Evening Society Trips in 2009
Trip 1 Cornwall March 27-30th
Trip 2 Beaulieu July 2nd
Scroll below for the two Reviews
Wells Evening Society
Thursday July 2nd 2009
All 43 members were very timely in getting
to Wells bus station so the coach was able to leave 5 minutes early and get on our
way for an enjoyable day out to Beaulieu organised by John Barkle.
The first stop was just outside Salisbury
for a very welcome cup of coffee at the Grassmere Hotel, where we sat on the terrace,
which overlooked the river and gave us a splendid view of Salisbury cathedral.
Then back on the coach for the remainder of the run over
to Beaulieu House which we reached about 12 pm.
The party then split up and went its own
separate ways to explore the extensive grounds and exhibitions only coming together
at 2 pm for a guided tour of the house. The staff were very knowledgable and provided
us with a vivid impression of the history of the house.
The abbey ruins were well worth investigating
and even the limited amount left gave a powerful idea of the grand scale of the
However the highlight of the visit had to be a tour round the
motor museum. This held a vast range of vehicles ranging from the earliest 19th
century examples from Germany and France through to the rocket powered land speed
vehicles of more recent years.
Of special interest to our group was the reconstruction
of Mr Jack Tucker's garage from Wedmore that was bought complete and then re-built
in the Beaulieu motor museum. It was very strange to walk through a building that
one had driven past so many times.
Along the way one must not forget to mention the rides on the 1930's bus or the
overhead monorail that took you right round the site.
There were lost of places around the site to satisfy ones hunger and as it was a
particuarly warm day I think that a lot of icecreams were consumed. Most people
finished off with a cup of tea and a cake in the cafe by the entrance before getting
back on the coach at 5 pm for a leisurley and intersting drive back through the
New Forest finally arriving in Wells at around 7 pm.
Thanks again for all the organisation John and well done for providing such an excellent
A SUMMER OUTING TO BEAULIEU GARDENS, ABBEY AND NATIONAL MOTOR MUSEUM
Thursday July 2nd 2009
Our summer visit is to Beaulieu House and its Gardens, on the edge of the New Forrest.
The 'Palace House' has been home to the Montagu family since 1538, although with
additions, especially in Victorian times. The nearby Abbey, built on land given
to the Cistercian monks by King John in 1204, sustained the ravages of the Dissolution
of the Monasteries in the 16th century, but there
is still much of interest to be seen. Within the parkland setting there are a Victorian
Flower Garden, an Ornamental Kitchen Garden and Wilderness Garden dating back to
the 1770s. Other attractions include the extensive National Motor Museum, and The
Secret Army Exhibition (which tells the story of wartime Beaulieu that housed the
SOE during WWII and where agents were trained before entering occupied Europe to
work with the Resistance) and the opportunity to ride on a monorail and a 1912 London
9.00 am The coach will leave Wells Princes Road Coach Station
10.30 a.m Stopping at Grassmere House Hotel, Salisbury for refreshments in the Garden
Room, which overlooks lawns leading down to the River Avon.
(approximately): arrive at Beaulieu House where the Brabazon restaurant offers a
wide range of food and drinks all day – from snacks to full meals.
2.00 p.m.: Palace House tour of Lord Montagu's ancestral home with
its exquisite paintings, antique furniture and stunning architecture and covering
its history from its monastic beginnings to the present day.
3.00 – 5.00 p.m.: at your leisure
to enjoy the attractions and gardens.
Beaulieu at we expect to arrive back in Wells at around 7.00 p.m.
Wells Evening Society
STRATFORD AND SHAKESPEARE
Friday 30th May to Sunday 1st June 2008
The trip was organised by Ann Mills and was full of interesting activities. We drove north via a good coffee-stop to Compton Verney.
This is a large stately home in spreading grounds which about five years ago was turned by one of the Littlewoods heirs into a vibrant gallery. There was a variety of paintings including a collection of Chinese works, but the great and lovely surprise to me was the huge collection of Folk Art. There were trade and shop signs, tools, iron-work, china and lovely naive paintings. Much of this used to be in the Countess of Huntingdon’s chapel in the Paragon in Bath and after disappearing has been sadly missed.
