holds the tomb of Katherine of Aragon, wife of King Henry VIII. Another big, beautiful and grandiose Cathedral. In the square outside the Cathedral grounds stands an unusual building, the Peterborough Guild Hall. The building is open underneath with the hall upstairs reached by two spiral staircases.
After a terrific dinner at a new Turkish Restaurant attached to the hotel, I've finished this off and am calling it quits for the night.