The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Moseley Old Hall

With an unexpected window of a couple of days in which my mother is well enough to go places, with her expressed interest in going to visit a few local National Trust properties, and with my new found enthusiasm for visiting such places, today we paid a visit to Moseley Old Hall. Or, as it is known, quite undeservedly, in my family, Mouldy Old Hall.

This is a large family house, in modest grounds, rather than a Hall of the large and grand stately home type.

We were permitted to join the back of a tour that had started just a minute before our arrival - and what an interesting tour it was. Lots of interesting facts about King Charles II (who took refuge there after his sojourn in an oak tree at Boscobel House) and a smattering of trivia about the origins of common sayings into the bargain.

We didn’t spend any time looking around the house after the tour (a second ascent of the stairs being a step to far for Ma), but Sister also wants to pay it a visit at some point so we will have another easy opportunity to have a good sniff around then.

The grounds are not extensive, but we wandered around them any way (marvelling at the mutantly large apples and pears in the orchard as we went).

Just as we were about to leave, we got accosted by a man in ‘interesting’ attire who was wielding a rather large rifle (kicking myself for the second time this week for not having a camera on me). Yet more interesting information was imparted as he told us about the gun, the civil war and events surrounding King Charles II*.

I can report that the rifle that he was wielding (and accidentally pointed straight at some surprised chap who was walking out of the gift-shop) was extraordinarily heavy. Those fighting types of the day must have been awfully strong – particularly the women who apparently, despite being forbidden, were occasionally wont to dress up as men and join in the fighting.

Tomorrow, all being well, another NT property is on the agenda.

[*You may note that I’m being just a little bit vague there; I really must rectify my complete ignorance of all things history. I blame it on Mr. Clarke, who was a piece of history himself and my teacher of that subject when I was 13. As a result of his antiquity and his ineptitude as a teacher I gave up the study of history at the earliest possible opportunity, after just one year. I recall that during that period we studied the Second World War (in which Mr. Clarke almost certainly played a part) but of the details that he tried to instil into us, I recall nothing.]

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