The House of Agnes, Canterbury, England


Canterbury “The House of Agnes” (“Dickens”)
1918-1921 (1d postage)
Publishers: E. Crow & Son, Canterbury

Google Street View.

The history of the House of Agnes goes back in the days when it was a travellers inn as far back as the 13th Century, and is so named as it was the home of Agnes Wickfield in Charles Dickens’ story David Copperfield. Several passages in the book describe aspects of both the exterior and interior of our historic building.
House of Agnes

The inn was one of a number built just outside the Westgate built during the 16th century to exploit the trade generated by visitors to the city. Those who did not arrive before the nightly curfew would have stayed here overnight. It is a three storied jettied timber framed house with three gables to the street frontage. In the late 17th century the first floor bay windows with round-headed centres were added and in the 18th century two ground floor bay windows.
Canterbury History and Archaeological Society

Maison de la Reine Bérengère, Le Mans, France


LE MANS. — Maison de la Reine Bérengère, – Cour
House of Queen Bérengère, courtyard
Note on back dated July 1914 or 1919

Google Street View.

Wikipedia (French).

Berengaria of Navarre was queen of England as the wife of Richard I of England. She was the eldest daughter of Sancho VI of Navarre and Sancha of Castile. As is the case with many of the medieval English queens, relatively little is known of her life. Traditionally known as “the only English queen never to set foot in the country”, she may in fact have visited England after her husband’s death, but did not do so before, nor did she see much of Richard during her marriage, which was childless. She did (unusually for the wife of a crusader) accompany him on the start of the Third Crusade, but mostly lived in his French possessions, where she gave generously to the church, despite difficulties in collecting the pension she was due from Richard’s brother and successor John after she became a widow.
Wikipedia (English)

Bérengère (ca. 1165-1230) was Queen of the English as the wife of King Richard I of England. Musée de la reine Bérengère is a museum of Le Mans history located in three half-timbered merchant’s houses, ca. 1230. The museum is located on the old High Street that served to connect all the medieval city, both canonical and aristocratic houses. It is in the area known as la cité Plantagenêt. After being seized by William I of England, Le Mans fell into the hands of the Plantagenets in the mid-12th century. The houses were restored by Adolphe Singher (1836-1910) and acquired by the city in 1924.
CurateND

Dunheved Cross, Launceston, England


Launceston, Dunheved Cross
c. 1910
Publisher: Francis Frith

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Wayside crosses are one of several types of Christian cross erected during the medieval period, mostly from the 9th to 15th centuries AD. In addition to serving the function of reiterating and reinforcing the Christian faith amongst those who passed the cross and of reassuring the traveller, wayside crosses often fulfilled a role as waymarkers, especially in difficult and otherwise unmarked terrain. The crosses might be on regularly used routes linking ordinary settlements or on routes having a more specifically religious function, including those providing access to religious sites for parishioners and funeral processions, or marking long-distance routes frequented on pilgrimages. Over 350 wayside crosses are known nationally, concentrated in south west England throughout Cornwall and on Dartmoor where they form the commonest type of stone cross

The monument includes a wayside cross known as the Dunheved Cross and a protective margin around it, situated beside a minor road next to the main east-west route, the modern A30 road, on the southern outskirts of Launceston in east Cornwall. The Dunheved Cross is visible as an upright granite shaft and head set in a two stepped base. The cross is a composite structure of three medieval cross parts found in the vicinity, together with a modern lower shaft and lower base step. The upper basal step is a medieval cross base originally located at the Badash, or Dunheved, crossroads, 20m north of the monument’s present location. The upper shaft of the monument was discovered 400m to the south west at Badash Farm and is considered to have derived from the cross base when complete. The cross head was discovered in a field on Tresmarrow Farm, 1.3km to the WSW. The separate pieces were assembled, with the modern lower shaft and lower base, at the Badash cross-roads in 1902. The resulting cross was re-erected 20m further south to its present site when the Launceston by-pass, the A30 trunk road, was built in 1981.

