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Blog 62 - Where Friars Trod

It’s unusual that I am staying in the same spot today but I know the magic carpet needs a long rest before a long journey tomorrow. I told you I was given a Young’s Brewery scarf. It is not silk, but what a history behind it and the land on which the White Cross pub now stands.

We have to go far back to Franciscan Friaries, to what is now Italy for the first reformed branch of the Order in 1400 and then to Henry VII of England who set up the six houses here of the Friars Observant, one of which was right here where the White Cross and my own home stand. Even Henry’s son, Henry Vlll and his first wife Catherine of Aragon supported the Richmond Friary.....that is until Henry went off the rails with a younger model Ann Boleyn, decided to ditch poor Catherine (widowed at sixteen when Henry’s brother Arthur died), had big rows with Rome trying to dissolve the marriage, put himself in charge of religious matters and dissolved the friaries and monasteries throughout his kingdom. The friars in Richmond remained loyal to Catherine, but paid the price. The walls came down! I expect if we dig deep enough, we’ll find some old masonry under the pub and indeed in my back garden!

There is evidence that there was a pub there since 1780 and it was rebuilt in the early 1830’s and it has been a Young’s pub since then. By the way, if you ever visit, look out for the unusual fireplace beneath a that one out!

I told you yesterday I had been going to the Winter Warmer breakfasts for many years. Naturally, on my last visit I wore my Golden Ram scarf. There is always something different each year. Why not have a snooze if the ale is too much? In the pub front garden was a tented bed, a nightshirt and cap, even a copy of Different Shades of Grey by the bed.   

I forgot to mention, that front beer garden gets flooded when the tide is high. Yes, I have been upstairs with the family on another occasion when we were in a different kind of lockdown until the tide went out. I suppose they work out the tide times when they have the Winter Warmer breakfast. Just imagine floating down the River Thames on a bed with two young men the age of my grandchildren! Now, there’s a different form of transport!

Busy Bee, Scarf Face!

Blog 62.

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