Saturday, 9 November 2013



Fighting  monks


Hornsea Mere  the largest freshwater lake in Yorkshire, was the subject of a bitter dispute over fishing rights back in 1260.  The dispute arose when monks from St Mary’s Abbey in York and those at the much closer Meaux Abbey both lay claim to the rights and it was decided that the dispute could be settled by trial by jury or by physical combat.  The latter method was chosen and the opposing sides fought all day with staves.  Apparently the York monks were the victors.


Hornsea Mere
The  devil’s  taunts

A row of fine town houses on one side of William Street at Helensburgh north of Glasgow in Scotland, overlook the Episcopal Church on the opposite side of the street.  A close look at one of the houses reveals models of  two red painted devils on the roof atop the fine dormers.   Apparently a devout Roman Catholic was in dispute with the rector of the said church and put the models on the roof to taunt him. 


The  hanging  vicar


In the mid 16th century, the Rev. Welch, vicar of St Thomas’ Church in Cowick Street, Exeter, was hanged for treason   During the Prayer Book Rebellion of 1549, the vicar supported the rebels against reformation and supported the Latin mass.  Dressed in full ecclesiastical vestments, he was left  hanging from the church tower for four years as ‘ a salutary warning’ !
St Thomas' Church

The  Bishop’s  Guest  House


Although the Swan Inn at Hoxne in Suffolk has been a pub since the early 17th century, it was originally  The Bishop’s Guest House.   From Norman times the Bishops of  Norwich had a palace in this small village, although there is no trace of the building today.   We are told that when the Guest House was built, the upstairs was divided into three ‘apartments’ each with its own staircase!   Local gossip has it that all the ‘guests’ were female and this was a place where the clergy could find a little relaxation in female company.


The Swan Inn
© Copyright Duncan Grey and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
To whom I am grateful for the use of his Geograph photograph.

St Robert’s Cave
On the riverside at Knaresborough in North Yorkshire is a small cave which was the home of  St Robert of Knaresborough from c1180 until his death in1218. He was well known in the area and renowned throughout the land as a holy man. Robert sought the life of a hermit but was responsible for physical and spiritual healing and many miracles were attributed to him.
He was visited by no less a personage than King John in 1216.
After his death Robert was venerated as a saint.
The site gained notoriety in 1758 when the body of local man Daniel Clark who had disappeared some 13 years earlier was found buried there. He had been murdered and another local man, Eugene Aram, was subsequently hanged for the crime.
St Roberts' Cave


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