Monday, July 17, 2006

Ruperra Woodland Festival 2006

Pat Moseley supplied me with an excellent photograph of 'King Charles I' posing by the new Ruperra panels to accompany the following press release, but I can't seem to upload them. I shall work on it.

King Charles I paid a return visit to Ruperra Castle on the weekend of 8 /9 July after an absence of 350 years. To greet him was the present Lord Lieutenant of Gwent, Simon Boyle, patron of Ruperra Conservation Trust.

King Charles walked along the drive at the back of the castle, still known as the King’s Drive, to get a view of the castle where he had stayed for four nights in July 1645 desperately seeking help for his cause from local gentry. His Majesty noted that the building was in a very sorry state compared with the ‘castle fit for a king’ that he had stayed in.

He also walked about among the stall holders at the Festival and watched members of the public trying their hand at rug weaving in the Pyefinch marquee, at old methods of carpentry and at building an otter holt under the direction of John Bell. He saw the Coed Hills artists building an oven outside their yurts, and visited the Orienteering tent from where children and their parents were directed to a delightful tree trail in the woods. The youngest children went on an animal picture hunt which they thoroughly enjoyed.

King Charles’ entourage of Sealed Knot members demonstrated 17th life in their encampment and let visitors try out the Civil War weaponry. Guided by the advice of a 17th herbalist, King Charles had his own food and drink provided by his valet so he did not partake of the lovely cakes and teas and coffees on sale at Ruperra Trust’s cabin where members of the Trust worked hard raising money. He saw the splendid art and written work prepared by local schoolchildren for the launch of a book ‘Serving under Ruperra’ and he posed for a photograph by the new Ruperra panels all funded by the Heritage Lottery.

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