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Posts tagged ‘November’

November: Stay at Home

Plas Mawr, Wales

Plas Mawr, Wales

Plas Mawr, Wales

Plas Mawr, Wales

If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay at home.

James A. Michener

A must see, Plas Mawr, an Elizabethan house built in 1576, in Conwy, Wales by the Wynn family, has been extensively refurbished to it’s original 16th-century appearance. The tall lime walls reflect the status of the builder, Robert Wynn, a well traveled courtier and trader who rose to grandeur in the Welsh gentry.

Plas Mawr stands as a symbol to a prosperous age and of a man of great style and taste. The house is noted for the quality and quantity of ornamental plasterwork, revealing the initial “R.W.” in the crests and coat of arms. The furnishings, many original to the house, are based on an inventory of contents in 1665. The tour describes the restoration and the life of Tutor gentry and the work of the servants who helped maintain such a lavish lifestyle. There is also a garden on the rooftops!

 Plas Mawr is also noted to be haunted.  Robert Wynn was married twice.  Both his wives were named Dorothy and both had pre-mature deaths. His first wife died from an illness at a very early age and his second wife died when she fell down a flight of stairs in the house while she was pregnant and carrying one of the other seven children. The doctor was summoned, but he failed to save her or the child. When Robert Wynn returned home he found both his wife and child dead in the bed and the doctor’s whereabouts unknown. The doctor is rumored to have suffocated in the chimney while trying to escape from Robert because he could not save Dorothy. Sometimes the ghosts of the two women are seen in the house and the house has been studied for supernatural activity.

Architecturally, Plas Mawr is almost unchanged from the 16th century, and is considered  to be “the finest surviving town house of the Elizabethan era.”

To me, November is everything about the home. We are preparing our homes for the shorter days and longer dark nights; settling in so to speak with a good book and a cup of cocoa in front of the fire. November is also all about the family and food and sharing. So through November I will share tidbits about the home and some fascinating photos of homes around the world. Enjoy!

November: When I Go Home, It’s an Easy Way to be Grounded

A Cottage In Chipping Campden, UK

A Cottage In Chipping Campden, UK

When I go home, it’s an easy way to be grounded. You learn to realize what truly matters.

Tony Stewart, Nascar Driver

Some of the lovliest homes are the thatched cottages in the UK! Don’t you agree?

Thatching is the craft of building a roof with dry vegetation such as straw, water reed, sedge, rushes, or heather, layering the vegetation so the water flows away from the inner roof. It is a very old roofing method and has been used in both tropical and temperate climates. Thatch is still employed by builders in developing countries, usually with low-cost, local vegetation.

In developed countries it is now the choice of some affluent people, who desire a rustic look for their home or would like a more ecologically friendly roof, or who have purchased an originally thatched cottage.

To me, November is everything about the home. We are preparing our homes for the shorter days and longer dark nights; settling in so to speak with a good book and a cup of cocoa in front of the fire. November is also all about the family and food and sharing. So through November I will share tidbits about the home and some fascinating photos of homes around the world. Enjoy!

November: Home is Where One Starts From; Ireland

Gallarus Oratory, Dingle Ireland

Gallarus Oratory, Dingle, Ireland

This past year I had my DNA tested. I have over 45,000 names in my family tree and have done extensive research on my family including going to the villages of my root families in France and the UK. I have traced my family on my fathers side (France/Germany) and mothers side (the UK), both back to the 1600’s. But, as it is, you get so many pieces of DNA from your father and from your mother, who in turn got pieces from their mothers and fathers, ect….. My DNA determined, that a big part of me, (43%) is Western European, specifically from France, Germany and Switzerland. I am (15%) Scandinavian, specifically from Norway and Sweden. and (12%) from Great Britain…. I thought that was extremely low since that figures so much into my family tree and where I have done so much research. But, my biggest surprise was the (28%) Irish! I could find only one family in my family tree with actual Irish descent!  Maybe that explains my love of story telling and writing! So here is a photo of me in front of the Gallarus Oratory in Ireland!

The Gallarus Oratory name is interpreted as either “rocky headland” or “house or shelter for foreigners,” and is a chapel located on the Dingle Peninsula, County Kerry, Ireland. It has been determined to be an early Christian stone church by its discoverer, antiquary, Charles Smith, in 1756. In 1970, archaeologist Peter Harbison, determined it was a a 12th-century Romanesque church, and in 1994 it was determined to be a shelter for pilgrims. The local tradition prevalent at the time of the oratory’s discovery attributed it to one Griffith More, being a funerary chapel built by him or his family at their burial place. I am glad to see the oratory was a combination of its roots too!

Home is Where One Starts From!

To me, November is everything about the home. We are preparing our homes for the shorter days and longer dark nights; settling in so to speak with a good book and a cup of cocoa in front of the fire. November is also all about the family and food and sharing. So through November I will share tidbits about the home and some fascinating photos of homes around the world. Enjoy!

November: A Man’s Home is His Castle; Ireland

 

Obriens Tower, Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

Obriens Tower, Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

To me, November is everything about the home. We are preparing our homes for the shorter days and longer dark nights; settling in so to speak with a good book and a cup of cocoa in front of the fire. November is also all about the family and food and sharing. So through November I will share tidbits about the home and some fascinating photos of homes around the world. Enjoy!

Let’s start in Ireland! The English judge and jurist Sir Edward Coke (pronounced cook) declared in a ruling known as Semayne’s Case, that there were strict limits on how sheriffs could enter a person’s house. In a famous and much quoted decision from 1604, Coke declared that “the house of every one is to him as his castle and fortress as well for defense against injury and violence, as for his refuge” which over the years has become simplified to “a man’s home is his castle”.

The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the forces of the crown. It may be frail – its roof may shake – the wind may blow through it – the storm may enter – the rain may enter – but the King of England cannot enter.”

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