Sunday, 15 June 2014

Gloucester's claims to fame!

House in Cathedral precincts

The Old Crypt Schoolroom erected in 1539 

We were in Medieval Gloucester the other day. Gloucester's fine cathedral remains partly under scaffold wraps as the long process of masonry cleaning and restoration continues.  
In 1216 the cathedral witnessed the first coronation of King Henry III at the tender age of nine. Henry III has several claims to fame. The son of (bad) King John who was forced to sign the Magna Carta, he established England's first parliament, bringing the practice of absolute monarchy to an end. He was the only English monarch to lose his crown twice but he died as monarch! First, he became unpopular with his barons and subjects and was deposed by his ruling Council. Then, as an ageing king his son - later Edward I - regained the Plantagenet crown in battle. But effectively it was his son who ruled, side-lining the king who now had time on his hands. He was a pious man, devoting himself to re-building Westminster Abbey in the new Gothic style of architecture, as well as other fine churches, in the second half of his "reign".
Some Grotesques have had a structural make-over.
Whilst speaking (writing) of Gloucester we cannot overlook the marvellous Gloucestershire Old Spots Pig, awarded "traditional speciality guaranteed status" from the EU, putting it's bacon, pork and ham products on a par with Champagne and Parma ham! The once commonplace orchard grazing pig belongs is a breed that has been formally recognised relatively recently, to protect its ancient bloodline. As it happens, the Princess Royal is Patron of the Gloucestershire Old Spots Pig Breeders’ Club, whose motto I love - "100 years of porcine perfection"!
Medieval Tudor dollhouse miniature food -12th scale cured bacon

I imagine that most home-killed medieval free-range pork was equally delicious, regardless of breed. MedievalMorsels makes one inch scale doll's house miniature bacon joints for your Medieval, Gothic or Tudor dollhouse scene.  Visit MedievalMorsels in the future when I hope to have developed other porcine products, 12th scale doll's house miniature ham and pork models!

Gloucester's other claim to fame of course is Beatrix Potter's charming children's story "The Tailor Of Gloucester". Its one of my personal favourites, after "The Tale of Peter Rabbit". I grew up with these tales, at home we had a near complete set of the little books. Tradition carries on, so when my god-daughter was born I sent her a book each year for the first years of her life. Some of Gloucester's narrow alleyways are little changed from their not so whimsical representation in this little gem of a story.