Historic England

Clapper Bridge, Postbridge, England


Celtic Bridge at Post Bridge, Dartmoor
c.1910
Publisher: Valentine

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Clapper bridge over East Dart river. Probably C13 although it may have had more recent repairs. Roughly shaped blocks of granite to the piers with 3 rough granite lintels. 3-span bridge. This bridge is one of the medieval routes across the moor from Exeter to Tavistock.
Historic England.

The first written record of a clapper bridge here dates from 1655, but the bridge was definitely built sometime in the medieval period, possibly the 12th century. It is composed of three large granite piers supporting four massive slabs, with a total span of over 42 feet.The slabs were probably brought from Bellever, 1.5 miles away, or possibly from Lower White Tor, 2 miles distant. Either way, it was a serious undertaking to quarry, then transport the huge slabs. The bridge crosses the East Dart, a tributary of the River Dart, and was built so that packhorses could carry tin to Tavistock.

Immediately beside the clapper bridge is a second bridge, built in the 1780s to replace the medieval bridge and take traffic between Moretonhampstead and Tavistock.

Britain Express

Chepstow Castle, Chepstow, Wales


In the keep, Chepstow Castle
c.1920

Google Street View (exterior)

Chepstow Castle at Chepstow, Monmouthshire, Wales is the oldest surviving post-Roman stone fortification in Britain. Located above cliffs on the River Wye, construction began in 1067 under the instruction of the Norman Lord William FitzOsbern. Originally known as Striguil, it was the southernmost of a chain of castles built in the Welsh Marches, and with its attached lordship took the name of the adjoining market town in about the 14th century. In the 12th century the castle was used in the conquest of Gwent, the first independent Welsh kingdom to be conquered by the Normans. It was subsequently held by two of the most powerful Anglo-Norman magnates of medieval England, William Marshal and Richard de Clare. However, by the 16th century its military importance had waned and parts of its structure were converted into domestic ranges. Although re-garrisoned during and after the English Civil War, by the 1700s it had fallen into decay.
Wikipedia.

Building was started in 1067 by Earl William fitz Osbern, close friend of William the Conqueror, making it one of the first Norman strongholds in Wales. In turn William Marshal (Earl of Pembroke), Roger Bigod (Earl of Norfolk) and Charles Somerset (Earl of Worcester) all made their mark before the castle declined after the Civil War. These magnates and power-brokers were constantly on the move. Chepstow was just one residence in their vast estates – an impressive shell into which they would bring their gold and silver vessels, rich silk and brightly painted furniture.
Cadw


The store chamber, Chepstow Castle
c.1920

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Glastonbury Abbey, Glastonbury, England


Glastonbury Abbey – Judges Ltd
Publisher: Judges Ltd

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Glastonbury Abbey: Archaeological Investigations 1904–79 (online book)

The abbey holds a special place in English identity and popular culture. In the middle ages it was reputed to be the burial place of the legendary King Arthur and his queen Guinevere, and was regarded as the site of the earliest church in Britain, thought to have been founded by Joseph of Arimathea. According to the Gospels, Joseph was the man who had donated his own tomb for the body of Christ following the crucifixion.
Glastonbury Abbey Archaeology

“The First Christian Church in Britain.”

The abbey was founded in the 7th century and enlarged in the 10th. It was destroyed by a major fire in 1184, but subsequently rebuilt and by the 14th century was one of the richest and most powerful monasteries in England. The abbey controlled large tracts of the surrounding land and was instrumental in major drainage projects on the Somerset Levels. The abbey was suppressed during the Dissolution of the Monasteries under King Henry VIII of England. The last abbot, Richard Whiting (Whyting), was hanged, drawn and quartered as a traitor on Glastonbury Tor in 1539.
Wikipedia

When the monastic buildings were destroyed in the fire of 1184, the medieval monks needed to find a new place to worship. There is evidence that the 12th century nave was renovated and used for this purpose for almost 30 years, until some of the work was completed on the new church. The monks reconsecrated the Great Church and began services there on Christmas Day, 1213, most likely before it was entirely completed.
Glastonbury Abbey


