Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Remember, remember....

Here's the gatehouse of Ashby St Ledgers manor house, near Rugby, where the Gunpowder Plot was planned. In fact, that's probably the very room where the plotters gathered. Guido Fawkes came from the Rugby area, too, and it was a convenient location to get to the young princess Elizabeth, nine-year-old daughter of James I and VI, who the plotters intended to make Queen - with themselves as her advisors, of course, and after they had converted her to Catholicism. She was being brought up as a Protestant, and had no idea what was planned for her.
I used to visit Ashby quite often. It's a beautiful village, with estate cottages designed by Lutyens, and at the time the local pub, the Olde Coach House, was well known for real ales. The church, with the unusual dedication of St Leodegarius, is also interesting, with several medieval wall paintings.
It is also possible to trace the route that the plotters intended to use to get to Princess Elizabeth, who was staying at Coombe Abbey. I've walked out about a mile or so from Ashby, and the landscape is reasonably unchanged, though a railway line now cuts across the original path that the plotters would have taken. Some of the plotters were at nearby Dunchurch, pretending to be a hunting party.

Of course, it all went horribly wrong....

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