Saturday, 5 June 2010

Shadows from the Past

We visited Upnor Castle on the river Medway today. It is only half an hour from home, but I had never been there and don't think I have heard of it before. Andy told me about it. It has a fascinating history.
The pretty village street leads down to the river and castle. I loved the roses round the door of this cottage.
When we got to the castle we were given a guide to events taking place today. We were lucky to have stumbled upon a day of re-enactments of events from the Civil War. There was a skirmish due to be staged at 11.45, but I didn't get that far as I was talking to this lady. She was making some kind of cord when we went into her room and we started talking about that. It was made with a Lucet, and was used for all sorts of clothing purposes as it is strong. The cord making was to while away time as she waited for visitors, her main interest being medicine. She had a variety of plants, some picked the day before, and some dried. She was so interesting as she told me the job of each of the plants. Lots of things used then have turned out to have valid use today-at least their synthesized versions have anyway. A lot of the things she had today were related to wound dressing-matching the events of the day!

This is her table of dried plants and a few other items. I have done a labelled version-more photo shop fun! (Click on to read them!) The labels are mainly the names. I liked her tale of making poppy syrup-for pain-from following a recipe in a book of the time. She said that the recipe was very vague-'take some of this, take some of that, wait until it looks the right colour', but she wanted to experience making it for herself. There was mandrake root in the pot at the back and I was excited to see that as I have not done so before. I was allowed to smell all of the dried plants-most were pleasant!

Horsetail, Alchemilla Mollils, Meadow sweet(I think), Penny Royal (a small mint like plant), Herb Robert, Plantain-also called Ribwort due to the ribs on the back of the leaf. A number of these were used in wound dressings-fresh wounds-or green wounds-using green plants to cool them I think was part of the plan. I love all the names, and I love the little preparation kit at the back of this photo. A most interesting chat!

There were so many people taking part. There were a lot of children dressed up too which I have not seen before at this kind of thing. Andy saw the skirmish and I heard it!

For more shadows from around the world, visit HeyHarriet here.

19 comments:

nana_ang_poppaphil said...

I love this, you can tell that it is Summer over there it looks like a beautiful day.

The lady with the plants would have been fascinating.

I love the shadows of the roses around the cottage.

Have a good weekend.
We have a long weekend here, it is Queens Birthday Weekend. Thanks
"HRH" for giving us an extra day off.

Greyscale Territory said...

A wonderful post loaded with interesting information! I think I would have stayed with the medicine lady too and listened to her! And the roses round that doorway are quaint and romantic!

Ralph said...

The great thing about blogging is the way we can learn about other countries things we on other continents are totally unaware. We in the USA look at the history of our Civil War 1861-1865 as being the civil war to end all.

Except we did not consider that other countries had similar troubles. I undertook a bit of research, and never considered a civil war against the royalty (as we don't have a tradition of royalty over here). A civil war including Wales and Northern Ireland had to have been a BIG deal.

The castles are a great backdrop to history!

Sylvia K said...

What a marvelous and interesting post! So much great information! And your photos are really lovely and lots of wonderful shadow shots! Does sound like a great day! Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Sylvia

Lisa's RetroStyle said...

Wow...what a wonderful wealth of information...I would really enjoy that tour myself!
It's so cool to find places like that hide right in your own neighborhood.
Great SSs too!!

Paula Scott said...

What a treat! Thanks for taking the time to label the photo! I'm 'into' that kind of stuff, so for me, this is really a treat. Honey was also used for wounds in earlier wars (Greeks and Romans). Honey has anti- bacterial properties.

Beverley Baird said...

What an interesting place! Loved allof the photos. Great shadows!
Thanks for sharing info about this place.

Hey Harriet said...

What a fascinating day out! And it looks like the weather was on your side also, judging by all those shadows! I just adore the roses surrounding the door...and all of those jars of interesting things. Most of which I've not heard of! Hope you have a great week Sarah :)

Sam said...

This is terrific! The rambler roses around that gate are so English to my mind! Lovely weather you're having there too. I always feel a little envious when I read about England and the tons of historic places you can visit and explore - you just can't do that here. Well, we are only 200 odd years old!

Have a fab week Sarah!

Rattling On said...

When I worked in the bank I was talking to a customer one day who was paying for his holiday. He was going on a line dancing cruise (!). I said 'The next thing is you'll be joining the Sealed Knot.' He gave me a nasty look and informed me he was already a member!
The roses on the cottage are lovely.

Robyn said...

Sounds like a lovely way to spend a day.

Sweet Repose said...

What a beautiful learning venture, every time I visit your blog, I feel like working in my gardens...love it!

frayedattheedge said...

What a super day out - I forgot to look at the shadows, I was so engrossed in your tale!!

Linda Sue said...

What an awesome day trip! So glad you took us along! The lucet cord making looks tedious but very cool for making strong cord- I usually just plait yarn or twist it but the Lucet is way more organized! Thanks for that! Amazing that this castle is just down the road a little way...who knew!Thanks- I will have to visit next time I am in the neighborhood.

Crafty Green Poet said...

I always love roses growing round doorways and am fascinated by medicinal uses of herbs. Excellent post all round!

Sonia ;) said...

How fun...That is very cool. Love the bottles and clothing. Have a great week xooxoxxo

Di said...

Oh we have got to go there. I love history so much and it sounds beautiful and also only about half hour away from us. Thanks for sharing this Sarah. I'm inspired and I know it'll be a nice day out!

jabblog said...

What a fabulously interesting post and some gorgeous shadows, too :-)
We used to go to Upnor quite a bit - I always liked it there though I expect it's changed/developed quite a bit in the succeeding decades!
The natural remedies and the lady preparing them sound fascinating. We have lots of herb robert in the garden - I like it but it does tend to take over.

Liz said...

Sounds very nice! I really like the roses on the cottage too!