'We are not makers of history. We are made by history'

Martin Luther King


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The heart and Stomach of a King - Elizabeth I and the Tudor Blockhouses of Essex

By Laura Adkins
March 23, 2019
Category: For The Love Of Essex

In the year 1588 England was on the edge. The Spanish Armada had set sail from Europe to invade the English coast and to rid it of its Heretical Virgin Queen Elizabeth I and all who supported her. At this time, it was clear that the Armada would no longer be a threat as it had been blown off course. However, tensions had been high and that heretical Virgin queen who refused to marry made one of her most inspirational speeches of her time, which would be remembered throughout history.

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Tags: tilburyhistory elizabethi tudorblockhouse spanisharmarda heartandstomacheofaking robertdudlet essexhistory historywhereithappened tilburyfort tudorforts

St James Palace and the King that never was

By Laura Adkins
March 18, 2019
Category: For The Love of london

If asked what the most senior Royal Palace in the UK is we may feel the answer is either Buckingham or Windsor but we would be wrong. In fact, the answer would be in London. Although to look at it today it does not really shout out “I am a palace,” it has played a part in the history of our royal family for over 400 years. It is why the area surrounded it is called St James’ and although today only minor royalty live there it was the royal residence for 300 years. It still is the venue for royal weddings and bir... Continue reading

Tags: St James Palace Henry Stuart Royal Collection Royal Palace Tudor Palace History girls Royal Stuarts King James I King Charles I Royal Funerals

The wreck in Thorpe Bay - the Mulberry Harbours of the D-Day landings.

By Laura Adkins
March 11, 2019
Category: For The Love Of Essex

About one mile out in the Thorpe Bay is a structure that sticks out of the water, like two triangles. As a always wondered what this was and what was it doing out there. Was it a shipwreck?

Well not quite. The structure is called a caisson and it was one of many which would build up and become Mulberry Harbour (as it is now known) and is a Scheduled Monument. A Mulberry was a portable temporary developed by the British in World War II to facilitate of cargo onto the beaches during the Allied invasion of Normandy. Th... Continue reading

Tags: thames wrecks mulberry harbour pheonix d-day landings southend history southend at wat southend heritage cassions

The History of Bedfords Park, Havering-atte-Bower

By Laura Adkins
March 06, 2019
Category: For The Love Of Essex

This week’s post is not so much about a building but more about an area of land – Bedfords Park, which is located in the Historic village of Havering-atte-Bower near Romford. The 215 acre park is managed  by Havering Council and the Essex Wildlife Trust manage a visitor centre on the site, which stands on the site of what once the old manor house. It is situated 45 meters above sea level and has  an amazing vantage point which on a clear day gives views across the five counties of Middlesex, Kent, Hertfordshire,... Continue reading

Tags: bedfords park havering-atte-bower royal hunting forest red deer charles barber thomas cooke john heaton georgian garden havering history havering heritage

Dover Castle at War - Part 1 - Under Siege

By Laura Adkins
February 25, 2019
Category: For The Love of History Sites

Dover Castle – an impressive fortress situated on the cliff edge of Dover, guarding the country against invasion from the Channel. It has stood for 950 years and in a reference made by Hubert de Burgh in it is ‘the key to the country’. It has withstood sieges in addition to housing thousands of soldiers underground during both the Napoleonic war and was a base for Operation Dynamo in World War Two. Part one – Under Siege of this two-part blog post will look at the origins of Dover  Castle and how it withstood two siege... Continue reading

Tags: dover castle medieval tunnels hubert du burgh. castles. siege castle under siege elanor de montfort barons rebellion siege engine history where it happened

The London Exhibition - Southend Museum

By Laura Adkins
February 09, 2019
Category: For The Love Of Essex


Southend Central Museum is a grade II listed building, which was opened in April 1981 and was originally the site of Southends first free public library. It houses a collection of local and natural history and contains a planetarium. In addition to this, it also hosts to the London Exhibition, about the shipwreck in the River Thames.Continue reading

Tags: LondonWreck1665 LondonShipwreckSunkenStory shipwreck southendmuseum southendmuseumsgroup maritinehistory cannon riverthames thamesshipwrecks

The Invisible Castle - Rayleigh Mount

By Laura Adkins
February 03, 2019
Category: For The Love Of Essex

In Rayleigh, there lies a mound. Nothing spectacular about it, today it is a nature reserve with some recommended walks. At the top of the mound, which is 250m above sea level, one can see spectacular views across the Crouch valley. What most people do not realise is that the mound was man made; it was part of a defence mechanism of a castle. A type of castle called a Motte and Bailey. It was completed in 1070, was never attacked, and existed for 300 years. It is listed in the Domesday Book (the only cas... Continue reading

Tags: rayleigh rayleigh castle rayleigh mound national trust motte and bailey essex history essex castles essex heritage rayeligh history hubert du burgh castles castles of essex

Titanic Belfast - A review

By Laura Adkins
December 03, 2018
Category: For The Love of History Sites

Titanic belongs to Belfast - the Titanic experience

Upon first sight on the Titanic Belfast, one is in awe of its size and design. Inspired by the Titanic and her sister ship the Olympic; the sight of the museum is on the old dry docks where the ships were built a... Continue reading

Tags: titanic belfast iceberg visitor attraction history where it happened belfast history belfast heritage harland and wolff white star line

A Palace of Government – Westminster Palace

By Laura Adkins
November 26, 2018
Category: For The Love of london
 Part 1 – The Medieval Palace of Westminster 

The Houses of Parliament - a UNESCO heritage site and seen by millions every year. It is the home of the English government and where the decisions of the country are made. The current building covers 5 acres and has 1,100... Continue reading

Tags: Westminster heritage parliament medieval palace houses of parliament westminster palace monarchs westminster hall great hall edward the confessor fire palace fire jewel tower painted chamber execution sites in london Gothic architecture
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The Abbey that is not an abbey

By Laura Adkins
November 19, 2018
Category: For The Love of london

Westminster Abbey – a symbol of power, of the Church and of London itself. It is where all English monarchs have been anointed since 1066, the location of royal weddings and has over 3,300 people buried within its walls. This week I want to tell you more about this beautiful building and its role.

(c) Laura Adkins

To begin Westminster Abbey is not an abbey or even a cathedral. Technically Westminster Abbey is just a very large church and is designated as a royal peculiar... Continue reading

Tags: westminster abbey coronation grave of the unknown warrior westminster history listed buildings st Margaret church history where it happened

A Queens Castle

By Laura Adkins
November 12, 2018
Category: For The Love of History Sites

 Leeds Castle

There is an entry in the Domesday book for an area in Kent called Eyhorne. It had a population of 54 households, which was very large for the time. There were 12 plough lands, woodlands, an 8-acre meadow, 5 mills and 1 church. In 1086 it was under the ownership of Athlewold[1]. This wasn’t, however, the first record of the Saxon Manor in Eyhorne. Its first appearance was in 855 on an area of land known as the ‘Manor of Eslades’. The word Esledes is old English meaning a slope or hillside.  I... Continue reading
Tags: leeds castle lady baillie henry viii castles kent history glorietter black swan medieval castle castle siege domesday book history where it happened

The Gunpowder Plot

By Laura Adkins
November 02, 2018
Category: For the love of Whitehall Palace


Remember, remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason, why gunpowder treason
should ever be forgot

But what  is this rhyme is referring too?

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Tags: gunpowder plot guy fawkes bonfire night king james i houses of parliment catholic plot tower of london plot robert catesby remember remember the 5th november penny for the guy
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Martin, Murder, Myths and more - fascinating stories about the Tower of London

By Laura Adkins
October 25, 2018
Category: For The Love of london

Much has been written about the Tower of London, which began life in 1078 at the request of William the Conqueror. It has over 900 years of history; it is home to the crown jewels, and infamous as the site of a number of executions.

In this post, I want to try to tell you about some of the fascinating stories in the Towers history that may not be common knowledge.

Martin the bear-

The Tower of London has 21 towers, each with its... Continue reading

Tags: tower of london execution tudors murder prison escape escape from the tower hitlers toilet bell tower london history menagerie richard iii

The English Solomon - The life of King James I

By Laura Adkins
October 22, 2018
Category: For the love of Whitehall Palace

On 24th March 1603, a 69 year old woman lay dying; she is not just any woman but Elizabeth I, Queen of England and had ruled as Queen for 45 years. What she did not know as she lay there breathing her last breath was that one of her courtiers, Robert Carey, the grandson of her aunt Mary Boleyn, was racing on horseback from Richmond Palace where she lay. His destination was Holyrood Palace in Scotland, where a great grandson of Henry VII was King of Scots.  