Choir & Site of High Altar, Glastonbury Abbey
c.1920
Same publisher as “Abbot’s Kitchen” card at bottom

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Ridderzaal, The Hague, Netherlands


Den Haag, Ridderzaal
(Knight’s Hall, The Hague)
Publisher: N.V. Uitg[ever?], Utrecht

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The Binnenhof (Dutch for Inner Court) is a complex of buildings in The Hague (also known as Den Haag) that has been the main meeting place of The Netherlands governance since 1446. Building started in the 13th century, the complex originally functioned as the castle residence of the Earls (or Counts) of Holland. The Main Hall, which has been called the Knights’ Hall since the 19th century, dates from the second half of the 13th century. The famous vaulted wooden ceiling was the largest of its kind for hundreds of years and was inspired by the ship building industry of that time. Since 1904 the Knights’ Hall has been the setting for the reading of the King’s speech at the annual opening of Parliament. In his speech, the King announces the Government’s plans for the coming year to the parliament and to the Dutch people.
(includes text & images tour)

The Ridderzaal is the main building of the 13th-century inner square of the former castle of the counts of Holland called Binnenhof at the address Binnenhof 11 in The Hague, Netherlands. It is used for the state opening of Parliament on Prinsjesdag, when the Dutch monarch drives to Parliament in the Golden Coach and delivers the speech from the throne. It is also used for official royal receptions, and interparliamentary conferences.

In the 13th century Floris IV, Count of Holland bought a piece of land next to a small lake to build a house on. The Ridderzaal, the manorial hall of Floris V, grandson of Floris IV, was built on this estate in the 13th century. Over the centuries, the government buildings developed around this lake and incorporated the Ridderzaal. From the early 17th century, the Ridderzaal became an important trading place for booksellers, as Westminster Hall was in London. In later centuries it served a variety of purposes – as a market hall, a promenade, a drill hall, a public record office, a hospital ward, even the offices of the state lottery. It was restored between 1898 and 1904 to serve its present purposes.
Wikipedia


On back:
Den Haag
Ridderzaal – Intérieur

Publisher: Weenenk & Snel, den Haag (1908-1958)

Haddon Hall, Bakewell, England


Haddon Hall, Banqeting Hall
Dated on back: 12 July 1920
Publisher: Francis Frith & Co, Reigate

Google Maps

Haddon Hall, the private residence of Lord and Lady Edward Manners, is set in the Peak District in the valley of the River Wye. With nine hundred years of history, it is one of the oldest houses in the country and moreover one of the only houses in England to have remained in one family’s ownership for its entire existence.

Haddon is unique as it remained empty for nearly two hundred years. This extraordinary period, when time stood still in the Hall, allowed it to remain unaltered during the modernising period of the Georgians and Victorians. So venturing into Haddon is like stepping back in time, since from the 1700s the family preferred to live at their main seat, Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire.

The Medieval Banqueting Hall remains furnished with its original Dais table, behind which hangs a tapestry gifted to the family by visiting Henry VIII.
Haddon Hall (official website)

That John Manners’ son was John, the 9th Earl, and was made 1st Duke of Rutland in 1703. He moved to Belvoir Castle, and his heirs used Haddon Hall very little, so it lay almost in its unaltered 16th-century condition, as it had been when it passed in 1567 by marriage to the Manners family. In the 1920s, another John Manners, the 9th Duke of Rutland, realised its importance and began a lifetime of meticulous restoration, with his restoration architect Harold Brakspear. The current medieval and Tudor hall includes small sections of the 11th-century structure, but it mostly comprises additional chambers and ranges added by the successive generations of the Vernon family. Major construction was carried out at various stages between the 13th and the 16th centuries. The banqueting hall (with minstrels’ gallery), kitchens and parlour date from 1370, and the St. Nicholas Chapel was completed in 1427. For generations, whitewash concealed and protected their pre-Reformation frescoes.
Wikipedia.

Vicars’ Close & Wells Cathedral, Wells, Somerset, England


Vicars’ Close, Wells
No date or publishers clues (About 1920, give or take a decade.)

