The Bridge across the Moat at Leeds Castle

The Bridge across the Moat at Leeds Castle
The first building on the site was a Saxon manor which was replaced in 1119 by Robert de Crevecoer. In 1278 the castle was transformed in to royal palace for King Edward I when a barbican with drawbridge, gateway and portcullis was added.

During the rein of Henry VIII the castle was again transformed for his first wife Catherine of Aragon and was the place where his daughter, Elizabeth I was imprisoned before being made Queen.

The Culpeper family were resident in the castle at the time of the Civil War and because they were parliamentarian sympathizers the castle did not sustain any damage.

Set in 500 acres of parkland and beautiful gardens the renovated castle is accessed via a stone bridge across a moat. The site comprises of a medieval gatehouse, a Tudor tower, an elevated French gloriette or garden building and a two storey 19th century house extending out into the moat at the rear.

The Fort on the Hilltop at Devil's Dyke

The Fort on the Hilltop at Devil's Dyke
The Devil was angry at the conversion of Sussex, one of the last counties to be converted from Paganism, and especially at the way churches were being built in every Sussex village. So he decided to dig right through the South Downs, a range of hills along the south of Britain. He swore that he would dig all the way through the hills to let the sea flood Sussex in a single night and drown the new Christians. He started inland near the village of Poynings and dug furiously sending huge clods of earth everywhere. One became Chanctonbury hill, another Cissbury hill, another Rackham Hill and yet another Mount Caburn.

Towards midnight, the noise he was making disturbed an old woman, who looked out to see what was happening. When she realized what the Devil was doing, she lit a candle and set it on her windowsill, holding up a metal sieve in front of it to create a dimly glowing globe. The Devil could barely believe that the sun had already risen, but the old woman had woken her rooster who let out a loud crowing and Satan fled believing that the morning had already come. Some say, that as he fled out over the English Channel, a great lump of earth fell from his cloven hoof, and that became the Isle of Wight; others say that he bounded northwards into Surrey, where his heavy landing formed the hollow called the Devil's Punch Bowl.

Devil's Dyke is a V-shaped valley on the South Downs Way in southern England, near Brighton and Hove. It is part of the Southern England Chalk Formation. Devil's Dyke is on the way to Brighton and is a big hill at the side of the road. It is a misconception common amongst local residents of Brighton that the valley was formed by some kind of glacial action, the myth of a 'glacier' being a misunderstanding of accounts such as this one from the Encyclopaedia of Brighton by Timothy Carder (1990):
 "In reality the 300-foot-deep valley was carved by tremendous amounts of water running off the Downs during the last Ice Age when large amounts of snow thawed and the frozen chalk prevented any further absorption; erosion was aided by the freeze-thaw cycle and the valley was deepened by the 'sludging' of the saturated chalk."
The Devil's Dyke V-shaped dry valley is the result of solifluction and river erosion. More than fourteen thousand years ago, the area experienced an intensely cold climate (but not glacial conditions). Snowfields capped the South Downs. Permafrost conditions meant that the chalk was permanently frozen. In summer, the snowfields melted and saturated the top layer of soil, because the water could not permeate the frozen chalk underneath. Waterlogged material situated above the permafrost slid down the gradient, removing material by friction, exposing deeper layers of frozen chalk. When the Ice Age ended, the snowfields covering the South Downs melted, and rivers formed across Sussex. The Devil's Dyke valley was completed by one such river.
The hills surrounding the valley offer views of the South Downs, The Weald, and – on a clear day – the Isle of Wight. It is the site of ramparts, all that remain of an Iron Age hillfort.

Warwick Castle on the Avon

Warwick Castle on the Avon

 Avon is an anglicisation of the Welsh word 'afon' for river. So "River Avon" literally means "River River"!

As there are other River Avons in England, the river that passes through Warwickshire is known as the Avon, Warwickshire Avon or Shakespeare's Avon.
The source of the Avon is near the village of Welford in Northamptonshire, it then flows 85 miles in a south-westerly direction until it joins the River Severn at Tewkesbury. It has a catchment area of 1,032 square miles. The river passes through many towns and villages which have developed along its banks, these include Welford, Rugby, Wolston, Leamington Spa, Warwick, Stratford-upon-Avon, Welford-on-Avon, Bidford-on-Avon, Evesham, Pershore, and finally Tewkesbury. Along its course the river forms part of the border between Northamptonshire and Leicestershire, and it has been dammed to create the Stanford Reservoir. Its tributaries include the Rivers Leam, Stour, Sowe, Dene, Arrow, Swift, Alne, Isbourne, Sherbourne and Swilgate as well as many minor streams and brooks.
Enjoying the river - throughout Warwickshire there are many places where you can enjoy the beauty of the River Avon, be this by rowing boat, canal boat or simply a walk along its banks.