Saturday, 26 March 2011

In search of a battlefield

On Thursday I headed off to find the battlefield at Barnet.

The train ride was uneventful, even a little dull, to be honest, and I arrived late morning.

 There has been debate about exactly where the battle was fought.  In the 1990s, it was thought to have been here, on a golf course. 

Somehow, though, I can't see the fate of the throne being decided on a golf course, even though many business deals will have been sealed here  ;-)

This is the new favoured location and I think it is a very logical site for a battle. Here I am standing on no-man's land, facing towards the Royal army's initial position, down in the valley:

This photo shows the main area where the fighting took place.  The woods are where the centre of the rebel forces were positioned - I had my back to these trees when I took the previous photo. The trees would not have been so dense in 1471 but the higher ground would have made this an excellent place to defend.

After a couple of hours wandering around the fields, including a stop for a picnic, I went in search of beer.  At first I had trouble finding one, but asked a guy who was out walking his dog.

He looked at me and told me where to find a pub that was "in keeping".

"So I won't get thrown out because of my hair?"

"Far from it" was the reply.

I found it.  The beer was great:

I also found out what he meant by "in-keeping".

This poster was in the pub window:

I had to laugh!

On the way back through London I decided to walk between the train stations instead of taking the underground train.  It was a fabulous day and I wanted to walk across a few parks and go past Buckingham Palace.

As I crossed Green Park there was a large marquee tent set up, and there was music - live music - coming from it.  Someone was singing "Every Breath You Take" by The Police.  The singer was pretty good.  In fact he was very good!  Sounded a lot like Sting.  Oh shit, it WAS Sting!  No mistaking it now! This was confirmed by talking to a cluster of people standing outside, hoping for another glimpse of their hero, and maybe and autograph.  I listened for a couple more minutes and then continued on my way...

When I got to the train station that I was headed for it was even more clear that I had made a good call - the underground station was being evacuated - sirens going, Police directing everyone clear.  Not sure what happened but it did not make the news so I guess it wasn't anything major.

So there you have it.  A great day, and I am hoping that my trip will make my day with my friend in May go smoothly too.

OK, I know you are thinking "Hey, it's Saturday!  RC never posts on a Saturday!"

I know.  Don't expect me to make a habit of it, OK?


wReggie said...

Great day!

Shrinky said...

I love your zest for life! Yes, a good day indeed, but mainly because you went out there to seize it..

terri said...

Yes, I was shocked to see that you posted on a Saturday! And what a fun post it was too! Thanks for showing us around the battlefield. I've never had much of an interest in learning about wars and battles any more than was required in school, but you make it interesting. It's also fun to get a little glimpse of things in your world, so thanks for showing us around! Enjoy your weekend!

agg79 said...

Sounded like a spectacular day. Great view of the battlefield, although hard to picture the battle being waged on a golf course.

Taking a different path sometimes yields the most interesting finds. As fan of Sting, I would have hung around to hear more.

tz said...

so when you look at the field do you imagine the men fighting there? We visited some Revolutionary War battle sites in Williamsburg and I could totally picture certain battles. I prefer the type of history that speaks of daily life and love looking at houses and kitchens and all the utensils used for cooking and daily life.

Rock Chef said...

wReggie - it certainly was!

Shrinky - I had intended to make this trip in the autumn, so when the day finally came I guess I really went for it!

Terri - I love history and being able to get out and see where things happened is a great part of it. Glad you enjoyed my post!

Agg79 - I was tempted to hang around for more Sting, but any delay would have meant catching a commuter train home, ie standing room only for the first hour. I like Sting, but not that much! :-)

TZ - Oh yes, I had a very vivid picture in my mind. Still do, which will be useful when I get to recreate it with my toy soldiers! I always found the social/domestic history much less inspiring. Real history is about kings, treachery, battles and bloody revenge :-)

tz said...

i think we'll agree to disagree :D Have you read Bill Bryson's, At Home? you may change your mind.....

Rock Chef said...

TZ - I have read a lot of his travel books, but not that one. Worth looking at for a summer read?

Aer Conditionat said...

This is black beer? I can`t find in my country at all black beer and it is my favourite...