Thursday, 31 January 2013
a rose and a fleur de lys
Back early from a pretty hotel where a large group of us were involved in a conference. The moat around the hotel dates from Saxon times, although building is 700 years more recent from the 1200s.
It didn't really get famous for another 300 or so years in Henry VIII's time. He used it as a hunting lodge when he was married to Anne Boleyn. This was around the time that he'd had Thomas Cranmer annul his first marriage to Catherine of Aragon, which properly annoyed the Pope and started the break of the Catholic religion in England.
Anne was subsequently sent to the tower and beheaded and Henry sent Anne's daughter Lizzie back to the hunting lodge whilst he consorted with various other wives until eventually Lizzie became Queen Elizabeth I.
None of this gets a mention unless you ask, but a quick look around spots Anne Boleyn's insignia of a falcon. In its claw is a royal sceptre, added when she became Queen. There's also a Tudor rose and fleur de lys to remind of Anne's French origin.
Of course, we were not there sightseeing and in the usual way most of this stuff passes unnoticed whilst we use the wi-fi and scheme and plot for 2013.