The body of Vicars Choral has been in existence since the 1100s, singing the daily round of divine services in the Cathedral in place of the canons. Initially they lodged among the townsfolk rather than on Cathedral grounds, allowing them to succumb to worldly temptation. To rectify this unsatisfactory situation, in 1348 Bishop Ralph of Shrewsbury founded a College of Vicars, of whom there were more than forty, and provided a communal hall and buildings for accommodation grouped around a quadrangle, in much the same manner as an Oxford or Cambridge college. Bishop Ralph also endowed the Vicars with a landed estate which provided them with a small income. In the early fifteenth century a chapel was built for the Vicars, and the quadrangle was converted into a street, now known as Vicars’ Close. Largely undisturbed, Vicars’ Close is the oldest continually inhabited street in Europe and still houses the organists and the men of the choir, as well as other employees of the Cathedral.
Wells Cathedral

The first houses on this attractive street, close to Wells Cathedral in Somerset, were constructed during the mid 14th century and the street was completed about a century later. The area was initially used to house a group of chantry priests. Although changes and improvements have been made over the years, the properties are still essentially the same as they were centuries ago. Almost all of the 27 houses on Vicars’ Close are protected as grade 1 listed buildings. The street derived from a significant land grant by the canon of Wells Cathedral, Walter de Hulle. The chantry priests were supported by the rents from tenants who lived on the land.

During the 12th century, the group of clergy who served the cathedral were responsible for chanting the divine service eight times a day and were known as the Vicars Choral. At the end of the street is the Vicars’ Hall which housed several communal and administrative offices relating to the Vicars Choral. In particular, was a room associated with the collection of rents used to support the clergy. This hall contains a gateway that links Vicars’ Close to St Andrew Street.

Atlas Obscura

The residences are built of stone from the Mercia Mudstone Group. There were originally 22 houses on the east side and 20 on the west. They line each side of a quadrangle which appears longer than it is because of false perspective achieved by building the houses at the upper northern end nearest the chapel 9 feet (2.7 m) closer together than those at the lower southern end closest to the Vicars’ Hall. Each house originally comprised a ground floor hall of approximately 20 by 13 feet (6.1 by 4.0 m) and an upper floor of the same size. Both had a fireplace in the front wall. Washing facilities and a latrine were outside the back door. The date of some of the buildings is unclear but it is known that some had been built by 1363 and the rest were completed by 1412.
Wikipedia.


Wells Cathedral  [View] from North West

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Commandery, Worcester, England


Worcester–ye Antient Commandery–Interior of the Hall shewing Oriel Window
c.1910
Published: Joseph Littlebury, The Commandery, Worcester

Wikipedia

Street View

Tradition has it that the building was founded as a hospital around 1085 by Saint Wulfstan, the then Bishop of Worcester. The hospital was built around a much earlier Saxon chapel dedicated to Saint Gudwal – which was located to the South of the present building. The building attributed to Saint Wulfstan was a monastic institution designed to act as a hospital. It seems to have been established with the needs of travellers in mind. Its location, just outside the city walls beside the Sidbury gate, put it at the junction of the main roads from London, Bath and Bristol. Here it could provide travellers with aid should they arrive after the closing of the gates at night.

After serving its original function for nearly 500 years, the hospital was among the last monastic institutions to be dissolved by Henry VIII in 1540. From this date onwards The Commandery was to fulfil a number of vastly varied roles, from peaceful family home, to site of the final bloody battle of the English Civil War. The building itself would undergo a range of improvements, repairs and renovations throughout its history as each successive owner sought to leave their mark on this fascinating structure.

The Commandery was given a dramatic new purpose in 1651 when Charles Stuart (later Charles II) marched into Worcester on the 22nd August 1651 at the head of 13,000 men and set up his Headquarters in the city. William, 2nd Duke of Hamilton, was the Royalist Commander in Chief and he and other officers were billeted at The Commandery.
Museums Worcestershire


Worcester–ye Antient Commandery–The Apostle’s Bedstead in the Prior’s Room
c.1910
Published: Joseph Littlebury, The Commandery, Worcester