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Entries about heritage

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 (1)

Audley End House & Gardens

English Heritage Property in Saffron Walden, Essex

Greetings! Our next adventure took us to Audley End House and Gardens, just south of Cambridge in Essex. This house is managed by English Heritage. We finally broke down and purchased an English Heritage membership. So now, we have both National Trust and English Heritage. Audley End was the first English Heritage site we chose to visit.

Audley End is a 17th century country house. It was considered a prodigy house, a palace all but in name, and was renowned as one of the finest Jacobean houses in all of England. The house is now one third of its original size. The house was originally a Benedictine monastery but converted to Audley Inn for the Lord Chancellor Sir Thomas Audley in 1538. Audley's grandson, Thomas Howard, demolished the house and built a much grander mansion, primarily for entertaining the king, James I. The layout of the house reflects the processional route of the king and queen, each having their own suite of rooms, because who doesn't have a processional route in their house. Fast forward a few years to when Charles II bought it in 1668 for £50,000 for use as a home when attending the races at Newmarket. The house has been the family seat of the Barons Braybrooke. Sir John Griffin, fourth Baron Howard de Walden and first Baron Braybrooke, commissioned Capability Brown to landscape the parkland, in 1762.

Scenes for famous TV shows have been filmed at Audley End, including The Crown and Trust. Interior scenes of the Audley Library and Great Hall had been used to portray rooms in Balmoral, Windsor Castle, and Eton.

Audley End: https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/audley-end-house-and-gardens/

Unfortunately, no pictures were allowed inside Audley End (+1 for National Trust), but the gardens certainly make up for some of that.

Audley End:
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One of the front porches:
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Polish Memorial:
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Gardens:
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Kitchen garden:
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Trails:
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Audley End was a lovely house. We were impressed with the interior of the house, but there were a lot of single entry-exit points to rooms which was annoying and interrupted the flow of the tour. I definitely enjoyed the gardens and the trails at the house.

On to the next adventure!

Posted by LCP 22:42 Archived in England Tagged gardens end heritage english essex audley braybrooke Comments (1)

Slovakia

Off the beaten path

Slovakia was an interesting and fun experience. I quite honestly didn't have this country on my initial "places to visit list" and I can't really say any of Eastern Europe was on my list, but Slovakia changed my mind. And again, I have to thank my friend who planned this trip and showed me some off-of-the beaten-path places. I must give her credit for the castle and cave pictures below. These were two places we had to pay to take pictures. We drove to Slovakia on the third day of our Poland-Slovakia trip. From Zakopane, the trip to Slovakia wasn't that long, maybe a few hours. We turned down one road and a little ways up was a "Slovakia" sign, very underwhelming. Not, "Welcome to Slovakia", but just a blue and white small sign.

Slovakia sign:
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When first driving across the border:
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Our first stop was Orava Castle which dates back to the thirteenth century, when Slovakia was part of the Kingdom of Hungary. It was constructed high above the Orava river in the village of Oravský Podzámok, Slovakia. And yes, very high up...it was a hike up to the castle and a hike around the castle. There were so many steps and stairs, and as one who falls both up and down stairs, I was a little nervous, but it all worked out. The castle was quite impressive and had three distinct areas. Unfortunately, the tour was given in Slovakian, so I didn't understand much at all. I think I caught the word "Catholic" once when were were in the dungeon, but I'm not certain. We took quite a few pictures and the views from the top were fantastic.

Orava Castle:
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After the castle, we went to find Wooden Articular Church of Leštiny, Slovakia which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site under the broader category of Wooden churches of the Slovak Carpathians. The church dates back to the 1600s and is made completely of wood. This church was off the beaten path for sure, I think we drove by it three times and there was definitely no parking. Unfortunately, the church was closed, but we were able to get some pictures from the outside.

Wooden Articular Church of Leštiny:
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Following the church, we went on a tour of a cave. We took an hour long tour of the Demänovská Jaskyňa Slobody cave, which sits below the Nízke Tatry Mountains. Unfortunately, this tour was also in Slovakian, but my friend has a lot of knowledge on caves and pointed out some interesting things to me and took some great pictures. The drive to the cave was also pretty interesting.

On the way to the cave, the drive was beautiful:
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The cave:
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My overall impression of Slovakia is that it is a hidden gem in Eastern Europe. It is part of the European Union and uses the euro for its currency. I plan on returning at some point, to go to the capital, Bratislava. After the cave, it was back on the road to Zakopane to finish up the Poland-Slovakia trip.

Border sign returning to Poland:
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On to the next adventure...

Posted by LCP 09:53 Archived in Slovakia Tagged church world cave heritage castle unesco slovakia wooden Comments (0)

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