A Travellerspoint blog

Stonehenge, Ludgershall Castle, and Donnington Castle

English Heritage Sites

While in Newbury, we also decided to visit a few ancient ruins in the area to include the famous Stonehenge, Ludgershall Castle and Donnington Castle. We had a bonus observation when during our drive we saw one of the famous white chalk horses with this particular one on Hakpen Hill.

Stonehenge consists of a ring of standing stones, each around 13 feet high, seven feet wide, and weighing approximately 25 tons. The stones are set within earthworks in the middle of the most dense complex of Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments in England, which includes several hundred tumuli (burial mounds). It is believed to have been constructed from 3000 BC to 2000 BC. Stonehenge is easily visible from the road, in fact traffic snarled right in front of the ruins as people stopped for a look.

Stonehenge: https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/stonehenge/
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Ludgershall Castle is a ruined 12th-century fortified royal residence at Ludgershall in Wiltshire, England. Three large walls emain of the castle, which was turned into a hunting lodge by Henry III but neglected by the 15th century. It was located in a neighborhood and backed up to a large house.
Ludgershall Castle: https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/ludgershall-castle-and-cross/history-of-the-castle/
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Donnington Castle is a ruined medieval castle which provided strategic views in all directions: https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/donnington-castle/history/
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While driving around we came across one of the white chalk horses.
Hackpen Hill white horse: http://wiltshirewhitehorses.org.uk/hackpen.html
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Onto Avebury Manor...

Posted by LCP 22:57 Archived in England Tagged white heritage hill castle horse english stonehenge chalk ludgershall donnington hakpen Comments (0)

The Vyne

National Trust Property in Hampshire

While in Newbury, we opted to take the short drive to visit The Vyne, a National Trust property in Basingstoke, Hampshire after spending the morning at Highclere Castle. The Vyne is a 16th-century estate and country house that retains a lot of its Tudor charm. It was built for Lord Sandys, Henry VIII's Lord Chamberlain. Apparently the King was entertained three times at the house. The house belonged to the Sandys family before being passed to the Chutes family. The house was bequeathed to the National Trust in 1956.

The Vyne: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/the-vyne

The Vyne was originally a much larger house, but was reduced in size. The red area in the picture below shows the original size of the house. It
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The South Front is the way in which we entered.
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Staircase Hall:
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These are some of the rooms in the house.
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Back in the day women were not educated, so they would take up drawing. These are a few of the Chute daughters' drawings of the various rooms in the house and how they were arranged hundreds of years ago.
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There was a beautiful chapel in the house with wonderful stained glass.
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Gardens:
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The Vyne was a beautiful house and we really enjoyed our visit. The docents in the various rooms were extremely knowledgable and very nice.

On to Stonehenge...

Posted by LCP 00:54 Archived in England Tagged the national hampshire trust vyne Comments (1)

Highclere Castle

Two words...Downton Abbey

Greetings! Our next adventure was a "staycation" if you will, and took us to the Newbury area to visit Highclere Castle and a few other sites nearby. We stayed at Rookwood Farmhouse, a cute bed and breakfast about 10 minutes from the castle. Our host, Charlotte, was absolutely lovely and her husband is a distant cousin of Sir Winston Churchill. Charlotte provided us with excellent recommendations for places to visit and restaurants.

Rookwood Farmhouse: https://www.rookwoodhouse.co.uk

Our room:
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I have wanted to visit Highclere Castle since the moment we landed in England. I am a HUGE Downtown Abbey fan. If you have been living under rock for the past decade, Downton Abbey is British historical period drama television series set in the early 20th century. The series is set in the fictional Yorkshire country estate of Downton Abbey between 1912 and 1926, follows the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants in the post-Edwardian era. The show explores how great events in history affected the family and the impact on British social hierarchy. Highclere Castle is a 5,000-acre estate is in Hampshire, England. It is the country seat of the Earl of Carnarvon. It was not only selected as the filming location for Downton Abbey and the subsequent movie, but also the British television show Jeeves and Wooster, staring Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry. Unfortunately, pictures were not allowed inside of the castle, so I took every picture of the outside I could possibly think of.

Highclere Castle:
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Walled gardens:
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Chapel ruins:
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We had tickets to a special Christmas event at Highclere and I had the amazing opportunity to meet Fiona, 8th Countess of Carnarvon, also known as Lady Carnarvon. We talked for a few minutes and she was very down to earth and relatable...not what you expect from aristocracy. She has a blog and has written a few books about previous ladies of Highclere and a book of Christmas traditions at Highclere. I, of course, had to purchase the books because I can never have enough books and Lady Carnarvon was nice enough to sign them.
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There was an excellent Egyptian exhibition in the cellars of the Castle which pays homage to the 5th Earl of Carnarvon, who along with his friend Howard Carter discovered the Tomb of Tutankhamun in 1922.

