Friday, 27 August 2010

Peveril Castle

Today we woke up with ants in our pants, I am officially off my diet so am no longer grumpy and have bags of energy :o) so we decided to take a trip to a local castle. In our three years of being here we have never visited it, only driven past and pointed at it. I think that that has something to do with the fact that it is at the top of a really steep hill and I wasn't prepared to drag a tantrumming child up it!!! So now that my little miss' tantrums are few and far between we decided to brave it.
Apparently the hill that the castle sit upon is called The Devil's Bum (well a ruder version of that word) by the locals.
The kids found this river right by the car park and I think that they would have been quite happy staying here all day :o) except for the fact that we were about to explore a castle!!!! We stopped off at the little museum to learn a bit more about the area.
The wall showed some of the animals that lived in this area a long time ago (ok I should have remembered dates :oP)

The little museum was a real mishmash of times and exhibitions. We LOVED it!

Do you see those glasses? Well the tin that they are resting on is from WW1, it contained an emergency ration of chocolate only to be consumed by order of an officer. I love that idea! Maybe we all need an emergency chocolate ration, the problem would be making sure that the tin stayed full ;o)
Here is the model of Pevril castle as it would have looked in it's heyday. It was built soon after 1066 by Baron, William Peveril. King Henry II strengthened the walls and built the square keep after the castle came into royal hands in 1155. Later kings maintained the castle, and for most of the 14th century it helped to augment the incomes of successive queens and members of the royal family, until in 1372 it was given to John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster, and his heirs.
This trap was still being used about 80 years ago to carry the village coffins.
Olden days toys - obviously not from the Norman times :o) Look at that tiny sewing machine!
and further along in the museum, the kids were hang gliding!
The screen below them showed them the local hills as if they were really flying.
rope making
in the local caves. This area has some lovely caves where the stone blue John is mined.
obviously just glass copies
fossilised nest.
A picture of Peveril castle taken from the bottom of the hill.
1. Flint blade from the Mesolithic period
2. arrowhead made between 1000 and 1200
3. crossbow bolt made between 1200 to 1500
4. prick spur made between 1150 and 1300
5. Knife, iron with silver inlay made between 1100 and 1300
6-7. horseshoes made before 1270, the waviness was not decorative but rather made as the nails were hammered in.

a touchable model at the base of the hill.

Apparently you know it's Norman because of the Motte - the mound where the castle was built which had steep sides to make it tricky for enemies to run up.

And a big stone Keep which was used as lookout and central strong point. Halfway up the steep hill the kids took a break to look at their activity books.

We made it to the top! the view was amazing, very English countryside green with glimpses of rocky cliffs.

The Keep! the castle's most striking feature. The kids were so eager to explore the castle that they left me rushing along behind them trying to snap pictures :o) Another feature of Norman castles are those small, narrow windows perfect for shooting out arrows.
Inside the kids found it a little creepy at first.

but still eager to explore.
We found the toilet! Medieval toilets were called garderobes and this one is right over the gorge.
far far below
down we go!

Curved, arched doorways and apparently windows were in fashion back then.

investigating where the the toilet led to.
rolling down the hill

The children were only allowed to climb on the inside wall, otherwise mommy would have a heart attack.

They didn't have bricks in 1066 so instead there were large, stone building blocks and thick walls. They obviously worked as they are still (sort of) around, 1000 years later!

I know that I have taken many many pictures but I just had to, they were just so happy here!

The girls are standing on the ruins of the great hall.
Kiki is singing 'I'm the king of the castle'.

Champ wanted to read the guide book for some more information.

Yay, another toilet!

storming the castle

a magnificent specimen, obviously royalty :o)
In the information and activity pack we were given were some stickers. Kiki wanted the one saying 'champion castle builder' and here she is showing her muscles :o)

Kiki's princess banana, I thought that it was fitting to add this picture. All the other kids have referred to bananas with the skin pulled halfway down as monkey bananas but to Kiki they have always been called princess bananas :o)

Champ took these two pictures. First is an example of medieval walls, a regular pattern
and here are Norman walls, a herringbone pattern. Peveril castle has them both!
back down the hill for another look at the model which had another life after viewing the real thing. Boo placed little bugs as people on lookout.
Playing statues by the car park, and yes I did buy another bow and arrow set. The old arrows were all broken and this one came with two arrows, it keeps the boys happy and busy for hours.
The kids found their river again. I had bought a farmhouse fare cookbook on sale so I settled myself on a low wall and left them to it. They were sending leaves and twigs down the river, a number of elderly people came walking by and stopped to chat happily to the children.
Back at home trying out the new bow and arrows!

It was a wonderful spontaneous day, with no expectations and lots of fun.


Kelly said...

A beautiful day!

dorina said...

so fun and so beautiful! what a lovely day : )

Miss Welcome said...

This inspires me to do something like this with my kids! (And makes me want to have another one, although that's besides the point and not very practical) Any news on France?

I tried to follow you and also comment (on my blog) to thank you for your comment, but google has some conspiracy against me.

Thank you for your comment, which was so warm and encouraging!

Moogie said...

With regards to France, we have to wait until next year to start planning. I am trying to learn French a little everyday, I am even watching some French TV of which I can understand probably 0.0001% of what is being said! French is really hard!!!! Although I have only be learning for about 5 weeks, but still... I really feel overwhelmed sometimes.

Tan Family said...

Wow! I love all of the pictures. Made me feel like I was there. I agree about the emergency chocolate! Lol. What a wonderful trip for your family.

Pip said...

ohhh. we love visiting Castles!!!
We also nearly bought a bow and arrow this weekend... but unfortunatly Kenzie chose the pirate gun.
Looks like a wonderfull day. just our kind of day! the spontanious ones are always the best!!

Lisa at Lil Fish Studios said...

Wow, what a fantastic day! Such a treat to explore the castle through your post. Thank you!