Monday, 23 August 2010

Europe Report Card 3


Loch Lomond - arrived early at the commercial end, but soon found the National Parks people who gave us a map and advice of where to visit. Drove further on to Balmaha where Darryl climbed Conical Hill for wonderful views of the beautiful Loch and surrounding countryside (he also enjoyed the workout of the 371m climb - has been missing his mountain walks). I went about halfway, to a smaller lookout. As he was coming down he walked straight past me - didn't recognise me in the crowd of about 10 people who had joined me there!

Loch Katrine - a long very narrow road, often with stone fence right at the edge leads to this historic place - very pretty

Dunblane - visited Flora and Colin, wonderful friends I had stayed with last visit. It was great for them to meet Darryl. Delicious afternoon tea, with gluten-free fruit-cake and a lovely almond slice - what a wonderful memory Flora has to have remembered that!

Denny & Dunipace - towns where the MacTaggart family originated - got photos of the churches, but there were no attached cemeteries
Motorway - coming back to Glasgow roadworks meant the trip was pretty slow, sometimes at a standstill! The motorway is fantastic when it works - 70 mph speed limit - but not nice when you are barely moving at 10 mph

Dinner - ate the 'The Bothy' in the West End with Neil Drover and his daughter Di. Neil has a fantastic knowledge of the history of Scotland, and the Drover family. We had a thoroughly enjoyable evening - ate haggis for entree - and didn't even mind too much to find that it was raining when we finished at 9.45 - time really flies when you are having a great time!


Edinburgh - BEAUTIFUL day! Sunny and we drove from Glasgow and did the Park and Ride - only 1.20 pounds for the bus trip into the centre of the city

Edinburgh Fringe Festival - plenty of weird and not quite also weird street entertainment - we didn't go to any shows, but watched a few on the street - people everywhere - walked in

the Princes Street Gardens, viewed the Castle (from afar), walked up Calton Hill  to see the

City Observatory, the National Monument (Folly?), and saw the ball drop on the Nelson Monument to signal 1pm to the ships in port. 

Enjoyed an old cemetery, walked up "The Royal Mile", St Giles Cathedral, Greyfriar's Bobby statue, Pub and gravestones in the cemetery, 'The Grassmarket' where the hangings were carried out in front of the pubs (one called 'The Last Drop'), 'The remains of the Flodden Wall', "St Cuthbert's Church" (many linked family names here - Forsyth, Dewar, Reid, Grier, Monteith and Sutherland)

National Gallery - have now seen a Leonardo da Vinci, some Botticelli's, Reubens, and Holbein's
Dinner - in a pub "Scotts of Rose Street" drinking Deuchars beer and waiting for my Haggis dinner - Rose Street is in Edinburgh, where my great-grandmother taught in 'Rose Street Public School' before 1887 (no sign of the school now though)...


31st Wedding anniversary - did the park and ride to Edinburgh again, but went our separate ways - Darryl climbed 'Arthur's Seat' then went to museums, while I spent the day at 'General Register Office' doing family research. 

Drove back to Glasgow and called in at the Mitchell Library to try and find the burial location of Hugh MacTaggart, but he is not at either of the 2 big cemeteries in Glagow, and didn't have time for further searches.
Dinner - lovely meal at a local Chinese Restaurant.


Leaving Scotland - hit the road going South - had lunch in a park in a pretty little town called Moffat - it had lots of nice walks if we had time. Went through a really interesting valley in the Ettrick Forrest. Crossed the border into England.

Hadrian's Wall - interesting segments of rock wall along the road - at Brocolitia there was a mound fort, and a temple (which had been archaeologically excavated) - further along was Vercovicium (Housesteads), the largest and best preserved Roman fort in Britain.

Cumbria - The Lakes District - Keswick - staying the night at 'Twa Dogs Inn' - went for a walk through the quaint town - fresh salmon in prawn sauce for dinner & had a local beer.


Our first real day of rain - it had poured all night. Intended to look around the Lakes district, but the rain made it very difficult. Drove to the nearby lake (Derwentwater) but unable to get a view from the car so drove on. Beautiful waterfalls from the heavy rain, but unable to stop anywhere along the narrow roads. 

The country is really beautiful with craggy hills, green fields and the lakes. Then we got on the Motorway - the M6 - the first part was good, but then the congestion started - apparently something called the 'V Festival' is on for the weekend, and some junctions were so congested they were closed. Finally arrived at Bridgnorth and checked into an apartment (with a loft bedroom) at the 'Parlour's Hall Hotel'. A very historic hotel - built in the 12th century. 

 Visited friends Ron and Ann in Beckbury - lovely to catch up with them again, and Ann made us a delicious supper.

Weather - started out sunny, but then showers - around 21oC

Ludlow - medieval market town, with many 12C buildings - Ludlow Castle dominates the town. 

Working mill and Dinham Bridge on River Teme

Leominster - Sidney Anderson was a baker here. Lived in West St, died Burgess St. Could not find any Andersons in the cemetery.

Yarpole - John Parker lived here and his 12 children were born here. No gravestones, as many were quite decayed. 

The bell tower is one of the oldest wooden buildings still standing in England, apparently built in 1192 - huge oak beams. Church has been 'done up' and now houses the local shop. 
Pembridge - Richard Parker was born in Yarpole, but he lived in Pembridge and was a tailor and lay preacher there, all his children were born there, but there were no Parker gravestones. 
Many of the black and white medieval houses. The church fair was happening, with coconut shy etc. 

A medieval market building has been restored in the square.
Eardisley - home of Richard Ible's wife, Mary Pugh and her parents - found Pugh gravestones - will have to work out where they fit in.

The Red Cow Inn Ackleton - really enjoyable evening with Ron and Ann. I had a delicious meal of haddock and prawns in cheese sauce with a huge baked potato, Darryl had Stilton Chicken.

Weather - beautiful day, lovely and sunny

Trimpley, Bewdley - went to Holbeache, the home of William Henry Anderson (G G Grandfather). The sign on the gate said Private, but Darryl stayed in the car while I walked down the path to see if I could take some photos. The property is now owned by a wonderfully friendly businessman who happily showed me around the farm buildings, and through the part of the house that he believes WH built, as he had done some research on the place and the survey for 1880 showed a different smaller shape to the house from one in 1903. The property is 200 acres and the house is just beautiful - very grand. He also showed me around the farm buildings and the servants quarters.

Severn Valley Railway - back in Bridgnorth there was terrible traffic congestion due to a local fair. Ron came into town and took us on a steam train ride to Arley where we went to the pub for a beer, and wandered around the village, before catching the train back to Bridgnorth.

1 comment: