Saturday, 16 August 2014

King of the castle


Simon has whisked the girls away to visit his sister and her family in Swansea, leaving me and Owen at home.
 


 There they go!
 

 

After a blissful day of peace and quiet (and uninterrupted screen time for Owen, possibly his rationale for wanting to stay behind...) we decided to get ourselves up and off this morning, and headed to Castleton, a village in the Peak District.
 


Texting big sis on the bus.

I'm really appreciating some one-to-one time with Owen; it's usually the girls who accompany me on charity-shopping-and-cafe missions, and it's good to shake up the status quo a little.


We headed up the hill to the picturesque ruins of Peveril Castle.
 
 
 We might have had a little rest on the way up, at Mama's request.


 The castle was commissioned by William the Conqueror and built in 1080 for his illegitimate son, William Peveril. The wooden structure was rebuilt in stone in 1175, and had a role in overseeing the King's Royal Forest of the Peak, but fell into disuse and disrepair from Tudor times.



Part of the keep and walls remain.


The views are spectacular. 
 
 
 



We had our picnic sitting on a bench while admiring the panorama like two pensioners - it was great! 
 


 Owen did Boy Stuff too...
 
 
 while I did arty-farty look at the fabulous textures stuff.



Castleton is very pretty, with a river and lovely cottages...
 


and the largest natural entrance to a cave in Britain which welcomes you to the Peak Cavern.
 
 
 
Or to use its proper name, the Devil's Arse!

It was renamed Peak Cavern in 1880, for fear of offending Queen Victoria's royal sensibilities when she came to visit, but its original local name is making a comeback - and so it should.


Castleton has a long history of lead mining, dating back to Roman times, and its four main caverns were discovered and enlarged by extensive mining activity.

It is also the only place in the world where Blue John is found, and Treak Cliff and Blue John Caverns still produce a small amount today.
 
 

 One of these days, I'll get some Blue John jewellery, but for now, these two pieces are on the Sheffield Shelf, along with various silver plated items bearing Sheffield maker's marks.


Time for coffee and duck whispering.
 

We noticed the same family names repeated on the War Memorial...


and again in the churchyard.


St Edmund's church is Norman, and dates from around the same time as the stone rebuilding of the castle.

Thomas Hall had his name engraved on the door of the family pew in 1661; there are Halls on the War Memorial too.

That half-face and dramatic eye is a wall painting recently revealed in the church when work began to remove the plaster. There is probably a larger 15/16th Century fresco underneath, but money needs to be raised to pay for professional conservation.
 


In memory of Hannah and James, the children of Ellis and Ann Needham of this place.
Hannah died the 9th of May 1816 in the 6th year of her age and James died the 7th of September 1819 in the 12th year of his age.



 
It was always a bit of a family joke between my sisters and I that our mum used to take us to churches and graveyards when we were kids; now I find myself doing exactly the same thing.
 

 
We got the best seat on the bus coming home - top deck, front right!

Huge skies and swathes of heather. 
Glorious.
 


Everything charity shopped.
 



I am an urban girl through and through, but I do love having the beautiful Peak District on our doorstep to enjoy, just now and again.

Hope you're having a great weekend! 

xxxx

47 comments:

Trudie said...

What a beautiful adventure and day to have Owen. I love one on one time with my kids, it's precious and there's a special sweetness in having mummy and son time. The Peak District looks glorious with all that history, my husband would love all the information you shared. He loves watching Time Team.

Kelly Jackson said...

Beautiful pics, Curtise! How nice to have some special time with Owen. I've never heard of Blue John - interesting, and it's so pretty. Love the jumpsuit! Xo

Caroline said...

What a nice day! I blooming well love having a day with me and one of my boys. Both of the boys on separate occasions. Not the two together!

Caroline
www.puttingyourlifeinorder.blogspot.co.uk

Sarah Jane said...

The textures, yes indeed. I can definitely make out a giant pair of nostrils in that brickwork! Great that you got to have some time with Owen. I'm curious as to what adventures with my boy will be like as he gets older. I have a feeling he will humour me more than his sister does. It's great that your mum took you to graveyards as a child. Obviously made a lasting impression. I do love a picturesque village and a lichen covered old ruin and of course, if there's a giant cave too, so much the better xx

PS. Please say you bought that Drama sign - I want one badly!

Claire Thomas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mrs Bertimus said...

Ooooh! Thanks for that breath of fresh air in the beautiful countryside! X

diaryofapennypincher said...

What a lovely day out, and I do love a good castle! Having a major flashback now as I went to Treak Cliff Caverns on a school trip, I seem to recall an underground boat trip too. That's a fab and groovy charity shopped outfit!

Kezzie said...

I enjoyed that cave when I went. My mum got all excited about Blue John when I told
s her I'd been!
Nice to have time with Owen! X

Asparagus Pea said...

Is that the tardis or some handily placed portaloos at the entrance to the Devil's Arse? Nice to have some Momma/Boy time - lovely day xxx

Fiona said...

