I've been feeling much better in myself these last couple of weeks, I think getting out and about has gone a long way to helping.
I'm feeling much calmer, less anxious, and more in control. I've been trying to be present in whatever task i'm doing instead of thinking about what i'm going to do next, that's harder than it sounds when you are used to rushing around, but i'm sure it's helping.
My back, neck and shoulder feel much better too. I went for my third massage on Friday and she said that she is very happy with the improvement, there is less tension in my shoulder blade although my neck muscles still need some work. I will go again on Thursday and then we will decide on the frequency from that session.
Having a massage seemed so extravagant, and had I not been off work I don't think I would have made the effort to go to be honest, but I'm so glad I did, I think It has really helped and once this problem is under control I think it's something I will continue with just to maintain my stress and tension levels.
So, to continue my new mantra of giving myself some 'me time' I took a little jaunt to Kenilworth Castle on Saturday. The weather didn't look promising but the rain kept off except for about half an hour, although the sky was grey and I had only taken my phone for photos, so I apologise now for the washed out sky shots!
I will just say now that this post is long, if you are not interested in history or looking at photos you might not want to go any further, and that's ok. I like history and looking at photos and looking back on past blog posts to remind myself of good times so I make no apologies, just saying ☺
Kenilworth is about a 40 minute drive from us, and I really don't know why it's taken me so long to visit considering my interest in History, I think in my mind I thought it was further away than it actually is!
If you have never been to Kenilworth Castle you really should put it on you list of things to see because it has a fascinating history.
It dates back to the 1120's and was established by Geoffrey de Clinton, in the 13th century it was added to by King John and in the 14th century John of Gaunt made it into a Palace. It was also favoured by Lancastrian Kings, Henry V built a retreat at the far end of the lake, Pleasance in The Marsh'
In 1563 Elizabeth I granted Kenilworth to her favourite, Robert Dudley and he turned it into a Palace, probably hoping that eventually he would be able to persuade Elizabeth to marry him, (and we all know that didn't happen!)
The building on the right, the Great Tower is the oldest of the three buildings, it would have had a keep and a draw bridge
The building in the middle with the ornate windows is from the 13th century and was built by John of Gaunt
The building on the left is the one that Robert Dudley had built for Elizabeth I, her rooms were at the top. You can now reach the top via a series of stairs and stand in the bedroom that once belonged to Elizabeth. (If walls could talk😉)
John of Gaunt's building.
This would have been the great hall, obviously there would have been a floor, you can see underneath was a series of store rooms
But you can still see the window seats and the fireplace.
The large opening on the left would have been a doorway.
You can see where the grand staircase would have been, (the grassed area), leading up to that doorway. The space to the right is where the huge kitchen would have been.
All around the castle now is beautiful countryside, but all this was once covered by water, it was flooded in order to make it impenetrable
An original window in the Great Tower
17 foot wide walls in the Great Tower
Stable block, the ruin in front of it was once Collegiate Chapel
Leicester's Gate House built in 1571 /1572
Above the entrance you can still see his initials carved into the stone
The fireplace is original and was rescued from another part of the castle to be put here
Again, you can see his initials and the raged staff.
There are a couple of room in Leicesters gate house to see how it would have looked, on the upper floors there is information on Elizabeth and Robert Dudley and also the story of the man who saved Kenilworth Castle, (Thank you Sir Siddeley)
Section of the Gatehouse garden
The Privy garden was created by Robert Dudley for Elizabeth and been re-created as closely as
possible to what would have been here through letters found giving a detailed description.
It was accessed via a corridor and steps leading down to an archway.
The small building at the far end is an aviary, and yes there are canaries in there 🐤
(Terrible photo with a washed out sky!!)
The smell from the roses was wonderful as you walked into the garden.
If Elizabeth was impressed by all the effort and expense the Earl of Leicester had gone to, (her 19 day visit in 1575 bankrupted him) the woman was still not for marrying.
If you want to find out more the English Heritage site for Kenilworth Castle is HERE
The A Bit About Britain site is HERE
Both websites can tell the story so much better than I can, I do it just for my own record
See you soon