We drove on to the Holiday Inn in Stratford. This is very centrally placed and provided good help-yourself buffet dinners and breakfasts.
Some of us went to the theatre A Midsummer Night's Dream whilst others could and did explore the town in the evening sun.
On the Saturday morning there was time for more individual exploring. We visited Holy Trinity Church where Shakespeare is buried and also Hill Croft, the 17th century doctor’s house where Shakespeare’s daughter spent her married life...
We then drove to Hidcote Manor to see the justly famous gardens.
In the Hidcote gardens “Rooms” of box hedge divided different areas of flowers and green abundance and were greatly enjoyed as shown by the happy visitor in the picture to the left. We were returned to the hotel in time for an early dinner if we wished to go to the theatre.
This was a brilliant production of the Merchant of Venice in modern costume.
The main theatre is being re-built so this took place in the Courtyard Theatre. There was a lanky, pacing, brooding Shylock - so different from the normal stereotype - and exciting lighting and music.
On Sunday we were driven to Coughton Court. This is an Elizabethan manor house associated with the Catholic faith. There was a priest hole and much about the gunpowder plot also lovely slanting views of the garden from the central part of the house.
We had time to visit Cheltenham briefly on the way home. Here we wandered amongst the wide 18th and 19th century streets and shops - so very different from 17th century black and white buildings of Stratford. And in total contrast, we admired a powerful contemporary statue with a mythical theme: a giant hare and bull.
It was an excellent, lively and interesting three days very much enjoyed by all.
INITIAL FLYER FOR VISIT
May 2008 – 3 day visit to Stratford on Avon
Friday 30th May – Sunday 1st June 2008
Two nights in an excellent, 4-Star Holiday Inn Hotel in the centre of Stratford, breakfast and dinner included.
Free time in Stratford
Compton Verney, Warwickshire’s award-winning art gallery and grounds;
Hidcote Manor Gardens, designed in the Arts & Crafts style and
Coughton Court, one of England’s finest Tudor Houses.
Friday, 30th May: We will leave Wells Princes Road Bus Station promptly at 8.30 a.m. and expect to arrive at Compton Verney at around 11.30 a.m. A soup and sandwiches lunch is included. This will be in two sittings, 12 noon for half our group and 1.00 p.m. for the remainder. We will leave Compton Verney at around 3.30 p.m. for our Hotel in Stratford where dinner is included.
Saturday, 31st May: Following breakfast, a free morning in Stratford on Avon. Saturday afternoon, Weather permitting, at 1.30 p.m. we will leave the Hotel car park for an optional, but included, visit to Hidcote Manor Gardens. This is not advised for those planning to visit the theatre that evening. There is a licensed restaurant, National Trust shop. Saturday evening – dinner in the Hotel.
Sunday, 1st June: After breakfast we will leave the hotel at around 10.30 a.m. and proceed to Coughton Court. This is an imposing Tudor House in a beautiful setting with a walled garden, bog garden and river walk. There is also a fascinating exhibition of the 1605 Gunpowder Plot. We depart at around 2.30 p.m. for our return to home to Wells, but with a ‘suitable’ stop en route. Estimated time of arrival in Wells Princess Road – 6.30 to 7 p.m.
Cost: The total cost per person for these 3 days away, as above, will be £225. This includes staying at a 4-star hotel, dinner, bed and breakfast. The Holiday Inn has a swimming pool, Jacuzzi, steam room and sauna. It is by the river (next to the boat stop) and a few yards from the open top bus stop, the theatre and excellent shops are within easy reach.
Notes: Members are responsible for their own travel insurance (including cancellation) – see below. Lunches on Saturday and Sunday are not included. National Trust Members should bring their Trust Cards for free entrance to Hidcote and Coughton Court. Non-NT members, will pay at the ‘group rate’.
