Sophie and I went to Tynemouth today, and visited the rather wonderful ruins of Tynemouth Priory & Castle. located on a rocky headland (known as Pen Bal Crag), overlooking Tynemouth Pier. The moated castle-towers, gatehouse and keep are combined with the ruins of the Benedictine Priory where early kings of Northumberland were buried. The sun was out and it was great to breath in 2000 years of history. This is just a bit of the site, more to come on the Universe blog, eventually.
I went out with Sophie today, though in hindsight I should have stayed in bed as I am still full of yuckiness. But I just had to get this shot before it’s taken down 🙂
Also have to include the colour version which is bonkers I think 😀
It was cool to have a sunny day for a change. These are the units opposite where I work. Got to love a low down sun.
This morning we walked into Artemino village and did the culture vulture thing. Lots of Etruscan artifacts in the museum and a very old church. It’s our last day here so a bit of sun soaking in the grounds of our hotel too. Looking forward to my own bed tomorrow night!
After the hustle and bustle of Florence yesterday, today we visited a hidden gem, the 16th century Villa Caruso Bellosguardo. More on this later, but it was lovely to wander around the grounds, and be the only people there.
The Medici Villa “La Ferdinanda” was commissioned by Ferdinand I (1549-1609) as a home to stay with their guests during the hunting within the Barco Reale, the vast reservoir created by Cosimo I.
The project was entrusted to Bernardo Buontalenti (1536 – 1608) and the building was completed in just four years, from 1596 to 1600.
Our hotel is part of the estate, and this is taken from the medieval village of Artimino, across the olive groves.
It’s been a beautiful day, lots of washings on lines. I’m still Fraggle McFatface so haven’t ventured out, though I think it’s getting better. Phil is at work so I’ve had a quiet day, doing cleaning & ironing and cutting my toenails (I know, gross, sorry) and reading in the garden. And it’s a Bank Holiday tomorrow which is always a good thing. 🙂
I go to work in an old farmhouse that’s been converted into modern units, there’s our hearing clinic, an accountant, a chiropractor, a marketing guy, a specialist in outdoor gear and a neuro surgeon. The 2 units opposite us have been empty for ages though, but I like their modern way of being within the old stone work. The Duke of Northumberland is the owner of our building, and Northumberland Estates manages 100,000 acres (400 km2), directly managing 4,000 acres (16 km2) of forestry and 20,000 acres (81 km2) of farmland, with approximately 100 tenant farmers managing the remaining bulk of the land. The current Duke is the 12th one from a peerage that goes back to 1551, and is part of the Percy family who took over the Earldom in 1776. The family seat is Alnwick Castle (Hogwarts if you’re an American reader 🙂 ) which I’ve featured on the Universe Blog HERE if you’re interested in that kind of history.
Anyways, now and again the Northumberland Estates does maintenance. A couple of weeks ago there was repointing done on the old stonework, and this week we’ve got decorators. The repointers were quiet chaps, but the older of the two painters has brought along a portable radio and sings badly and loudly with the songs he knows. I’ve had to open my windows for him to work on the outsides, so pulled the blinds down to give my clients some privacy- I mean, who needs an audience when you’re having your ears sucked out? – so it was quite strange sitting in my office with a disembodied voice serenading me with out of tune Kylie songs and the like.
Still it makes a change from just having pigeons.
Phil and I went into Newcastle today, and of course a camera came too. I can’t believe I’ve never noticed this building facade in Northumberland Street before!
Going clockwise from the top left, the statues are of Thomas Bewick (1755 – 1828) who was a world renowned wood engraver, ornithologist and artist.
Harry Hotspur (1366 – 1403) which was a nickname given due to his bravery in battle, particularly against the Scots and the French. His real name was Sir Henry Percy and he died fighting in a rebellion against Henry IV.
Roger Thornton (?-1429) became Newcastle’s mayor on three occasions as well as an MP. He made his fortune as a merchant in spite of coming from a poor background.
Sir John Marley (1590 – 1673) Royalist Mayor of Newcastle who defended the city against an invading Scottish army in 1644 and remained as Mayor after the English Civil War.
Can’t resist the wonderful architecture of Central Station so that’s the daily today! Also that clock’s wrong 😀
Had to deliver some hearing aids for work in South Shields today, so stopped off after and took some shots of the rather marvelous Town Hall. Unfortunately, from whatever angle you look at it, there is loads of street furniture in the way of it, and though I managed to get rid of a couple of bits, the Give Way sign was just too much! Click on it to embiggen as the details of the building are well cool.
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