I loved Highclere, but it was incredibly crowded. There was a cute little Christmas market, but it was so crowded we got stuck a few times trying to make our way around to the various artisans. I would also have liked to have taken some pictures of the wonderful Christmas decorations that were all around the house and there were even carolers!

On to The Vyne...

Posted by LCP 06:39 Archived in England Tagged market king christmas castle abbey carnarvon downton tut highclere carnavon Comments (1)

Nuremberg Trials

Courtroom 600, Zepplin Field and the Documentation Center

To round out our trip to Nuremberg, we went to the Nazi parade grounds and went to see Courtroom 600 where the Nuremberg Trials took place.

Courtroom 600 is located in the Palace of Justice which was in a different part of Nuremberg. The Palace of Justice was selected to hold the trials because it was relatively undamaged in the war and included a large prison area. Additionally, Nuremberg had been the site of the Nazi propaganda rallies, so holding the postwar trials there marked the symbolic end of Hitler’s government, the Third Reich. Above the courtroom, was Nuremberg Trials Memorial, which was excellent. It had various displays and video footage from the trials. It also provided an above view to the courtroom. The courtroom has been modified since the trials and is smaller. It's also still an activity used courtroom, especially for murder trials. So, it is best to visit Courtroom 600 on the weekends right when it opens, as it gets crowded.

Palace of Justice:
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Courtroom 600:
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The Nuremberg Trials Memorial was excellent. It was very powerful to see the footage of the trials, the sentencing and to hear the defendants speak. It continues to baffle me how such evil exists in the world.
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This was the electrical unit which supported the courtroom:
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This is the courtroom from above, in the memorial:
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These are views from the memorial of the surrounding area:
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From the Palace of Justice, we moved onto Zepplin Field which is where the Nazi propaganda rallies where held. A soccer stadium sits near the field now.
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Our last stop was the Nazi Documentation Center which is in the unfinished Congress Hall. The museum has a permanent exhibition entitled "Fascination and Terror" which explains the rise and fall of National Socialism and the Nazi Party. It was also excellent.
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Nuremberg was a fantastic city and I would most definitely return. It was easy to get around and English was commonly spoken. There is so much history there and a lot to see. It was pretty surreal to visit the courtroom and field. It is my opinion that we learn from the mistakes of the past so as not to repeat them in the future.

On to the next adventure...

Posted by LCP 00:08 Archived in Germany Tagged memorial field center nuremberg 600 trials documentation zeppelin courtroom Comments (1)

Bamberg

Smoked Beer and a Christmas Market

While we were in Nuremberg we opted to take the short train ride to Bamberg to spend the day there. I really enjoyed Bamberg, it was really a charming city even if the weather didn't necessarily cooperate.

Bamberg is a quintessentially medieval German town in Bavaria. A large part of the town has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Bamberg was founded in 1004 by Emperor Henry II, finished in 1012 and consecrated on 6 May 1012. It was later partially destroyed by fire in 1081.

Here are a few pictures of the town:
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Bamberg Cathedral was completed in the 13th century. The cathedral is under the administration of the Roman Catholic Church and is the seat of the Archbishop of Bamberg.
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Heller Haus was the birth place of Joseph Heller, a local businessman, historian and art collector. Heller bequeathed a huge art collection to the Bamberg State Library. In front of the house stands the statue of of Empress Kunigunde.
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The New Residence of the Bamberg Prince-Bishops was constructed in the seventeenth century.
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The Old Town Hall:
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Bamberg Christmas Market:
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And the whole reason we went to Bamberg was for the smoked beer! No trip to Bamberg would be complete without a trip to Schlenkerla Brewery. Records first mention Schlenkerla "House of the blue lion" in 1405. The brewery is run by the Trum family and are on the 6th generation.

Schlenkerla: https://www.schlenkerla.de/indexe.html#
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Bamberg was such a cool city and I would love to go back!

On to the Nuremberg Trials...

As a side note, here is a link to a new internet radio station with a focus on travel bloggers, COLLAGE TRAVEL RADIO: https://live365.com/station/collage-Travel-radio-a95388

Posted by LCP 01:18 Archived in Germany Tagged beer market town germany cathedral christmas old hall smoked bamberg hellerhaus Comments (1)

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