Tag: museums

A Story of a Grave

Years ago when we first moved to our little village by the sea, we spent a lot of our free time taking long walks along the coast, the valley and the woods.  It was during one of those walks when I first noticed this desolate looking grave that was obviously buried outside the graveyard, but still near Minster Church.

I became even more intrigued when I read what was written on the headstone.

Joan Wytte

Born 1775

Died 1813 in Bodmin Jail

No longer abused.

Abused?  Was she a victim of a ghastly crime which happened long ago?  I couldn’t wait to go home and do a bit of sleuthing on-line and google did not disappoint.  After typing in her name, I learned that she was a witch, also known as the Fighting Fairy Woman.  During her time everyone knew her as a clairvoyant, a diviner and a healer.  However, she developed a tooth abscess which probably was the reason why she became so bad-tempered later in life and would shout and pick fights with incredible strength (as reported), which led people to believe that she was possessed by the devil.  She was later imprisoned not because of sorcery, but because of public brawling and died of pneumonia  at age 38 in Bodmin jail.

Apparently, over the years her bones were disinterred and used in seances and other pranks, before being displayed at the Witchcraft museum in our little village.  Not only was she persecuted through life, but even in death, she was ridiculed as visitors gaped at her and stared at her bones through the window display of the museum.

In the late 80s, the then curator decided to have her bones laid to rest, especially since they were experiencing some “disturbances” in the museum.  After almost two hundred years, she was finally at peace … no longer abused.

Not on consecrated grounds though –  see that fence?  She’s buried just outside the boundaries of the church’s grounds, into the woods.

This post is linked-up with PODcast’s #WhatsTheStory.

Hope everyone has a lovely week ahead of them!

A Cornish Country Mouse at the Museum

This post has been long over-due and should have been posted right after Little T’s jaunt in the park with Pinky the helium cat.  As mentioned on that post, T and I went to Exeter with her dad and while he was working, we (the country mice) visited the Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery.

If you happen to find yourself in Exeter with your little ones and have lots of free time to kill, this museum is a must-visit!  There are lots of different things to see and explore in each rooms, an activity/play area, a tea room and of course the museum shop, though we were disappointed not to find any dinosaur toys in there.  And another reason why I really liked the place, entrance fee is free and for a lot of parents, that’s music for our ears 😉

Don’t forget to get your little bee bag in the entrance, complete with a bee costume:

I can see you mummy!

And since it was a saturday, there were lots of busy bees buzzing inside the museums with their parents in tow.

Here’s Little T inspecting herself in the mirror.  Have to say we spent more than a couple of minutes here and I actually had to persuade her to move on.

Little T gazes up at the elephant and concludes that she is indeed very small.

I bet T is thinking “I’m glad he’s encased!”

Look mummy!  It’s the bear like in my DVD!

At the play-area Little T had fun playing with blocks, animals and other toys.  If you see her with her lips out like in the photo above, that only means that she’s concentrating!

After shedding off her bee-outfit and roaming around all the rooms in the museum at least 100 x, little T announced that it was time to go.  Indeed it was – I was exhausted.  But she still seemed to have boundless energy as we headed off to the park.

This post is linked-up with Coombe Mills #CountryKids

And #PoCoLo

A Visit to Salisbury

Salisbury City is known as the city in the countryside.  Perhaps because it is surrounded by the beautiful English countryside, I bet if you live here, it won’t feel like you’re living in an urban area at all.  This medieval cathedral city with its old timbered buildings, world-famous Gothic cathedral and home to the magna carte is an absolute-must-visit when in  the UK.  So it isn’t surprising that after our trip to Stonehenge, a visit to Salisbury was on our next agenda.

Pub Lunch

We were ravenous after our busy morning spent in the ancient stones of Stonehenge.  So as soon as we drove into Salisbury, we were on a hunt for a place to eat.  Lucky for us, the Cloisters, a mid-14th century pub was close to where we parked.  Not knowing anything about this pub, we didn’t know what to expect at all.

What can I say about The Cloisters?  Four words:  good food and great service.  In fact, we would rate this restaurant with a five star rating.  It was way past lunch-time on a Sunday when we visited.  It was busy, but we still managed to find a nice cosy corner to plant our weary selves in.

You’ll see a lot of the lovely exposed beams and other 14th century features inside this lovely pub.  Since it was a sunday, the husband and J were able to sample their sunday roast which they absolutely loved. As for me, I had a mouthwatering chicken dish and T had fish fingers which were obviously made and not store-bought, so was really pleased and impressed by that.

But what really struck us was not the delicious food, there are loads of pubs and restaurants out there that serve really good food too.  What really impressed us was the outstanding service!  The lovely man who served us whom I think was the manager (though the husband had this feeling that he was also the owner of the pub) made us absolutely feel like important people.  After the meal, while on our way to the loo he asked T if she enjoyed the meal.  T said: Yes I did.  But I need a wee now.

It’s just a lovely feeling to go to a restaurant or a pub and there you are made to feel really, really welcome, as if they themselves personally invited you in.  That is priceless!  Wouldn’t it be great if all pubs and restaurants were like that?

So if you’re anywhere in Salisbury and want a lovely meal with superb service, do drop by The Cloisters for a visit.  You won’t regret it.  If you’re lucky enough, this nice man might be there to serve you. If you have an FB account, please like their page here and you’ll also find directions on how to find them on their page.  If not their address is: 83 Catherine Street, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP1 2DH or phone them at 01722 338102.  If you do get to visit, please tell the lovely man that T sends her regards.  It won’t be difficult to find him, he has white hair and will greet you with a lovely warm smile.  Yes, that’s him.

Around Salisbury

There are loads of things to do and see around this ancient city.  If you’re a National Trust member like us, you can drop by and see the elegant 18th century Mompesson House which was used in the movie Sense and Sensibility.

Mompesson House seen from afar.

And for those Military history enthusiasts, you will enjoy the Rifles Museum which highlights the actions of the regiments over the last 270 years.

If you’re not much into history like I am, walking around this city in the countryside will be enough to give you pleasure.  You will find an interesting building almost in every corner, like this one:

Don’t you just love old buildings with their quirky walls and designs?

And here’s a very old drain pipe.  I wonder what year it was installed?

Ancient door and walls … If they could speak, what would it tell us?

Novelist and Nobel Prize Winner William Golding used to be a schoolmaster in this former school-building.

And I took a photo of this one because I liked what it said “Life is but a walking shadow” and also liked that it was set against a grey sky.

Salisbury Cathedral

And of course, a visit to Salisbury wouldn’t be complete without stepping inside it’s ancient Norman Cathedral.

There it is!  

To be continued…