Thursday, 13 November 2008

To arms!!

Yesterday Brentford was ransacked with much loss to life and property and now the enemies of Parliament muster their forces for an assault on London itself. To arms and protect your freedoms!!

Yes, today is the 366th anniversary of the Battle of Turnham Green, one of the first encounters of the English Civil War, in which King Charles I and his army confronted Parliament's much larger force but with neither side willing to commit to an all out assault they skirmished intermittently throughout the day before the King and his forces withdrew. Much of the Parliamentary army consisted of the men of London who rushed out to the field with precious little training and every time the Royalists made a move the many spectators from the city would hurriedly withdraw, taking some of the more nervous volunteers with them.

If you don't know about this fascinating period of English history which pitched friend against friend, father against son and brother against brother, then you could make a start by watching Channel 4's new drama "The Devil's Whore" that begins next week and carries on for three more and "tells the story of the seismic events of 17th century England ...through the experiences of a spirited aristocratic woman, Angelica Fanshawe (Andrea Riseborough), whom fate has decreed shall come to know the key figures on both sides of this bitter conflict. It is a story not just of political and historical significance, but of love, loss, murder, courage and betrayal.".

For those who like a higher bodycount in their historical dramas The Times explains that "The South African location brought huge cost-savings that meant that great civil-war battles such as 1642's Edgehill and Cromwell's attacks on cathedrals and stately homes look like grown-up battles rather than a handful of extras and a smoke bomb"

The slightly tangental aspect to this is that those of us who live in Worcester Park live a stone's throw away from a genuine English Civil War battlefield, namely that of The Battle of Surbiton Common which was a skirmish that happened in mid-1648 back when Surbiton Common stretched down nearly to Ewell and is where Parliament's forces caught up with the retreating Royalists. Nearby Nonsuch Palace was one of several owned by Charles I's wife, Queen Herietta Maria, but was taken over by Parliament after the skirmish and given to Colonel Thomas Pride.

If you think that Roundheads were po-faced killjoys and Cavaliers liked nothing better than a good silk scarf I have the cure! WATCH MORE TV!! Starting 19th November :)

Now to explain to Mrs Brinkster why I was googling for 'wh*re'...


Anonymous said...


The Brinkster said...

Ah. The good old Whitehall! It's a lovely building and I have a very large book about it to read once I've gone through my books about Nonsuch and the like so will hopefully cover the time you're referring to.

st phillip alleyer said...

brinkster i have a question for you when i was young in the seventies my dad new the park manager at nosuch mansion and i did a project which concerned olde english langauge;thus non-such meaning doesnt exsist anyway lord carew from carew manor latterly help school,was one of henrys firm freinds who also was catholic along with thomas more,my question is this i was told and believe they used to open up around halloween until the late 70s a tunnel link from wallington to the palace which as you will will be near to the 8 bells and not as most people think at the 18th century built mansion,even though those gardens in full bloom were worthy of any palace. have you ever heard of such a walkway

The Brinkster said...

I've found reference to the Beddington tunnels on a website if you click here and Youngs brewery has some information about a tunnel between Carew Manor and The Plough here.

There is another document that says the following:
"Tradition has it that one tunnel connected with the Carews’ house, while the other went to the Tudor palace of Nonsuch a mile away. The passage to Nonsuch is also said to have connected with Whitehall in Malden Road, but according to our Chelsea cavers excavations in 1958 showed these were palace sewers."

Thanks for the question. I'd never heard of the tunnels before and it's a shame they're not still open!

st phillip alleyer said...

thans brinkster,i have just read that blog tou so kindly found for seems to be much more extensive than i had first thought.maybe someone reading this blog might even have been on these so called ghost walks of the 70s,as i could appreciate it is a fair distance between wallington to nonsuch but there were definite murmurings of such a tunnel..good luck with your read.