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Keeping track of the family #familysagas — Rachel Walkley

I created a family. It began with a name, one that I discovered using census data. The website provides details of the popular surnames of English counties. I picked two – one for each of the families that feature in my book, The Women of Heachley Hall. Dates became crucial to plotting the story. Who […] […]

Traquair House – Scotland’s oldest house #atozchallenge

My family and I visited Traquair House just outside Peebles in Scotland when I was in my teens and two things stick in my head – it’s very white and tall, and for some reason, we nicknamed the place Traquack and that also has stuck in my mind. In England, old manor houses were centred […]

Fountains abbey – small beginnings. #atozchallenge

Abbeys were often built in the middle of nowhere to ensure the temptations of town life were well away. Monks could then devote themselves to their offices while lay workers toiled to keep the money pouring in. However, it wasn’t always peaceful. In Yorkshire, at St Mary’s Abbey, at riot broke out in 1132 and […]

Twisted perceptions – Chepstow Castle and Tintern Abbey

I had it the wrong way round. I had a memory of Chepstow Castle being gigantic and lots of walls to climb. Perhaps it was huge for a small child, but visiting it again, it seemed less than what I recalled. On the other hand, Tintern Abbey, which I remember as lacking much turned out […]

Inverurie Bass #atozchallenge

The letter I almost drew a blank on my castle hunt. None in England or Wales, however, much to my delight, I discovered Scotland has Inverurie Bass, which is the remains of a Norman motte and bailey. I’d no idea that the Norman design of castle reached so far north. Inverurie is NW of Aberdeen […]

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