Those wishing to go to the RSC theatre on Friday or Saturday night are advised to book their own tickets ‘well in advance’. The play on Friday 7.15pm & Saturday 1pm will be A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Saturday 7.15pm, The Merchant of Venice. The RSC hotline ‘phone number is 0844 800 1110 [website: www.rsc.org.uk]. Ticket prices are £14 to £38. The Hotel will provide pre-theatre meals from 5.30 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday.
To book, please complete the tear off slip below, and send with your cheque – £40.00 deposit per person, or if required, £50.30 to include Barnes 3-day travel insurance (the balance will be requested in February) to the visit organiser (on behalf of Wells Evening Society):
Mrs Ann Mills, 8 Carlton Mews, Wells BA5 1SG Tel: 01749 678499
LONDON IN APRIL
Friday 20th to Sunday 22 April 2007
The trip was organised by Jill Huggins,
enjoyed to the full by all 45 members who travelled and we were lucky with the weather
as the whole three days were bathed in sunshine. Our excellent hotel was in Richmond,
right up on top of the hill near the Star and Garter Home.
The three day trip introduced us all to aspects of London which many of us had never
En route to London on the Friday,
we visited Osterley Park (National Trust) where we had lunch and toured the house.
Osterley is a formal 18th century
neo-classical house with
Adam interiors and landscaped park
grounds. Perhaps it is most interesting for the many lovely details designed
by Robert Adam himself: lamps, a bed and a garden house.
On the first evening we visited the offices
of Deutsche Bank in the City, which has a fine collection of contemporary prints.
The poor bus driver got completely lost finding the building. Gordon Mills had the
presence of mind to commandeer a taxi, which lead us through the maze of streets
to our destination! Deutsche Bank is a high rise office building surrounded by some
of the City’s finest towers. We were just next to the Gherkin as we were entertained
with wine and a talk about the Bank’s approach to collecting prints.
Next day we visited Ham House in the morning
where we explored the lovely formal gardens and wilderness.
Then we proceeded on to Apsley House -
“No 1 London.” This is the house donated to the Duke of Wellington by a grateful
nation, where we had an excellent guide. The house was full of amazing paintings
given by Spain after the Peninsular War. A huge naked statue of Napoleon in classical
heroic pose rose up inside the circular staircase which one supposes must have given
Wellington great pleasure. We climbed up inside the Wellington Monument opposite
which is of course right in the middle of Hyde Park Corner, with traffic hurtling
round. Winged Victory, the statue on top, is apparently the biggest bronze statue
in Europe. We returned to another good dinner in the hotel.
On Sunday morning we visited Syon Park,
the London home of the Duke of Northumberland. This is a wonderful Adam house and
garden. Aeroplanes roared constantly overhead but we walked happily in the formal
gardens enjoying the beautiful sunny weather and Adam’s magnificent conservatory.
This is said to have inspired Joseph Paxton’s glass building for the 1851 Great
2011 Review Chichester
Our “Days away trip”
was organised this year by Sara Whitehouse, who put together a really interesting
and varied three days. We saw things from Roman and mediaeval times , places and
artefacts from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries and visited
galleries with contemporary items as well as works still in process.
We set off at 8-00 and drove with Herbie our friendly and reliable driver by a circuitous
but pretty route through Devises and Malborough to Sandham Memorial Chapel. This
is a 1920s red-brick building full of wall paintings by Stanley Spencer who, we
were told by our guide, was commissioned to paint the walls in memory of a local
man who had died as a result of wounds after World War I. Spencer had been both
a medical orderly and soldier during the war and filled his inimitable paintings
with personal and often unexpected details of life behind the lines: men were seen
folding sheets, tidying up rubbish, filling tea urns, and in his central Resurrection
scene donkeys appeared with soldiers amongst the tumbled crosses.
We then progressed
to West Dean, a foundation set in a magnificent house and grounds which encourages
the development of craft and art to the very highest standards. After lunch, we
were introduced by the principal to the work and ideas of the trust’s founder Edward
James. This was followed by a tour of the workshops, showing us some of the things
which are made on courses for both resident undergraduates and weekly visitors.
