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England Day Three

Here I got pictures ready a while back and then didn’t get busy and get the next day posted. I know I need to be better, but after being on the computer all day at work and getting home and catching up on messages at home I think I get burned out. I did finally get some fabric posted on my etsy shop and have more ready to take pictures of and get posted. My weekend tends to get full when my son brings his 2 year old in for me to watch. She takes precedence and can be very demanding when she thinks grandpa and grandma should do for her now.

Now for day three in England

Our plans started out to visit the university at Cambridge and check out the city itself. When we got there they were having a bike race and the town was packed so we decided to bypass Cambridge until the next day. We did go to the American Cemetery in Cambridge. It is a beautiful cemetery that does a great job of honoring our service men. It includes a wall of names of men missing in action. Those names of soldiers that have later had their remains found have rosettes by their names. The guide there was very enthusiastic about showing us around and explaining things about the cemetery. He was disappointed that most people hop off the bus and look around for a few minutes until the next bus without really finding out about the cemetery. He thoroughly enjoyed his job and was thrilled that we took time to have him tell us about the cemetery. He told us stories of a few of the missing men including Glen Miller and Joseph Kennedy Jr (John F Kennedy’s older brother).

Grave sites at the American Cemetery

Memorial at the American Cemetery

Inside the Memorial

Reflecting pools and the Memorial wall of the missing.

After the cemetery we headed on over to Swaffham Bulbeck. The town is about 8 miles outside of Cambridge and wouldn’t be on most tourist stops, but the town had meaning for us. Mom’s relatives came from there. We visited the church were her Great Grandfather was a choir boy. After a lot of looking and most of us missing it because the marker was worn, we found the grave marker for two of his brothers. The church is St Mary’s Church and was built 800 years ago. It is need of repair as age is causing some structure fatigue, but is still in use.

St Mary’s Church

Inside of St Mary’s Church

Black Horse Inn

The Black Horse Inn in Swaffham Bulbeck was establishied in 1765 and was a good place for lunch. That’s my Mom in front of the Inn and John and Bob walking up to the Inn. Perhaps we had relatives that frequented the pub.

From Swaffham Bulbeck we headed towards the town were we would stay the night. Along the way we stopped at Lavenham hopefully to look at some of the shops, but it was late and mostly they were closed. Here we saw a monument dating 1501 and the oldest guild hall in England. Lavenham is one of the most well preserved medieval villages in England. The Guild Hall was built around 1530. There is a house is Lavenham thought to be the inspiration to the rhyme There was a Crooked Man.

The Guild Hall of Corpus Christi

Monument erected in 1501

Look down the street and you can see the crooked house

Some of the local architecture in Lavenham

After Lavenham we headed to Linton to our B&B. The Springfield House was a very nice B&B with some beautiful gardens. The owners were a married English woman and an American man. They welcomed us to their home and suggested a pub for us to eat for the night. We enjoyed the gardens and relaxed for the night.

Springfield House

The edge of a thatched roof in Linton

Thatched roofs are seen across England and my understanding is if you have a thatched roof it must remain that way. Different artisans have different ways to finish off the design of the roof.

This ends our third day. Hopefully I’ll get the next post up soon.


England Day 2

Winter is finally here. At least now it looks like it. I finally have enough snow that I can do some snow dyeing. I got eight yards in the dye this morning and will wash them out tomorrow. I take the spent dye baths and mix them together and do what is called mud dyeing. You never know what color the fabric will end up. The mud dyes are lighter in color and since several dyes are mixed together the final color isn’t a clear vibrant color. I still get some nice colors on the cloth.  I can do without the cold, but I do like the snow dyes I get from the snow. Roads here didn’t get bad with the snow yesterday, but you didn’t have to go very far north to start having some problems.

Now for our second day in England. We went to Stratford-upon-Avon and checked out Shakespeare’s home. We also went to Anne Hathaway’s home and Mary Arden’s farm. We used the hop on hop off bus to get from one place to another. The gardens in England were fabulous and it seemed like everyone had gardens.

Shakespeare was born and brought up in Stratford. He married Anne Hathaway at the age of 18 and they had 3 children. He retired in Stratford around 1613 at the age of 49 and died 3 years later.

The following pictures are at Shakespeare’s home.

One of the hop on hop off buses.

The local phone booths.

The river Avon.

Anne Hathaway’s house. Anne Hathaway was Shakespeare’s wife.



Garden’s at Anne Hathaway’s

Willow Arbor at Ann Hathaway’s.

Tea at Anne Hathaway’s.

Mary Arden’s farm. Mary Arden was Shakespeare’s mother. Nothing like being raised in the middle of Iowa and going to England to take pictures of farm animals.

We met these gals on the hop on hop off bus and asked what was going on. This was a bachelorette party. They were sitting in the grass at the farm. It seemed that they were having a lot of fun.

John and Jane outside Mary Arden’s farm.

On the way home we went through Kenilworth and stopped to look in at the Kenilworth castle. Kenilworth castle was first built in the 1120s. It was significantly enlarged by King John in the beginning of the 13th century. It was expanded a couple more times and then partly ruined in 1649. Only two buildings remain habitable today.



That’s all for today. I’ll try to get some more up soon.


England Trip – Day One

We arrived in England on Fri, July 1st. After a couple of hours of resting to catch up from our plane flight, my cousin Jane took us to see some of the local sights. We first went to Tamworth Castle and then on to St Editha’s parish church and the Lichfield Cathedral. Then we went to Wall to see the Roman ruins. We all decided we had no interest driving in England. The roads are narrow, they drive on the wrong side of the road and they have all these roundabouts to navigate. My cousin is from central Iowa and she drove that first day. She even managed to have us go around one roundabout about 3 times before she got the right turnoff. She does have her license, but is still fairly new to driving in England. The rest of the trip Jane’s husband John and his friend Bob drove us. They rented a Volvo SUV to take us. They considered a big vehicle, but by sister and I both have mini vans that have more room than the Volvo did. We got a lot of looks from people who watched us loading and unloading seven people from the Volvo.

Some of the gardens at Tamworth Castle. This is my Mom and my sisters and me.

The gardens in England are fantastic and it seems most everyone has a garden of some sort.

Tamworth Castle

This is a Norman castle that dates from the 11th century.

St Editha’s Parish Church

In Tamworth most of this church was built in the mid to late 14th and 15th centuries.

Lichfield Cathedral

Some of the carvings on the outside of the cathedral.

Interior shots of the cathedral.

Roman ruins at Wall. Wall was a small Roman town in the 2nd century with baths and a hostel.

More later.

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