Friday, March 12, 2010

Tilbury and Rayleigh

Current work: Medical and nonfic
Listening to: Bach
Reading: next on TBR

Next we went to Tilbury.

This fort dates from the time of Charles II (this is the water gate)


but Henry VIII built the first fort there in 1539 on the site of a former hermitage. Elizabeth I gave her rousing speech re the Armada a couple of miles away in West Tilbury. Rather more shamefully, it was used as a prison for Highlanders captured after the Battle of Culloden. And there was a rather riotous cricket match… but I’m still looking in to that because I think it might’ve been a kind of April Fool’s that was taken seriously.

Finally, Rayleigh. Just the mound is left now.


This was one of the earliest Norman castles in England (it’s mentioned in Domesday) and belonged to Robert FitzWymarc. Eventually it passed to his great-grandson, Henry d’Essex (there’s a big scandal there, but it’s too long to tell the tale here – it’ll be in the book) and it was confiscated by the crown. King John gave it to Hubert de Burgh – and he robbed the stone and used it to build Hadleigh. There’s a windmill next door which just happens to be the tallest windmill in Essex.

I liked Rayleigh very much, and I was particularly taken by these snowdrops: a real sign of spring.

5 comments:

Lacey Devlin said...

Wow that is one scary looking fort, or maybe it's the whole prison thing that's got to me.

Nicola Cornick said...

I'm loving your history tour, Kate! What an impressive fort. I love the water gate.

Caroline Storer said...

Ahh Tilbury fort - that brings back memories! We used to take the dogs for walks there a lot. It's a great fort isn't it? Have a good weekend. Caroline x

Shirley Wells said...

Love the pic of the water gate. It's great having this guided tour by the way. :o)

Olivia Ryan said...

Ooh, another episode - lovely! I feel like jumping in the car and following you around! I know Rayleigh well but strangely, don't think I've ever set foot in Tilbury. How have I managed that, having lived in a total of six Essex towns/villages? I really must get out more!