This included jewellery, metal work and sculpture as well as a huge tapestry from
the Hunt of the Unicorn series which is being re-worked at West Dean in parallel
with others at Stirling Castle. We had time to explore the beautifully maintained
gardens before leaving for out hotel outside Chichester.
After dinner in the hotel, our evening was enlivened by a talk on what we were to
see next day. We heard about Bishop George Bell who in the last century commissioned
so much work in Chichester Cathedral and also about the contemporary paintings in
the city’s Pallant Gallery.
Tuesday gave us a whole day in Chichester. An imposing new wing has been added to
the lovely 17th century merchant’s dwelling known as Pallant house, and
there in the morning we saw an amazingly broad ranging collection of modern British
painting. We saw a recent community art work in ceramic tiles, Mervyn Peake’s intricate
illustrations, a fascinating record of the 1951 Festival of Britain and the iconic
fabrics and furniture of late 20th century designers Robin and Lucienne
Day. Together with these were paintings by almost all the Names of 20th
century British Art; it was a treasure house in which to enjoy contemporary art
We separated for lunch in the sun and a wander about the busy streets and mediaeval
alleys of the city, meeting again later in the afternoon for a tour of the Cathedral.
Here as well as the wonders of the building’s Norman and Gothic architecture we
saw the many works that Bishop Bell commissioned in the last century: amongst these
were 'The Baptism of Christ' by Hans Feibusch, a
window by Marc Chagall , and a huge tapestry behind the bishop's throne designed
by Joan Freeman and worked by members of the cathedral's congregation.
On our last day we were to visit Portsmouth and in the evening, after supper, we
had a talk from a representative from Portsmouth Tourist Information who told us
about the various things which we might like to visit when there.
Firstly on Wednesday we drove to Fishbourne. Since the early days of the discovery
of the beautiful Roman mosaics there has been a massive development of this site.
It proved, not for the first time, that one should never be reluctant to re-visit
a site. These develop year by year and are nearly always better presented and more
informative than when last seen.
Fishbourne was a huge Roman palace which must in its time have covered several acres.
After an introductory film about the discovery of the palace in the 1960s, we walked
around the covered site. We heard that the hypocaust system was added late in the
Palace’s life and was in fact never put into use and we saw a great many beautiful
mosaics including the famous boy riding a dolphin. This, together with the many
intricate patterns, would have decorated the floor of the palace’s north wing. Much
else to the south is covered by modern housing and will probably long remain so.
On, on to Portsmouth. As we approached the city, Anthony Langdon - a member of our
party - introduced us to the harbour and told us about his life there as a young
marine officer. This gave us a valuably personal insight as we approached the dockyards.
Some of us then visited D Day Museum, the centre piece of which is with the dramatic
272 feet long Overlord Embroidery.
This was inspired by the
Tapestry and shows in vividly exciting detail
the story behind the D Day landings. An hour was not nearly long enough to absorb
the stunning detail and realism of this brilliant tribute to the bravery and eventual
success of Operation Overlord.
The group separated out as everyone explored the historic dockyard in their own
way. There was much to do; some took a boat trip around the harbour, some were transported
up to the top of the 550 feet tall Spinnaker Tower with the exciting views over
the harbour whilst others had a happily relaxed lunch by the waterside. The sun
shone throughout the afternoon, as it had for the whole three days.
The Barnes coach sped home and Sara was warmly thanked by all for organising such
a splendid and various trip. The committee is now busy thinking about where to go
2011 Review Windsor and Eton
Day Trip to Windsor Castle and Eton, Wednesday 18th May 2011
The Society’s day trip away was organised again this year by John Barkle. John brings his inimitably relaxed approach to his outings, and the whole day was filled with good humour and interest.
We left at 8-30 with a full coach of 40 members and drove straight to Windsor. John had organised a break for a comfort stop and coffee at the Andover Garden Centre; this is just off the A303 - on the A343 (sp Salisbury / Middle Wallop.) It had such good, various and unusual stock that some of us skipped the coffee in order to explore and to buy plants....an excellent stop-off for future journeys en route east.
