Picture of the Week #10

Stage of Shakespeare’s Globe in London. June 2000.

In honor of the possible new portrait and the additional news from the dig at the first theater, I decided to post this photo from one of my visits to the Globe. I took the tour on my trip in 1998, but didn’t get to see a play that time. However, when we were planning the big Tudor Talk meet-up in 2000, one of the list members who also volunteered at the Globe got us tickets for Hamlet, which was fabulous. We had two separate boxes for the approximately 20 people, split into two groups opposite each other. I was in the box on the middle level and second from the right of the stage in the photo. They were the fancy seats… no groundlings in our group!

Picture of the Week #9

Glastonbury Abbey, Somerset, England. May 1998.

Glastonbury’s first stone church dates to the 8th century, but it was demolished and rebuilt in Norman times. Building and expansion continued through the early 16th century, including a special apartment on the Abbot’s House built for a visit by Henry VII. The Abbey met its end in 1539 during the Dissolution of the monasteries in the reign of Henry VIII.

This photograph is one of my favorites from my first trip to the UK, and it happened totally by accident. I was getting near the end of my roll of film (yes, film – this was 1998) so I sat down on a little rise under a tree along the path to change out the roll. I saw I had a couple of shots left, so I just took a photo of the view in front of me, which is the photo you see above.

Picture of the Week #8

At Carew Castle, Pembrokeshire, Wales. May 2003

We ended up visiting Carew Castle completely by accident. While we were on the way back to the hotel from Pembroke Castle, I noticed the sign for Carew and that it was only about a mile from the road. So we decided to see if it was still open for the day, and it was.

The castle has parts dating back to around 1100 and was transformed from a medieval defensive fortification to a Tudor mansion by Sir Rhys ap Thomas. The crests you see above are of Prince Arthur (left), Henry VII (center, with his heraldic greyhound and dragon to either side) and Catherine of Aragon (right) and are above the entrance to the great hall.

In 1507 Carew Castle was the site of the last great medieval-style tournament in Wales.

Picture of the Week #7

Astronomical clock at Hampton Court Palace. May 1998

From the Historic Royal Palaces website:

King Henry VIII commissioned Nicolas Kratzer (a Bavarian and friend of court painter Hans Holbein) to design an astronomical clock for his palace at Hampton Court, which was installed around 1540. The astronomer and ‘Devisor of the King’s Horologes’, working with French clockmaker Nicholas Oursian, created not only a marvel of Tudor engineering with complex mechanics, but also an enviable work of art. It also had great practical use showing the time, month, day of the month, position of the sun in the zodiac, the phase and age of the moon. It also determined the time at which the moon would cross the meridian and therefore the time of high water at London Bridge, useful if you, like King Henry, travelled to London by Royal Barge.

The clock was removed in late 2007 (and replaced in mid-2008) so restoration work could be done. If you look at the clock now, you will see bright red and azure, probably much closer to what Henry VIII would have seen. The last time it had been repainted was in 1960, so the colors had faded quite a bit by the time I took this photo.

[Sorry this is a day late… I just couldn’t get it done yesterday after finishing yet another science meeting, followed by running the public night on the telescope]

Picture of the Week #6

11th-century Chapel of St John the Evangelist in the White Tower of The Tower of London. May 2003.

The White Tower has always been my favorite part of the Tower complex, probably owing to its antiquity. For all the grandeur of the Gothic and Tudor architecture of the centuries following, I have to admit a love of the Anglo-Norman style, and especially of this chapel. Simple, basic and powerful.

Picture of the Week #5

Memorial to Mary of Lorraine (probably better known as Mary of Guise) at Edinburgh Castle. May 2000.

Although Mary died in Scotland, she was buried in her native France.
You can click on the picture to get a larger version, but I’ll also put the text below.

Mary of Lorraine, Queen of James V, Mother of Mary Queen of Scots and Regent of Scotland from 1554-1560 died here 11th June 1560. “A lady of honourable conditions, of singlular judgment, full of humanity, a great lover of justice, helpful to the poor.”

Picture of the Week #4

Bust of Henry VII by Pietro Torrigiano in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. May 2003.

Happy 552th birthday Henry VII!

Torrigiano also sculpted the effigies of Henry, Elizabeth of York and Margaret Beaufort on their tombs in Westminster Abbey.

Picture of the Week #3

Model of the Mary Rose, from the Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth. June 2000.

As most of you know, the Mary Rose was a ship in the navy of Henry VIII that sank in 1545 and was raised in 1982. A significant portion of the ship and numerous artifacts have been brought up and are on display in a museum at the Historic Dockyard in Portsmouth. I enjoyed my visit in 2000 and I can’t wait to go back someday when the new museum is complete!

See The Mary Rose Trust website for more information on the ship and their plans for their new museum.

Some related older threads on the sinking of the Mary Rose:



Picture of the Week #2

Great Hall of Warwick Castle. May 1998. Click on the photo for a larger version.

The wood buffet in the center of the photo was made in the mid-19th century from a large oak from the grounds of nearby Kenilworth Castle and shows scenes of Elizabeth I’s famous visit in 1575. The hall itself dates from the 14th century, was rebuilt in the 17th century, and then restored in the late 19th century after a fire.

Tomorrow, January 15, is the 450th anniversary of the coronation of Elizabeth I. So instead of going for something obvious like Westminster Abbey, I chose this photo of the Great Hall at Warwick. Mini trivia contest (sorry, only prize is braggin’ rights) – does anyone know the connection? It’s probably a bit esoteric, but I’ll bet some of you know why my brain linked the two. 🙂

Picture of the Week #1

Panorama of the outer ward of Pembroke Castle, Pembrokeshire, Wales. May 2003. Click on the photo for a larger version.

It seemed appropriate to start the Picture of the Week with the birthplace of the first Tudor monarch – Henry VII.

The first castle on the site dates back to the last 11th century, but the earliest stone buildings date to the late-12th to early-13th century when William Marshall became the Earl of Pembroke. The impressive Great Tower (the round tower at the left of the photo) dates to that period.

In the mid-15th century, the earldom and castle became the property of Jasper Tudor, half-brother to King Henry VI and it was in 1457 that the young, recently-widowed Margaret Beaufort gave birth to Henry Tudor, her only child, in her brother-in-law’s castle. The tower to the far right of the photo is known as Henry VII’s tower, since he is thought to have been born in a room in that section of the castle.

New blog feature – Picture of the Week

I’ve been wanting to start this for a while and I decided that the beginning of the year is just the time to get going on it. The reasoning behind this is similar to part of the reason I started the (still temporarily on hold) podcast – forcing me to do a little research for things on a regular basis. I don’t think I’ll be doing lengthly write-ups for most of the photos, but even starting to write some short captions will be helpful for updating my photo gallery information. Or in the case of the first photo (coming in the next post), starting from scratch on pages that I’ve been putting off for going on 6 years now!