Warbeck is another one of the castles on the Suur Emajõgi which I have managed to go past. Further downstream from the castle at Vana-Kastre, this place served a similar purpose in hopefully deterring would-be pirates and raiders while also acting as a toll station for any traders wanting to engage with the economic centre of the Bishopric of Dorpat.
The cute tower now known as Kiiu carries the dubious distinction of being the smallest surviving Medieval military building in the Baltics. This should lead the intrepid explorer to think from the start that there’s not a lot to go around here even though what there is has a wonderful atmosphere. If Kiiu ends up being on your route, do stop by and take a look!
The Estonian Otepää is mostly known to the locals as a winter resort, but this is a place where known history stretches back into the early 12th century — in some form or another. Mostly this is due to the ever helpful neighbouring Rus states, the typical ones to try and extend into these lands being the Novgorodians. The Germans, of course, came in their own time and we know some about their adventures here as well, and for a while the city could have been called the capital of the bishopric in which it was based.
Oldentorne, or in today’s language, Vana-Kastre was the site of a castle in the Bishopric of Dorpat (Tartu). Not much is left today — I only found a bit of surviving masonry, overgrown by the trees present, and there is a lot of overgrowth present. There might have been some attempts to save this place from nature but it did not last long, and I feel like the local villagers would have taken the potential for stones and used them in dwellings they required after the castle fell into disuse. Continue reading “Bischofsburg Oldentorne (Vana-Kastre)”
I ended up at Fort de Ruyter after a walk from the port of Vlissingen. It wasn’t a clear-cut road and I did not know what I would be looking at when I arrived. The sight, as ever, was both magical and unexpected. It is quintessentially Dutch to have a thorough combination of the very old and the very modern, and that is what this fort represents in many a way. Continue reading “Fort de Ruyter”
I never expected to be visiting Binham but it was on the way. Or, rather, what I saw from the window of my car was that a ruined structure was rising up from the horizon on my right so I decided to stop and go for a walk. It’s a mighty sight to behold, and my poor camera’s representation of it is such: Continue reading “Binham Priory”
Creake’s history in effect spans not more than about three centuries, but in it we may find our historic senses of justice and injustice renewed. The small abbey (most of the walls are still standing but the cloister is now a private garden and cannot be visited) was originally founded as sir Robert de Nerford’s private chapel in 1206 and converted into a hospital in 1217. Its status as an ecclesiastical edifice was confirmed slightly later and from 1231, the King, in the person of Henry III, was Creake’s patron.
I will start by saying I did not even try and approach Dilham because it is a private property. The original fortfified structure was added to, with the resultant edifice being the hall that’s extant today. What I did do was take a look around the general area, and think about the people who started with the constructions here — the 15th century is what background info suggests for the fortifications and the manor/hall-building.
Visiting Hunworth was fun! One really wouldn’t expect to see a glacial escarpment just like the one that is located in the village in Norfolk — at least I didn’t, based on my past experiences. There are cliff-faces and other structures, but this place here heralded back to the when your neighbourly glacier was just about here. Of course, these notes have ignored the castle and its premise, but this ridge made a perfect place for a castle.
Gresham became, moments after arriving there, one of my favourite places in the whole of East Anglia. Not only are we looking at a small wooded enclosure where one can find scattered pieces of masonry all about, this is also a very small — and, therefore, understandable — site.