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Tags: king james 1 james stuart whitehall palace english solomon king james bible elizabeth i

The Boleyns in Essex - Rochford Hall

By Laura Adkins
October 15, 2018
Category: For The Love Of Essex

We have all heard of the Tudors and King Henry VIII and his 6 wives. Henry's second wife, Anne Boleyn, was executed in May 1536, at the Tower of London for adultery, a treasonous offence when you were married to the King. One of those men accused was her own brother, George. Before his death he was titled Lord Rochford, a title passed to him by his father. Along with the title came a great moated manor house, situated in Rochford, Essex. Unfortunately only a small fraction of this house exists today and that is Roch... Continue reading

Tags: Rochford Hall Anne Bolyen History of essex heritage rochford golf club History where it happened Tudor buildings rochford history

Verulamium - The Museum and archaeology

By Laura Adkins
October 12, 2018
Category: For The Love of History Sites
Verulamium - A Roman City in Britain part 2 - the Museum and Archaeology

In total only 10% of the whole town has actually been excavated.

The first antiquarian exploration took place in 1847 with the theatre excavations. In the 1930’s more excavations would take place between 1930-33, this time by Dr Mortimer Wheeler and his wife Tessa. Due to the number of discoveries made by the husband and wife, it was described as the British Pompeii. Many of the early finds were first displayed in a... Continue reading

Tags: roman britain st albans romans archeology st albans museums roman museum celtic britain mortimer wheeler tessa wheeler snadridge hoard roman coins

Verulamium - A Roman City in Britain

By Laura Adkins
October 08, 2018
Category: For The Love of History Sites

St Albans, located in Hertfordshire, South East England, is known as the burial site of Britain’s first Saint (see the site of England’s first Saint). St Alban actually lived a stone’s throw away from St Albans Abbey, in what was the third largest Roman city in England – Verulamium.

This week we are going to explore that once great vibrant Roman City and discover what life was like at its peak, what made Roman towns work so well and how this once lost town is now a public park with an amazing museum on the site of the former Basi... Continue reading
Tags: Verulamium Roman City Roman Britain Archeology Celtic Britain Roman Town History where it happened Roman Walls Heritage Museum St Albans Romans Temple Roman Baths

My Local Church - St Andrews Church, Shoeburyness and the Commonwealth War Graves

By Laura Adkins
September 28, 2018
Category: For The Love Of Essex

My local church

St Andrews church lies five minutes from where I used to live as a child. A small but beautiful 12th century Norman church surrounded by gravestones in a quiet spot. It is a grade 2 listed building.

Thought to be linked with the local parish fishing activities due to it being named after the patron saint of fishing[1] the church was the focus for the small south Shoebury rural community. It cannot be seen now but then the church was original... Continue reading

Tags: St Andrews Church St andrews church shoeburyness commonwealth war graves world war one world war two poppy war graves medieval church kentish rag stone arthur dent church local church churches of southend shoeburyness

The hidden gem of Southchurch

By Laura Adkins
September 16, 2018
Category: For The Love Of Essex

The hidden gem of Southchurch – Southchurch Hall

There is a beautiful timber framed building located in the heart of Southchurch within Southchurch Hall Park. Today it is museum, open to the public and managed by Southend Museums and Libraries. It is unfortunately infrequently visited with many not knowing of its existence. Nevertheless, Southchurch Hall and the park itself have over 700 years of history to be explored. In fact, Southchurch is the oldest surviving secular building in... Continue reading


The Merry Monarchs Women

By Laura Adkins
September 07, 2018
Category: For the love of Whitehall Palace
The Mistresses of King Charles II  

Charles II was known as the merry monarch. The reason for this name is he reopened the theatres; he mingled with the general public and gambled. He enjoyed life rather than being separate from most of his subjects to be looked upon as a semi divine being. Another reason for him being the merry monarch was for his love of women. Charles had many mistresses in his lifetime, and flaunted them openly in court, even though he was happily married. He would have at least 14 illegitimate c... Continue reading

Tags: Charles II Mistresses Charles II Mistresses Whitehall Palace Nell Gwyn Barbara Villiers Catherine of Braganza
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'We are not makers of history. We are made by history' Martin Luther King