Saturday, March 12, 2016

Travelling with Leland

  This is an occasional series I am putting together, trying to look at the England that the 16th century antiquarian, John Leland, saw immediately after the English Reformation and compare it to what we can see today. As it goes along with a massive project of updating my digital photography collection, for too long sadly neglected, it may totter along slowly. Each post links to a Flickr album which is annotated with the observations of Leland and assorted later travellers and antiquarians. 

A Little Experiment in Medieval Beverley My favourite little Yorkshire town. I lived nearby for two longish stints. It is famous for its two spectacular churches, but the marks of its history can be found in obscure corners and overgrown spaces. Nearby is an important Cistercian abbey that has completely disappeared.
Another Medieval Day Trip - Pickering, Yorkshire A little town on the edge of the North York Moors with a church full of 15th century wall paintings and a splendid motte and bailey castle.
Imagining Medieval Leicester Leicester has to be one of the most unappealing places to go medieval hunting. Everything is so chopped about and major traffic routes separate everything from everything else. If you don't get killed crossing the road, you can put the medieval town back together again.
A  Medieval Tour of Higham Ferrers A tiny town packed with medieval treasures, mercifully just out of range of the industrial sprawl of the Midlands.
A Medieval Tour of Boston (Lincolnshire) A splendid church, a little gem of a guildhall, a scrap of friary and a tumbledown tower house; pretty much all that survives of a prospering late medieval port town.
Leland in Hidden East Yorkshire East Yorkshire was a thriving area in the middle ages, but just sort of faded away over time. This tour looks at the once busy ports of Hull and Hedon (pronounced Ooll and Eddon if you need to ask directions) and surrounding villages.
The Hidden East Yorkshire That Leland Forgot Actually, the Holderness area at the mouth of the Humber is the hidden East Yorkshire that everyone forgets. There is a splendid church at Patrington, but the rest is battered relics. And some of it has fallen into the sea.

  So we will eventually progress from here. The Yorkshire wolds are full of treasures from many ages. York itself is a major enterprise. I expect this to potter along in somewhat random fashion around the country as a whole, but I think that's what Leland did himself.

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