It is a problem – impossible – to take coaches very near the Castle so the coach parked in the designated coach park which is a short walk from the gates. Even with a large group like ours Windsor Castle does not allow advance purchase of tickets, so Steve Lee rushed ahead to secure these. The ticket included an audio guide, so after air-port type frisking and X-rays, everyone separated out to explored the castle at their own pace.
The castle is magnificent; and remembering Oliver Everett’s April talk we were able to see and understand things pretty well. We could recognise Edward III’s great thick outer walls, the baroque ceilings and carvings from the reign of Charles I and all the formal pomp added at the behest of George IV. As for the time of Elizabeth II, it was astonishing to see the skill of the repairs and renovation done after the great fire in 1992 had wreaked havoc with great swathes of the castle.
It was impressive to see the scale and opulence of the many formal reception rooms. Each of these has its own history, which was well described by our audio guide. The range and quality of the paintings is quite extraordinary. Original Leonardo drawings, a Rembrandt self portrait, iconic Holbein works of Henry VIII and his family, a magnificent Breughel of the massacre of the Innocents – more and more wonderful, recognisable, valuable beyond guessing works for us to look at – and all at satisfyingly close quarters. There was an interesting exhibition of photographs of the Duke of Edinburgh, celebrating his ninety years.
Some of us never had time to visit St George’s Chapel. After a swift lunch we re-grouped at Eton College where a tour of the buildings had been arranged. We were divided into two parties and taken around the older buildings which surround the famous quadrangle. Our excellent guide told us about the present school, its traditions and some of the long history.
Taking Winchester College as his model, Eton College was founded by Henry VI in the early 15th century as a charity school to provide free education to seventy poor boys who would then go on to King's College, Cambridge, Henry granted the College a large number of endowments, including much valuable land, and had grand plans for its buildings; a very holy man, he originally wanted the nave of the College Chapel to be the longest in Europe.
We saw the original scholars’ dining hall, still in use by scholars today and laid out for supper with simple cutlery and plates. The room was hung with paintings of famous past Etonians. We visited the original class room, with the names of scholars who had passed the rigourous exams to Kings College and could carve their names into the wooden pillars. We saw the sad lists of names of the fallen in two World Wars, and the proud list of Etonian VCs. We visited the famous Chapel, with its 15th century wall paintings and stained glass windows by John Piper – and heard that the original scholars were required to attend chapel 14 times a day. We finished our tour in the Eton College museum, a collection of memorabilia of the school’s many centuries of history. The guides found it hard to fit in all the necessary information and to answer our many questions before the bus picked us up at 5-00.
It had rained a little whilst we were in the College buildings but the drive home was in the evening sunshine. John was warmly thanked by us all for organising yet again such a splendid day.
Friday 5th to Sunday 7th March 2010
The three day trip to Cardiff took place in early March to enable the group’s visit
to Carmen at the Welsh National Opera. The weather was excellent although
it was pretty cold throughout.
set off early on Friday 5th in sunny crisp weather, driving straight to Caerleon,
just outside Newport. Here is an astonishingly well preserved Roman amphitheatre
together with (unique in the UK) extensive remains of the barracks used by this
legionary headquarters. Dr Bob Trett, a local archaeologist, took our group around
and with him talking the ruins seemed to come to life. The round amphitheatre would
have held 5000 men: perhaps the traditional name Arthur’s Table came from
a misty memory of the Celtic leader addressing his troops in the arena?
We lunched in the town, explored the magnificent Roman Baths and then left for Cardiff.
Here we were staying at the Angel Hotel, which being right in the centre of the
city gave us an excellent base for our visit.
the afternoon, we visited Cardiff Castle where we again had guides taking us around.
They could and did explain the rich intricacies of William Burgess’s 19th
century design - and the phenomenal wealth of the Butes who paid for it all.
The evening was filled with a Welsh banquet, held in the Castle undercroft with
mead and wine and traditional Welsh dishes. There was also much Welsh singing
and harping and general good humour.
saw us in St Fagans Folk Museum, wandering around the justly famous Museum of Vernacular
Building; the less enthusiastic walkers were driven around in a little train.