Hey Mrs arty farty texture shots, stunning photo's here. Never been to The Peak District but know it to be stunning. Castleton is chocolate box pretty and so glad 'The Devil's Arse' name did not disappear forever, no thanks to Queen Vic. I never would have imagined the arse of a devil to be so picturesque though. (Shame about the portaloo's) Laughed about Owen's screen time. Enjoy your boy. xxx

Jazzy Jack said...

Such a sweet time with your boy. I love one on one time with mine. He sounds like he managed it without wingeing! As you know I love texture shots...I would have been right there beside you! I giggled at the scene of you sitting on a bench with lunch admiring the view like two pensioners! Loving all the curlicue carving on the stone tombstones :-)
Your denim jacket is great over your jumpsuit with such a brilliant pattern.
Thanks for the tour XO JJ

Laurie Duncan said...

Your boy is so cute, and what an adventure you had! So many historic buildings, my dream is to come to your country some day! And of course you both looked so smart! :)

Sue said...

Nothing like a bit of one on one time with one of your kids. You two must have had a lovely day out. I am totally in love with the places you went to. I would love to join you in the cemeteries, and the old castles, fields of heather, and of course the op shopping, and your brilliant company.

Mother of Reinvention said...

Isn't it brilliant having some kid-tme? I was out with Lucy yesterday taking "some arty texture shots" at the beach. I love yours and the scenery on your day out is breathtaking. Devil's Arse should definitely make a come back. That Blue John is fabulous. Loving the colours of the moorland and the heather. Xxxx

Porcelina said...

Super jumpsuit! I still don't have one, I'm waiting for the right one. Is your husband's family Welsh then? I'm an hour from Swansea up in the Valleys. x

Vintage Bird Girl said...

Utterly beautiful scenery & history. How I long for that kind of thing here. I'm glad you had a weekend with the boy. Hope it was relaxing. Xx

Hippy At Heart said...

Really lovely pics, escaping to the countryside definitely has its benefits! Love your outfit!

Amber of Butane Anvil said...

A glorious day indeed, from the tremendous sky to the smallest details, and especially the sense of glad peace. You know I love that jumpsuit to bits! xoxo

Bobbi said...

Wow - what a beautiful trip! The castle and views are amazing. I love the blue jack - the jewelry made from it must be stunning. Thanks for sharing your day with us!

Wee Wendy said...

You really do live in a beautiful part of the world, it's stunning! Your mention of Owen doing boy stuff while you go on about textures... My girls tease me all the time for going on about the light and colour when we're out, especially through trees.... We all have something! x

Miss Magpie said...

I have fond memories of school trips to Castleton running amok where we actually couldn't do any damage!

Seems to me this is the kind of day Owen will always remember. x

thorne garnet said...

I can hop on a bus and go.....no where! Dang, I'm so jealous! 1080? Beautiful countryside. The heather is outstanding!

Vix said...

Owen is such a handsome chap, he's going to be right heartbreaker when he's older.
What a fab trip out, the Peak District is just gorgeous. The slate cottages are gorgeous and who can resist anywhere called the Devil's Arse? Do you think the gravestone with the ship was from someone who died in a shipwreck? The drama. I love making up tales of untimely ends in old graveyards.
Love that Blue John and your jumpsuit rocks. You look amazing in trousers.
Yep, I wouldn't fancy living in the countryside but do love a day trip.
Love you! xxxxxx

Sheila said...

Oh, gosh, that castle is amazing! I love all the deep history in England - here, nothing is over 200 years old. I love your jaunts around!

beate grigutsch said...

fabulous trip! and what a gorgeous landscape and historical site and tiny romantic town! and heather is blooming!
wonderful! this all is right my alley, incl. sitting on a bench like a granny and enjoying the view.....
and you look cool as ever :-)
xxxx

Lesley Extance said...

Oh Curtise how I have missed you, while I been at the caravan.
A wonderful post, very interesting and the pictures are fab! and outfit is fabulous too , best wishes Les x

Patti said...

Thanks for this - the stories, pics and history are so grand. And a day for a boy and his Mom is a wonderful day. I'd love to sit like a retiree on a bench with you two. xox

peaches mcginty said...

I've grabbed the laptop and I missed a post! Owen's hair looks fab, some hairdressers never listen to a word, I know this first hand - did you decide on a sleeve/no sleeve for your dress, I'm no use, I liked both of them and you have Kate Bush tickets too! you must be chuffed! spending time with one child is lovely, mine have phases where they insist on it, I prefer your day out to one of ours which tend to involve crappy fast food and sweaty shopping, I have lost days due to Clare's accessories - Castleton is beautiful, the Devil's Arse is a brilliant name, I would be desperate to put it on the 'things I did in the summer' return to school essay haha! x x x

Melanie said...

Your mother/son photo is sublime. Hang on tight to that one. And this post is such a breather. I could use a trip up/down the Devi's Arse. The landscape and architectural textures are breathtaking. Heather? So beautiful.

