Spooky Isles – The Devil in Derbyshire

Hello, folks.Today I’d like to share with you the new article that has just been published on Spooky Isles. It’s about some of Derbyshire’s folklore associations with the devil, including how Chesterfield’s church spire came to be crooked. Enjoy!



A Final Defeat For The Yorkists – The Burial of Richard III

Following on from my earlier posts here, tomorrow March 22nd will see Richard III of England, Last Plantagenet monarch of England and last English monarch of the middle ages setting off on his final journey. Where that journey comes to an end has, of course, been the subject of much controversy.

Amidst all the arguments about whether or not he should be reinterred in Leicester or moved to York there sprang up the Plantagenet Alliance, a group of people who claim descent from the Plantagenets (although, not from Richard himself who has no known descendants, his only legitimate child dying in childhood and his illegitimate children aren’t know to have had any children). The Plantagenet Alliance challenged Leicester’s right to the King’s remains and argued that he should be reinterred in York because he was after all Richard of York. Their legal appeals ultimately failed. Leicester University were the ones who conducted the archaeological dig and the subsequent investigation and as such they had the right to choose what happened to him.

So, legal wranglings over all that was left to do was make the arrangements. Tomorrow morning he will be taken from the university of Leicester in his newly made coffin. Apparently the coffin was made by one of the plantagenant descendants whose DNA was used to identify the King; a nice touch. From there the procession will travel to Fen Lane the spot believed to be closest to the scene of his unfortunate demise (which has itself been the cause of much controversy and debate see this BBC news report for details).  They will also stop at the Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre. In the evening the remains will be given into the care of the cathedral. The cathedral will be open for the public to view the coffin at various times from Monday 23rd to Wednesday 25th March before the interment ceremony takes place on Thursday 26th.

For the full reburial timetable is available online here 

This has been an interesting saga to watch unfold and it has brought to light more information about the royal family than was perhaps expected, like for example finding out that Richard may have been blonde haired and blue eyed or this story revealing that the Beaufort line’s male line DNA doesn’t match Richard III’s meaning whoops someone has been naughty and either Richard III or Henry VII may not have had a genetic claim to the throne.

Now if we could just find out exactly what happened to the princes in the tower…I suspect nothing short of the invention of time travel will solve that one, but never say never.

Eyam – A Tale Of Sacrifice

Yesterday my friend and I went for a wander around Eyam. She was my tour guide for the day as she knows the village layout better than me, though I’m a Derbyshire lass too!

Eyam Village Stocks

Eyam Village Stocks

Sheep roast

Eyam Sheep Roast

Eyam DelfBeing brought up in the Derbyshire Peak district means you can’t not have heard of Eyam’s past. It’s a well known story and many of you may well know it already. That said I’m going to tell it anyway for those who don’t or those like me who like to refresh their memories so let me set the scene….

Let me tell you a story. It’s September 1665; Oliver Cromwell has been dead for 7 years,  Richard Cromwell has been driven from power and the newly restored monarchy is still in its infancy. Charles II has been in power for just 5 years.

The last of the major outbreaks of the great plague to hit England is sweeping through London and the King and his court have fled the city.

Meanwhile, in the Derbyshire village of Eyam, so tradition has it,  tailor George Viccars Is tasked with unpacking a newly delivered parcel of cloth from London. On opening the parcel he discovers the fabric is damp; the cloth is therefore hung up to dry in the cottage. A few days later George Viccars is dead.

It is believed that the fabric from London was infested with plague carrying fleas. The great plague had come to Eyam.

Plaque outside the residence of the first plague victims

Plaque outside the residence of the first plague victims

Continue reading

Richard III’s head

Ok it’s not actually his head but it’s a model of his head built from his skull following the discovery of his body last year. The model is now on display in the Yorkshire museum in York until 13th October.

This has brought the fight over his remains back to the forefront, which I have blogged about before. Although the University authority has the right to decide where to bury him the descendants of the Plantagenet’s want him buried in York and have taken legal proceedings seeking a judicial review. Continue reading

A Game Of Thrones

So today’s topic in my random and disordered blog is…well I expect you’ve guessed from the title. This will be part review part dissection part lecture . I’ll try to avoid spoilers but read with caution just in case, but I won’t give any big plots away or anything. 🙂

I was a little late on the whole ‘Game Of Thrones : A Song Of Ice and Fire’ bandwagon. Unlike a lot of people I didn’t watch the T.V series first. I don’t quite remember how I became aware of the books, partly through people talking on twitter and partly though amazon when browsing for books. Even though I haven’t read much fantasy – not that I’m opposed to the genre I just haven’t found many with a synopsis that really grabbed me – I decided to give ‘A Game of Thrones’ a go.

So on my birthday last year I got a brand new Kindle touch. Hurrah, the perfect opportunity, now I could read the entire series of huge books without worrying about where to put them and read them I did. I’ve just finished ‘A Dance with Dragons,’ the latest release in the series. Now I’m sat here impatiently possible for a couple of years waiting for ‘The Winds Of Winter’ Continue reading