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Gifts to Buy for Your Favourite History Lover This Christmas

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 With less than a month until Christmas, we should probably start thinking about gifts if we haven't already. I like to try and shop from small, independent stores around this time of year rather than from big companies. Chances are you might have someone in your life that is a complete and utter history buff so why not get them a gift related to their favourite topic. Here are a few ideas of Gifts to Buy for Your Favourite History Buff This Christmas! My Life is in Ruins T-shirt from What is History £25.01   I think all history buffs love a good pun so why not treat them to a punderful t-shirt...see what I did there? Yaasss Queen Mug from Clavis & Claustra £11.00  A mug with all their favourite queens on - YAS PLEASE! Historical Fiction Bookbox from Bookbarn International £9.99  This one's for the book lovers! Inside each box is a preloved historical fiction book, a sachet of tea or coffee and some biscuits. Sounds like the recipe for a cosy night in reading! Celtic Sword

The Hauntings of Berry Pomeroy Castle: One of the Most Haunted Castles in the UK

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  Berry Pomeroy castle is said to be one of the most haunted castles in the UK but many of the ghost stories associated with the castle are not rooted in its largely bloodless history. The growth of the Romantic movement in the late 18th century meant that many tourists visited to the castle and with the growth of the nearby towns of Torquay and Paignton, more and more people began to visit the abandoned castle. The dramatic ruins naturally made visitors think of spectral inhabitants and ghostly figures roaming the now deteriorating corridors.  The main ghost stories associated with Berry Pomeroy castle have no rootings in it's history and are mainly based on the incorrect belief that it was a Norman castle. But whether they are based in any truth or not, we all love a good ghost story. So what are the most chilling tales associated with Berry Pomeroy castle? The Pomeroy Brothers One story tells the tale of the two Pomeroy brothers taking their horses and galloping off the edge of

Berry Pomeroy Castle

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  In an attempt to soak up some local history, I recently took a visit to Berry Pomeroy Castle , Devon. The castle stands on a spur above Gatcombe Valley and is set against a deep woodland.  The Pomeroys The first owner of the manor or Berry was Ralf de Pomaria who was a knight from La Pommeraye in Normandy, France. He was granted the manor, along with 56 others in Devon, by William the Conqueror. It is believed that this may have been a reward for his service at the siege of Exeter in 1068. According to the Domesday Book, compiled in 1086, the manor of 'Beri' was worth approximately £12 per year, which was a 1/3 more than the nearby Totnes Castle. The manor consisted of 78 households, meaning that it's population was approximately 400.  Ralf did not establish a castle here. However, a parish church was established along with a manor house beside it that would become the main residence for his family for the next 400 years. In 1207 Henry Pomeroy formed a deer park on the gr

The Best Free Online Archives for History Bloggers

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 As someone who loves to research history it's pretty essential to have access to archives. However, as I'm currently in full time employment in a non-history related field and don't live in a large city, it can be difficult to access archives physically. Likewise, as researching history is currently a hobby it's not something I can afford to spend a great deal of money on, meaning online archives that are behind a paywall remain inaccessible to me.  For those in a similar situation to me, I thought it would be beneficial to compile a list of the best free online archives so that all us history bloggers can continue to make the most of our hobby and have access to invaluable historical resources and collections. The National Archives  - You can either peruse their online digital archive guides or simply search for the topic you're researching and select "Available for Download Only" in the filters as this shows you what is available online and sometimes f

The Museum of Magic and Witchcraft - Boscastle, Cornwall UK

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I recently went on a camping trip to Cornwall and had to visit the Museum of Magic and Witchcraft based in Boscastle particularly as it's on my museum bucketlist! The Museum of Magic and Witchcraft was created by Cecil Williamson who had always had an interest in witchcraft since he was a child. A Witchcraft Museum was originally opened by him in Stratford-Upon-Avon but this was met with local opposition and moved it to the Isle of Man in 1951 under the name The Folklore Centre of Superstition and Witchcraft. Eventually in 1960 Cecil decided to move his museum to Boscastle, Cornwall where it remains today. Cecil stated, ‘Three miles away from this spot you can find this pre-historic maze stone carved into a living rock face, proof that from ancient times man and his magic making with the world of spirit were active in this area. The centuries have passed and times have changed and yet all around us in this quiet corner of England there is a strange feeling that we are not alone an

The History of The Old Man of Coniston

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  May is National Walking Month so I wanted to share with you the history behind a recent walk I did. The Old Man of Coniston (or Coniston Old Man) is located in the Lake District and is one of the fells in the Furness Fells . It is approximately 2632.61 ft high. The road up to the main car park for the hike was originally built to serve the slate quarry . The Coniston Old man has an extensive slate mining history dating back to 12th and 13th centuries. It was estimated that around this time slate began to be worked here and has been worked up until the present day. By the 1500s, established slate workings were present in the area. On the stony path on the way up to the summit, you can see numerous signs of the remnants of the slate industry from buildings and machinery to electrical pylons.   The summit itself is signified by a slate platform and cairn. Although this is a great spot to have lunch if the weather is good, the summit was historically used as a warning beacon which for

Spotlight on: Sarah Biffin, a Victorian English Painter

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Sarah Biffin, Mrs E.M. Wright, 1784 - 1850. Artist (Self-portrait) - WikiCommons  Sarah Biffin (sometimes spelt Biffen ) was born in 1784 in a small village in Somerset, England into a poor farm labouring family. Sarah was born with a rare condition called Phocomelia , meaning her limbs did not grow.   Sarah taught herself how to sew, write and draw using her mouth by the age of 8. She showed a clear talent for sewing and drawing and contributed to her family income through dressmaking and needlework.  Sarah Biffin. Watercolour by Sarah Biffin.. Credit: Wellcome Collection . Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) As an early teen she met a man named Emmanuel Dukes, who ran a traveling show where he showed the strange and curious to a paying audience. She soon entered a contract with Dukes who exhibited her in his show, charging his audience up to two shillings to see her draw. Dukes taught Sarah how to paint and so she began painting miniaturist portraits for h