Northern mum down South said...

How fab to have a day out with your son. I remember a school trip to the Treak Cliff Caverns many moons ago. Lovely record of your day xx

Forest City Fashionista said...

What could be a more perfect itinerary for a mother and son outing but a castle, a cave, and a cemetery! You are such a good Mom :) I love the look on Owen's face in the photo of him about to climb the tree. He's definitely one of yours.

Helga said...

Duck whispering!!!! The devil's Arse!!!!
It's vital to spend one on one time with all your gorgeous children, and I understand that it is especially important for boys. Owen is going to be SUCH a fox! So good looking...even when climbing the tree!
I love every photo here, so much beauty and fabularse buildings.
Castles!! Graveyards!!! All the things the UK does best.
Love you to bits! XXX

CityScape Skybaby said...

I agree with other commenters Curtise, Owen is a handsome boy and I love the photos of your day out together, I've never been to the Peak District, but would love to go now, it looks so beautiful. The name Peveril rings a bell with me, I'm sure we used to drink in a pub called the Peveril when I lived in Dorset, I wonder was there any connection to the Peverels there. I think I might have seen the Devil's Arse on a programme about natural places of worship in Britain, now I want to look it up and find out more about it. It looks like you packed absolutely loads into your day together.
I have the same problem as you but it's the other way around, I'm always with my boys and never get one on one time with my daughter without someone tagging along. Riley was drawn over to the computer by the pictures of Owen and asking me how old is he, he recognises a fellow tree climbing spirit there. And you got the best seat on the bus on the way home too, it looks like a day of lovely memories for you both. xx

Brooke F said...

The Devils arse! Great name. What a stunning adventure for you and the little fella and isn't it wonderful to get some real 1:1 time together. XXX

Beth Waltz said...

What a very full day of exploring you shared with your son! Either the castle or the cave would have satisfied my tourist's itch to hike -- at least he didn't really expect you to follow him up the tree.

Krista Gassib said...

Take me here Curtise I want to see these ruins and that big wide open view! I think it's just wonderful to have a day out with Owen and you planned the perfect outing. I'm laughing that your mum used to take you kids to the same places, most should be so lucky. I think the picture of Simon with the girls is joyous look at their happy faces! I'm a city girl through and through but I do love getting out in nature and exploring, wee both have so much in our own backyards. I also have to see the Devils ass and get all up in it for obvious reasons.
I think you guys are pretty awesome parents and so much more!
Love you more than castles!
Xxxoooo

Joni James said...

Beautiful!! Nice to see that you enjoyed some one on one with her boy. He surely appreciated it too. Love these photos. I would love to tour your neck of the woods. One of these days my hubby says.

Veshoevius said...

Fabulous photos! I too find a tour of an old cemetery can be quite fascinating. Are those purple patches heather on that last photo? You do live in a beautiful part of the world.

Ariane Lasalle said...

Tks for the tour of that beautiful place, nothing like that over here - I enjoy so much when you post a bit of history
I will have my eye full of history sooon, we are leaving next Sunday for Paris, I can't wait!

Your son is adorable, so adorable, he's a very handsome young man -

Take care Curtise

Arianexo

freckleface said...

What a cutie pie your Owen is, shinning up the tree. It's great to have some 1:1 time the two of you. And how amazing that you were able to get a bus all the way out there. I love getting out of the city and taking in the views and air. Fascinating history here. We are so lucky to have it around us, Devil's arse and all! Blue John is lovely. Now then, let's talk about you in a jumpsuit! Fab-u-lous! Utterly gorgeous. I hope Simon and the girls had as wonderful a time as you did. Xxxxxx

Suzanne Carillo Style Files said...

Little day trips of discovery with picnics are the best!

bisous
Suzanne

his_girl_friday said...

You look fab as always. Love the pictures! Everything is so new in the States it's kind of boring.

Angels have Red Hair said...

How lovely to have such spectacular sights so close to home.
You know I always thought the kids were so like you and yet now I can see a real likeness to Simon too … and yet none with red hair … boo hoo ;0)
xx

ArgentGal said...

Glorious! What a fun day for the two of you. My husband (a California boy) couldn't understand my interest in graveyards until I took him to one in New England. Old graves are so interesting.

Pennyblossoms said...

Great post! Love the pictures of 'the boy', you and the views.
I'd be smiling like 'the girls' if I was off to Swansea; I'd be off to The Mumbles like a shot!
Zxx

Trees said...

The Devil's Arse is a great name! So nice for you and Owen to have a day out together, it looks super fun too. So many amazing views and so much history and duck whispering looks pretty fun too :)

Natalia Lialina said...

I am a big fan of your photography, your photo collages and your photo tours - big fan. I will not remember all the historical information, of course, but the impressions of your tours stay with me... And the fact that your sit on the way home was on the 2nd floor is amazing. Such a glorious view!

So glad that you had a special time with your son, he will treasure these memories, I am sure. You look gorgeous in the jumpsuit! xxxxx