About Me

My photo
Bristol , United Kingdom
I'm co-director of the Leaping Word Poetry Consultancy, which provides advice for poets on writing, editing and publishing, as well as qualified counselling support for those exploring personal issues in their work - https://theleapingword.com. My fifth poetry collection, Learning Finity, is now available from Indigo Dreams or directly from me.

Wednesday 16 January 2019

In the Wars

Border collies are intelligent dogs. Ted's area of special interest is the English Civil Wars, so as we were once more in the Stapleton area of Bristol, we decided to put the Brexit  omnishambles behind us and visit nearby Wickham Court, which has a connection with Old Ironsides himself, Oliver Cromwell. 

Walking down Wickham Glen is like entering into Narnia, which, at the start of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, was enduring its own civil war. 

Ted has a lamentable lack of respect for literature. 

We crossed Wickham Bridge again ... 

... but this time climbed the lane that led away from the river and behind the allotments. 

It felt dark today, like the light had gone out.

Wickham Court is not the ancestral home of Heydon and Boleyn families since the 15th century, and definitely wasn't the backdrop to King Henry VIII's courtship of the enchanting Anne Boleyn, oh no; that's another Wickham Court in Kent. 

This Wickham Court is reputedly where Oliver Cromwell held a council of war with General Sir Thomas Fairfax in 1645, on the eve of the 11th September attack on Bristol, which resulted in weeks of fighting, hundreds of dead and the end of one of the longest sieges of the Civil Wars. 

The house itself does a nice line in curly-handled window catches.

Hang on, I thought Cromwell cancelled Christmas? 

(Or was that Alan Rickman?) 

We climbed onto the hill behind the Court. On the skyline, the Church of the Holy Trinity ... 

... and, higher and farther away, the mast on Purdown.

As we descended to the river through the woods, my thoughts returned to another civil war, and the country being driven off a cliff by the Tories.

The lack of certainty is unsettling. It felt like even the trees were watching and waiting.


  1. Beautiful and Picturesque... this is always what I imagine, if walking through the old world.

    1. Strange ... this is my home city but I hardly knew this pocket of it before this year. It's been a beautiful lesson in time and its journeying.