We all happily explored the many buildings which have been removed from all over
Wales and meticulously re-built in the grounds. Amongst these are a fascinating
working corn mill, a 14th century church with lively frescos, a 19th
century grocer and general store and many ages and types of domestic housing.
On, on after lunch for an afternoon in Cardiff. Being so central, some had
the opportunity to shop, others to explore or to visit the Welsh National Museum.
Others again took a well deserved rest! This was perhaps a needed thing because
we then had a very early supper and were driven down to the Bay for our night at
the Opera. As we would expect from the Welsh National Opera company, Carmen
was delivered with rousing panache. The production had subtle earth colours
right through till towards the end when it burst into full vibrant colour. We all
enjoyed it immensely; it was exciting seeing the Millennium Centre lit up at night
- the huge letters glowing out the blackness of of the vast concrete and slate building.
Sunday we were driven again to Cardiff Bay where we had a guided trip around the
docks and Barrage by ‘road train' and boat. It is astonishing how the area has changed
since the barrage was completed: new buildings and sculptures rise up all around
and the clean blue water was reflecting the blue sky. It was a beautiful morning
but very COLD! Photos of the group on the barrage show us all wrapped up against
the bitter wind. We then explored the area (i.e. found somewhere warm for lunch!)
although a few of us were lucky enough to pick up an excellent tour of the Welsh
Assembly, Richard Roger’s iconic building.
Our last port of call was to Llandaff Cathedral where we had time to look at the
building and Epstein’s unusual interpretation of Christ in Majesty before attending
sung evensong. We had a cup of tea in a characterful cafe on the Cathedral Green,
piled gratefully back into out friendly coach and in peerless evening sun were driven
back to Wells.
Cardiff Spectacular (3 Days)
Three day holiday, 5th,
6th & 7th March, 2010 - staying at the Barcelo Cardiff Angel Hotel, Barnes Coach
travel,2 nights dinner, bed & breakfast, “including the Opera Carmen !”, and
all the following (except
coffee & lunches) for only £225 per person !
CHEVANAGE -TETBURY VISIT
Tuesday 18th May 2010
A party of around 45 left
Wells coach station at 9 am and arrived at Chavenage House by 11.00 where we were
all cordially greated by members of the family who still live in the house and open
it to the public in order to make it viable. As well as being a beautiful place
to visit the house is also well known for hosting weding parties and more specifically
as a venue for films and TV, with costume drama's such as 'Lark Rise to Candelford'
being filmed there.
We started off by having coffee in the grand ball room,
built I belief as a wedding present for a bride in the 1930's. The group then split
into two and, led by two members of the family, did counter-rotating tours of the
house which still has many remaining Tudor features.
Chavenage House Front
particular note were the fine tapestries in one of the bedrooms and the Tudor panelling
in the Oak room.
Chavenage House panelling
Thursday 8th July 2010
Notes By Anthony Langdon (blue text) and bits from the Westonzoyland website (green
The pub in Westonzoyland was a good place for a light lunch a couple of years ago,
and there is plenty of parking.
Thank you for the information Anthony and quite a few of us took the opportunity
to check out the pub and it was indeed excellent making a good start to the afternoon
Altogether about 40 members turned out for the walk over the Sedgemoor battlefield
and we had an excellent sunny day for it.
The story of the Monmouth’s rebellion and his defeat, largely by John Churchill,
later Duke of Marlborough, is a fascinating study that might start in the English
Channel off Lyme bay on 10th June and end in a dank cell at Ringwood on 10th July.
But that would take several days.
The crucial moment was on 5-6th July and I suggest that we start (with the incumbent’s
permission) at Westonzoyland church at 2 o’clock on the 8th July as that is the
nearest day to the batlle.
I can “paint” a picture of what led to the rebellion and how Monmouth’s army ended
up in Bridgewater en route to Bristol. We will, on foot, then examine the Royal
Army camp at Westonzoyland and follow on footpaths the route followed by Captain
Sir Francis Compton’s cavalry patrol to Chedzoy.
