Catching up, well on posts but not on sleep. Not too many images today, because I seldom take photos from the coach with the reflections and bouncing. So I figure get caught up – and tomorrow is a slightly later morning and I don’t have to pack for a day or two.
I do have to put this in – as it was in our hotel in the Lakes District.
We checked out of the English Lake District and headed on our way to Edinburgh. Our first stop was just a short hop up the road to Clifton. We had a Scottish historian give us a 5 minute talk on a historical site.
The village’s main claim to fame is as the site of the Battle of Clifton Moor, the last battle to take place on English soil, fought during the 1745 Jacobite Rebellion between Bonnie Prince Charlie, ‘the Young Pretender’ and William Duke of Cumberland, younger son of George II. One of Clifton’s most famous sons was the industrialist John “Iron-Mad” Wilkinson, who was born in the village in 1728.
The story of the local Wyberg family, whose property was forcibly sold , by the Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell in 1652, is related in Sir Walter Scott’s novel, ‘Waverley’, which also features the battle on Clifton Moor. The Wyberg’s had been staunch supporters of the Royalist cause during the Civil War.
The skirmish known as the Battle of Clifton Moor took place on the 19th December 1745, between a rearguard of Prince Charles Edward Stuart’s Jacobite army as they retreated from Derby and elements of the Duke of Cumberland’s Hanoverian forces who were in pursuit of them.
Twelve Jacobite soldiers and ten government dragoons were killed in the skirmish four Hanoverian officers wounded. One British dragoon is recorded as dying in Clifton several weeks later, presumably of wounds received in the battle. The only prisoner taken on this occasion was a footman of the Duke of Cumberland. This man was sent back by Charles. A skeleton, wearing tartan was found near Stanhope in the 1920’s is believed to have been a Jacobite casualty of the skirmish, though this is uncertain. The Jacobite dead are buried beneath the Rebel Tree which stands on the southern edge of the village. He told us that the English are trying to change history by stating they did not bury those men here. He said carry this forward – it is important that they be remembered. The area around the tree has been sold off and houses are going up. But the tree still stands.
Our next stop was to visit Hadrian’s Wall, also called the Roman Wall, was a defensive fortification in the Roman province of Britannia, begun in AD 122 in the reign of the emperor Hadrian. It ran from the banks of the River Tyne near the North Sea to the Solway Firth on the Irish Sea, and was the northern limit of the Roman Empire.
It had a stone base and a stone wall. There were milecastles with two turrets in between. There was a fort about every five Roman miles. From north to south, the wall comprised a ditch, wall, military way and vallum, another ditch with adjoining mounds. We stopped at the ruins of one of the turrets.
The view of the valley from this stop.
I liked the angle with the sheep on the hill – just if they could have turned to face me? Ahh, no, guess not.
Back on the coach and on to Lanercost, and a 12th century priory. Had no idea what a priory is – so here is the definition – A priory is a monastery of men or women under religious vows that is headed by a prior or prioress. That helps – sort of.
Unfortunately the priory itself was closed for a funeral service.
windy, curvy roads.
A short break to stretch our legs and back onto the coach. on the road again….
Guess where we are?
Marta and Barbara
Marta and me
Cathy, Barbara and Lou Ann
Now where exactly are we? Gretna Green is a village in the south of Scotland famous for runaway weddings. It is in Dumfries and Galloway, near the mouth of the River Esk and was historically the first village in Scotland, following the old coaching route from London to Edinburgh. It has usually been assumed that Gretna’s famous “runaway marriages” began in 1754 when Lord Hardwicke’s Marriage Act came into force in England. Under the Act, if a parent of a minor (i.e., a person under the age of 21) objected to the minor’s marriage, the parent could legally veto the union. The Act tightened the requirements for marrying in England and Wales but did not apply in Scotland, where it was possible for boys to marry at 14 and girls at 12 with or without parental consent . It was, however, only in the 1770s, with the construction of a toll road passing through the obscure village of Graitney, that Gretna Green became the first easily reachable village over the Scottish border. Scottish law allowed for “irregular marriages”, meaning that if a declaration was made before two witnesses, almost anybody had the authority to conduct the marriage ceremony. The blacksmiths in Gretna became known as “anvil priests”, culminating with Richard Rennison, who performed 5,147 ceremonies. The local blacksmith and his anvil became lasting symbols of Gretna Green weddings.
For some of you, you might have read of the name Gretna Green in literature.
We now stopped in Moffat, famous for Moffat toffee for lunch.
in the toffee store there were also tons of these containers of all kinds of candies that you could purchase by the pound.
Our next stop was to view this range of mountains, which are an extension of the Appalachian mountains in the United States. We had a Geography professor with us who explained how all of this happened long before we were even a twinkle in an eye. Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in the British Isles. It is located at the western end of the Grampian Mountains in the Lochaber area of Scotland, close to the town of Fort William.
And guess what folks … we have arrived. Tonight was on our own after a very short walk around the block with our Program Director. Here are just a couple of sights – more tomorrow.
I could not pass up this image – poor king. And not sure who was walking who in this one.
OK, now you are up to date. Tomorrow morning we get a tour of Edinburgh and going to a show tomorrow night – Cockpit at the Lyceum theater here.
Off to bed with me – thank god for a later start time.