Last weekend we stayed in Thornbury Castle, a genuine Tudor castle whose facilities were, thankfully, up-to-date. Our room was at the top of a spiral staircase, no lift, and had an enormous steel key that Valerie weighed in her hand. We were almost at the top of a tower so
the room was circular with a wonderful view and I spotted a small vineyard in the castle grounds. It was a large space and had a big four poster bed with a canopy and a wonderfully comfortable mattress.
The grounds were lovely and had an ancient yew hedge that was in the shape of an arch with interesting slits rather like the castellation of the castle walls.
Henry the VII was the first of the line of Tudor Monarchs (1485 to 1603) and in a way it reinforced the creation of England concentrating power and wealth in the Southeast and enabling the development of English as a language a process which had started over 100 years before. On leaving the hotel we travelled to Bristol to celebrate a family golden wedding anniversary. From the venue I could see the second bridge into Wales shrouded in mist and mystery.
Henry VII came from Wales and fought his way to the English throne and the union with Wales was signed in 1542 during the Tudor period so seeing the bridge was a natural progression after a night in a Tudor Castle. I also remembered how we had to drive through Gloucester to get to South Wales and now there are two bridges.
So on to Bideford to stay with some old friends. The town is very photogenic and has a medieval bridge whose arches are of different spans. The wider the span the richer the merchant who built it. I like being there though the hills are demanding.