Anthony gave us an impressive and fact filled summary of the movements of the two
armies that led to them finally meeting on the battlefield at Sedgemoor. It was
fascinating to hear how the landscape had changed over the years and that whilst
the large rhynes were there none of the small ditches and hedges obstructed the
fields so there could be much greater movement of cavalry, as long as they knew
where they were going.
We will visit the church of St Mary the Virgin, where the parish register gives
an account of the battle, before walking the route taken by the rebel army as it
attempted to surprise and attack Lord Feversham’s Royal Forces at Westonzoyland.
The bloody battle that followed on the Bussex rhyne, close to the memorial, is our
The area around the memorial, close to the Bussex rhyne and shown on the right,
illustrates very well the type of ground that the battle was fought over.
Out on the Somerset Levels, where the mists swirl along the rhynes, the battlefield
is marked by a granite memorial stone that bears the inscription:
To the Glory of God And in the Memory of All Those Who Doing the Right as they Gave
it Fell in the Battle of Sedgemoor 6th July 1685 And Lie Buried in this Field or
Who for their Share in the Fight Suffered Death Punishment or Transportation Pro
The battle between the highly trained army of the Catholic King James II and the
pitchfork rebels of the Protestant Duke of Monmouth lasted barely an hour and contemporary
writers gave the number of dead as anywhere between 700 and 2700. It was said that
most of the fatalities on the side of the King's army were buried in the Churchyard
- one with a cannon ball in his chest.
Finally we will break for strawberries and cream and tea provided (I hope) by the
ladies of Westonzoyland WI in the village hall at about 5 o’clock to half past.
The tea provided by the WI ladies in the village hall was absolutely excellent and
just what was needed to round off a truly fascinating and interesting walk and lecture
all combined into one. So once again thank you vey much Anthony from the Wells Evening
The Battle of Sedgemoor 1685 – WES Walk 8th July 2010
Lead by Anthony Langdon (Retired Royal Marines and member of the Guild of Battlefield
The story of the Monmouth’s rebellion and his defeat, largely by John Churchill,
later Duke of Marlborough, is a fascinating study that might be considered to have
started in the English Channel off Lyme bay on 10th June and ended in a dank cell
at Ringwood on 10th July 1685. To follow the whole rebellion would take several
days but the crucial moment was on 5th July.
Our guided walk will start at St Mary’s Church, Westonzoyland at 2.00 p.m. Anthony
will 'paint' a picture of what led to the rebellion and how Monmouth’s army
ended up in Bridgewater en route to Bristol. We will, on foot, then see where the
Royal Army camped at Westonzoyland and follow on footpaths the route followed by
Captain Sir Francis Compton’s cavalry patrol to Chedzoy, where we will visit the
church of St Mary the Virgin. It is here that the parish register gives an account
of the battle. We will then walk the route taken by the rebel army as it attempted
to surprise and attack Lord Feversham’s Royal Forces at Westonzoyland. The bloody
battle that followed on the Bussex rhyne is our final stand. We will pause to remember
those who died at a memorial beside a field which is said to contain a mass grave
of 600 men.
We aim to be back at the Westonzoyland Community hall by 4.45 p.m. for a strawberries
and cream tea provided by the ladies of Westonzoyland WI.
Wear stout shoes and be prepared to walk about 3 miles, most of it on footpaths.
The cost of this tour including the tea and a contribution to the two churches we
visit is £8-50 per head.
For those who might want a light lunch beforehand, the Sedgemoor Inn in Westonzoyland
or The George in the next village of Middlezoy, might be worth considering. Both
have good reputations, but it would be advisable to book.
If possible, please arrange with your friends to share cars. Although
there is some parking at the Sedgemoor Inn, Westonzoyland, parking on the main road
through the village is difficult. For practical purposes there is a limit of 50
people, so book a place early
Guided Visit to Taunton Museum - 14th March
Worcestershire and Shropshire Adventure - 11-14th May
Art in Nature - September 19th
A SPRING OUTING TO THE M-SHED BRISTOL MARCH 21ST
ISLE OF WIGHT EXPERIENCE 20 - 23RD MAY