Yarn, Yorkshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

Posts tagged ‘childhood’

Pickering Castle

I can’t believe that I have been blogging for about three years and not once written properly about  Pickering Castle. As children my friend Jane and I were exceptionally lucky, I think, to have this castle to explore, to escape adults and read all day long and best of all play our imaginary games of daring do. I have taken Master H here on many an occasion and he is quite the Knight in Shining armour.

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Enter through the gatehouse (Colemans Tower) to your left. View is from the keep across the town.

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This is Mill Tower, I assume so called because it overlooks the mill on the beck below. The ground floor served as a prison.

Unusually Pickering castle has two moats and so also has two baileys. The keep is within the inner bailey.

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That’s the keep up there with Kings Tower on the right. In the foreground are the ovens. Believe me the keep hill is wonderful to slide down, or I should say was, it has been allowed to be come very overgrown recently.

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The bridge connects the two baileys in front of Kings Tower.

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Seen from the keep on the other side

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This is the Judgement seat in the Old Hall, for the person presiding over the feasts, courts, meetings etc.

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This wall goes down from the keep towards Rosamunds Tower, named I believe after the Fair Rosamund, mistress to one of the Henrys. You used to be able to go into the tower at ground and mid level, but this has been closed now for a number of years. Health and safety I suppose.  Shame.

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Finally this is Diate Hill Tower, or Devils Tower. It is covered with a wooden roof so you can enter the Tower up the stairs and at ground level.

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The area in front of this tower looking towards the gatehouse was used as a tennis court when my grandmother was young, it also provided a stage for the town pageants for a number of years.

The castle is run now by English Heritage. You can read more about the castle here

Hope you enjoyed the tour of my childhood favourite place to play. I would love to know where others liked to play and what they got up to. I suppose many children now would say the sofa and computer games, or would they?

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Yarn Along!

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I have been so busily engrossed with my cottage garden crochet blanket that knitting was put on the back burner. I had a mammoth knitting session last night,and the latest little offering for Little Miss F is ready to sew up and have a button sewn on. OOH lovely , a trip to the button shop.

Meantime I finished the White Queen by Phillipa Gregory, read a short ghost story by Charles Dickens on my kindle, and the book version of the film Ruthless People. ( I do find both Danny De Vito and Bette Midler, very funny, and the book was as funny as the film). Then I was stuck, what to read next ? I turned the last page of Ruthless people, tucked up in bed late at night, not quite ready for sleep, with nothing close by that I fancied.  So a quick trip – literally over Mr E’s clutter on his side of the bed to the bookshelf in our bedroom. This is mostly full of E’s bedtime reading- endless Rumpole and Sherlock Holmes, but then I spotted my copy of Tom Sawyer.

I must have read this at school aged around 11 or 12 and enjoyed it enough to buy my own copy when I was 21. I have not read it since. Now I am three sons and two grandsons on and Tom Sawyer makes me laugh so much. It describes small boys to an absolute T. From the content of their grotty pockets of treasures , to their games of pirates etc, to the dodges out of things they don’t want to do and to the Showing Off to impress others!

The story saddens me in that we have lost such a lot in denying children the freedom to explore on their own and get up to mischief. I am grateful that I had my childhood in the 50s when we could and did roam far and wide and were outside all day, without an adult watching over us.

E and I chose to move to a small Oxfordshire village which in the late 80s was still quiet and sleepy, to try to give our boys the same childhood we had enjoyed. We lived on a main through fare, but I doubt I saw as much as three tractors a day pass by. Everyone knew everyone and all the adults ( mostly stay at home Mums) looked out for the children. Stranger passing through- we all knew in minutes- and the children played on the playing field- the houses overlooking it kept watch. The children went down to the river in big groups and paddled and swam. They rode bikes, played football, climbed trees, collected conkers,found frogs, washed cars and had some of the freedom enjoyed by us in the 50s and 60s. Yes they did get into mischief, but the village bobby and school teachers were supportive of parents. And anyway getting into mischief is part of being a child.

At the time our boys thought that life in a town or city would be much better. Now they have friends from University and jobs and hear of what child hood is like there and are so grateful for what we gave them. I hope that in some small safe communities there are still children playing freely in fields and woods- there aren’t here any more….. except when it snows- and then the teenagers become children again and sledge down our hills!

There is a darker side to Tom Sawyer, but then there is to life also. I’ll share some more of this book next week.

Meantime joining in with Ginny for Yarn along

I’ll leave you with this picture of a gift of Autumn Colour given to me at the weekend by my dear friend C from her garden

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