The Old Church Chest

I love these old medieval church chests, at one time they would have held all the church records, but thats going back about five hundred years ago.  Now this one is used for lovely Christmas decorations in St Peter’s Church in Walpole St Peter, Norfolk.  You will see a few more Christmas posts from this delightful church…….I took way too many last year, and I never like to waste photos 🙂

Christmas Wreath

This beautiful Christmas wreath, is attached to very ancient wooden door, which stands in the corner of St Peter’s Church in Walpole St Peter, Norfolk.  If you look closely, you will see the delicate carving in the wood, which to me looks like the shape of some of the stain glass windows around the church.

A Walk to the Duomo, Florence, Italy


Florence 2016 – When we left the Pitti Palace, we wanted to see Florence’s Cathedral, the Duomo, before we had to catch our train back to Venice.  Many of the photos have been posted before as single posts, but I wanted to add them all together, the photos of The Piazza della Signoria with a copy of Michelangelo’s David  are new photos.  We didn’t have time to see the real David, but maybe next time.  Next and last stop is the Duomo.

The Gardens of Boboli, Florence, Italy

Florence 2016, The Gardens of Boboli where you really do need to be wearing walking boots, thank goodness we were.  Of course its just more then a garden, its one of the greatest open air museums in Florence….The gardens are a spectacular example of “green architecture” decorated with sculptures and the prototype which inspired many European Royal gardens, in particular, Versailles.  My husband had read about the sculptures and this was the reason we were now visiting this amazing green oasis, after the heaving city centre and a bonus…..the rain had stopped.

The building of the garden start in the 15th century, the original fields and gardens were laid out by the Borgolo family, in 1418 the property was bought by Luca Pitti.  In 1549 the gardens were greatly enlarged and became the Medici family’s new city residence.

The gardens continued to be enrich and enlarged in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, becoming a wonderful outdoor museum setting, for both Roman and Renaissance statues.

When you reach the highest point in the garden, you can rest and look out over the amazing view of Florence and the surrounding country side.  Next stop is the ‘The Museums of the Pitti Palace’.

Pitti Palace


The Churches of San Carlo dei Lombardi & Orsanmichele, Florence, Italy

This was the last church that I managed to take a photo of the interior, while on our visit to Florence last year 2016.  I had found, that in Venice and Florence, most of the churches did not allow photography, I did find a couple, and a couple I did cheat and took a couple of quick shots.  This is what happened in this wonderful little church, I cheated, a great big sign with a camera and a cross through it.  I was’nt going to take a photo but the transept arches were so beautifully decorated, that when I got to the door, the lady watching left her station and turned her back as she walked to a door, so I took one quick photo, hoping for the best.  I would have loved to have taken close ups, but the photo came out better than I thought.  I know they are religious sites, but the amount of tourist that visit the churches, they are hardly the nice quite praying places anymore, so why not make a bit of money from all those people who want take photos.  Anyway rant over, and following, a little history of the church.

Originally a chapel to St Anne, then the church of San Michele, and now called San Carlo, this church was built at the expense of the Company of the Laudesi to provide the consecrated altar not yet present in their grain market/tabernacle of Orsanmichele opposite. It was built 1349 to 1352 by Neri di Fioraventi and Benci di Cionne.  Tall and square and plain with worn fresco decoration and scenes in the transept arches.  Niccolo di Pietro Gerini’s Entombment and Resurrection of Christ of c. 1385/90 recently returned from restoration and looking fine ( which is on the back wall of the alter).

The only photos of the Orsanmichele, opposite the San Carlo, that I could take were a few exterior photos, there was no way that I could take any interior photos of this wonderful church.  I have found a photo of interior that I can post.  The church was built as a grain market in 1336 and finished in 1347.  In 1380 it was converted into a church and finished 1404.  It is big, and more like two churches together, full of lovely items, but definitely no photos and too many watching eyes to be able to take even one.




A Post Card From Landsberg am Lech, Bavaria, Germany

I am still sorting photos, and I came across some that I had taken in 2016, of the central square in the beautiful town of Landsberg, they were a little too dark, well a lot really, so I played around with them.  I used a filter and hopefully have saved them.  I could have changed them to black & white, but I love the colours of the houses that stand around the central square.

Brougham Castle, Nr Penrith, Cumbria

Adding another castle to my collection, is this castle, one that we pass on every trip to Scotland, while towing our caravan, and of course its a little difficult to park up with a big van.  Last year we got lucky and had two holidays in Scotland 2016, and one was without the caravan, so course we stopped on the way back and explored Brougham Castle, two miles south-east of Penrith in Cumbria, in North West England.

We were lucky, the weather was perfect for castle exploring and we had the whole site to ourselves.  The castle is in a very picturesque setting beside the crossing of the River Eamont in Cumbria, and looking out over the Eden Valley, it was founded in the early 13th century.  The great keep largely survives, amid many later buildings, including the unusual double gatehouse.

This Medieval building was built in the early 13th century, by Robert De Vieuxpont.  The Vieuxponts were a powerful land-owning family in North West England, and also owned the castles of Appleby and Brough.  In 1264, Robert de Vieuxpont’s grandson, also named Robert, was declared a traitor and his property was confiscated by Henry III.  Brougham Castle and the other estates were eventually returned to the Vieuxpont family, and stayed in their possession until 1269 when the estates passed to the Clifford family through marriage.

With the outbreak of the Wars of Scottish Independence in 1296, Brougham became an important military base for Robert Clifford, 1st Baron de Clifford.  He began refortifying the castle, the wooden outer defences were replaced with stronger, more impressive stone walls, and the large stone gatehouse was added.  The importance of Brougham and Roger Clifford was such that in 1300 he hosted Edward I at the castle.  The second Roger Clifford was executed as a traitor in 1322, and the family estates passed into the possession of Edward II, although they were returned once Edward III became king. The region was often at risk from the Scots, and in 1388 the castle was captured and sacked.

After the sacking of the castle, the Cliffords spent more time at their other castles, especially Skipton Castle in Yorkshire.  By 1592 the castle was in a bad state of disrepair, it was briefly restored in the 17th century and James I was entertained there in 1617 .  In 1643 Lady Anne Clifford inherited this castle and also the castles of Appleby and Brough.  At the age of 60, she moved north and set about restoring the castles, plus many churches.  Brougham Castle was kept in good condition for a short time after Lady Anne’s death in 1676, she died at the castle, in the room where her father had been born.  Later The Earl of Thanet who next inherited the castle, sold the furnishings in 1714 and the empty shell was left to decay, as it cost too much to maintain.  The castle then became a romantic ruin and inspired many painters and poets.


The castle was left to the Ministry of Works in the 1930s and is today maintained by its successor, English Heritage.