Monday, February 20, 2012

Weekend in Long Bennington

Long Bennington is a village in South Kesteven, Lincolnshire that was mentioned in the Doomsday Book (see below) with its 49 households. Today it has a population of 2,100 people and  is equidistant from Newark-on-Trent (Notts) and Grantham (Lincs). It is what the Scots call a 'lang toon', being built along the banks of the River Witham. The Romans were here, and today it is on the footpath known as the Viking Way, so perhaps so were the Vikings. St Swithun's church was mentioned in the Doomsday Book and a priory of  Cistercian Monks was founded here in 1175. So there is plenty of history associated with the village. The village primary school took part in the BBC Doomsday Reloaded project in 1986 that has recently been published on line. Our hosts' son took part in this as a school project.
We arrived at lunch time and after suitable refreshments, we were taken off to visit Newark-on-Trent, just across the county border. This was a surprise to us with its lovely ruined castle, worker's cottages and attractive town square.
There was a market going on in the square, but we were still able to see the historic buildings and the extremely long church. Its position on the River Trent also meant it was an important Roman settlement on the Fosse Way and is now being on the A1, formally the Great North Road. It was an important Civil War town, alternately besieged by Royalists and Parliamentarians. We also called in to the Millgate Museum where there was a superb embroidery exhibition going on as well as their permanent history displays that include historic streets of Newark and World War II displays. So much history made us thirsty and we stopped off at Ambience Interiors for tea, coffee and delicious cakes!


Time to return to LB and some catching up with photos and stories. Then soon it was time to walk down to The Reindeer for dinner. This is a wonderful warm and welcoming local with an excellent dining room serving some delicious food. We really enjoyed our meal, and the ladies were able to order half sized desserts that were still quite large, to round off our meals in style!

Sunday was cold but bright and we were up promptly for breakfast at nine. The plan was to get to Staunton Hall as soon as it opened to take part in its four yearly opening for snowdrops - a leap year special! The Hall has been in the Staunton family for almost a thousand years, and story has it that when it happened that there were no male heirs to carry on the Staunton name, a chivalrous suitor of  the eldest daughter changed his name by deed pole to Staunton on marriage. The reason for this opening is to raise money for the upkeep of the church.

 There were also other interesting happenings going on; an exhibition of antique tools used by wheelwrights; the geophysical findings of the historical society; and the amazing tale of the Lancaster bomber (Lancaster W4270) that came down returning after a bombing raid in 1944. All the crew died in the crash and their stories and several artifacts were on display and we visited the refurbished memorial in the churchyard.
We also had tea, coffee and fabulous homemade cake in the sun, which we needed to warm us on this cold morning.

After all this it was time to return to Long Bennington and Sunday lunch. The roasting lamb aromas greeted us we went in to the house, and then at about 2pm we sat down to savour its flavours.
All too soon we had to leave for our drive home, but we have had a wonderful time in this rather unknown (to us) part of England.


Doomsday Book entry
Doomsday Reloaded
Long Bennington History Society
Millgate Museum
Ambience Interiors
The Reindeer Inn
Lancaster W4270
(More information can be found in this 20 mins video: with thanks to Jack Russell - see comments)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Lego Architecture

Today A set about making his extra Christmas present - a Lego representation of Mies van der Rohe's Farnsworth House. It took quite a while, but the result is spectacular and well, it was fun to do.

Thank you Lego for these lovely and unusual models.

Lego Architecture
Lego modernist architecture