Sunday, October 06, 2019

I have been to.. Wilmington Priory

Not strictly a battlefield or military site, but stupidly impressive none the less and I thought worth sharing and besides it's not every day you get to stay at a place that has its own Wikipedia entry!

My sister in law is in her 60th birthday year and has decided rather than just focus on a birthday she'd celebrate the whole year.. and invited her sisters (and their leeches - of which I am one!) for a weekend stay at this place...

There are a couple of links at the bottom with more detail -which I don't propose to precis/repeat here - but this place is a right archaeological jigsaw puzzle..
Copyright Landmark Trust, natch'...
Wilmington was an "alien" priory..  a new term to me..  and basically meant it was a satellite of a much larger monastery (in this case in Normandy) put in place to manage any lands that the mother monastery might have in the area...  the oldest bits date from the early 13th Century...

Also copyright Landmark Trust, natch'...  turn this one on it's side to match the orientation of the first map..
Sis in laws room (following)..   this is above the the porch in the map and would have originally been a high status room, accessed from the first floor of the great chamber ..

This was our room (following) which was first floor South East wing, and originally the chapel.....  rafters and above are Tudor..

...below the rafters, Georgian..

Floor below our room was the sitting room.....  pure Georgian, but originally 1225.....

..remains of the Old Hall -  the drum tower in the first map would be about where that house is..

South wall of what was the Old Hall...   that older bit is the outside of what they call the Porch in the map above, so the wall is mid 14th Century (1330)

East end of the Old Hall - there was a mahoosive'ly deep well behind that half wall

Great Chamber, or rather the remains (following)..  15th Century...  this is the view from what would have been inside (looking south)..

You can still see the spiral stairs in the upper parts of those towers, though no access to them now unfortunately..

...and from the other side.. so looking west along the front of the house..  there was (probably) a portcullis on the outside of this wall above that window next to the bench at some point in time..  14th C..  the window is the outer side of the porch..

Speaking of the porch..  not quite how you or I would use the word I suspect, this was probably my favourite part of the building..  so the window in the picture above, is on the left..  the arch on the right was the original entrance to the Old Hall

© Copyright Peter Barr and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
Detail (following) of one of the faces on the bottom of each of the vaulted arches in the porch..  stunning..  he has a half beard and moustache..

Kitchen...comparatively new..  "only" 17th C.

Room above the kitchen (following)..  this leads to the bedroom my Sis in Law was using..  pretty much untouched so as to reserve the archaeology

Yee olde 15th C ping pong table...  was I the only one in the house who thought "what an amazing place for a game"? Probably... 

Entrance to the under croft/crypt

Amazing...  and a home to bats (as was the porch)

...and this was the view from the south kitchen window..  the Long Man

...brilliant weekend...  love to go there again.

More history here: Wilmington Priory short history [clicky]
The Wikipedia entry: Here [clicky]

Friday, October 04, 2019


Shtandart [clicky]
Much overdue, but I've been busy..  

At a recent visit to the Southampton Boat Show I was much taken with this beauty.. 

The frigate ‘Shtandart’ is a full-size replica of the flagship of the first Russian Baltic fleet built in 1999. There were no plans so they used naval historian, Victor Krainyukov, who had been commissioned in 1987 by the Hermitage museum in St. Petersburg to find out everything possible about the ship.

After extensive research in the archives and records for multiple nations, and with the discovery of an 18th Century which showed the Shtandart in action, they had enough to go on to rebuild the ship. She's made in larch and is stunning..  the web site [clicky] has some shots of her under full sail that are superb..


Saturday, September 07, 2019

Col. James Wardlowe's (or Wardlow's) Dragoons.. part the second..

...bit of a delay - but better late than never, here are the dismounted version of  Col. James Wardlowe's (or Wardlow's) Dragoons as previously depicted here [clicky]

Eight dismounted dragoons in open order, and a base to represent the horse holder/mounting point, for the transition of the regiment from mounted to dismounted and vice versa..

Mixed bag of figures in this regiment...  Peter Pig, and the last of that small batch of Minifigs I picked up on eBay (which I really like - think I am going to have to add some more Minifgs in the next batch of purchases..)

Horse holder is a spare from the War of the Spanish Succession spares box, as are a couple of the horses..

Pleased with those, and a fine way to spend the day, on a day when normally I'd have been at Colours...   chose to spend the day doing these and spending the petrol and entry money I would have spent on postage for a few wargaming based interweb purchases.. 

Next on the painting sticks - a much needed regiment of foot for the Royalist cause...  once they're done then Murdock and others get their wish and I'll hold a review..

So - horseholder, horses, and eight dismounted dragoons painted August 2019.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Col. James Wardlowe's (or Wardlow's) Dragoons

Further troops have joined the ranks in the form of the first part of the second Dragoon regiment - this time Parliamentarian's and representing the dragoons commanded by Colonel James Wardlowe (or Wardlow, or Wardley, or Wardlace for I have seen them all used!)..

In the battle the unit was deployed as below (black arrow and circle)

By Jlorenz1 - own creation, CC BY 2.5,
From the Battlefields Trust site..   "..On the right wing Balfour was extremely weak in cavalry, because a substantial number of troops of horse had not yet reached Kineton. Here again Essex chose his ground well and was able to take advantage of the hedged enclosures that flanked the field on this side. He deployed 700 dragoons to line these hedgerows in support of Balfour. With his right wing thus protected from an outflanking cavalry move, he could afford to deploy at least some of the small number of horse on this wing behind the foot. This was to prove a key decision, for it was to protect them from Wilmot’s charge and enable them to play a crucial role later in the battle....." my highlight...  the unit in question is my boys..

If the terrain on that flank was best suited to defence by dragoons then but it also suited a dragoon attack and in the battle this was how it transpired..  Wilmot, the Royalist left wing commander, ordered his own dragoons forward, probably Washington's, to clear the hedgerows (which they did) which allowed the Royalist cavalry to charge. The result was pretty much the same as Rupert's charge on the other flank, with the Parliamentary (and Royalist!) cavalry disappearing into the distance..

So what of Colonel James Wardlow (or Wardlowe etcetcetc)? I have managed to find next to nothing..  but...

In one of my trusted and trusted sources ("A Military History of the English Civil War, 1642-1646: Strategy and Tactics" by Wanklyn and Jones) I found this reference describing him as a 'professional soldier' ...

...which is interesting indeed as it implies Wardlow survived Edgehill with reputation untarnished...   

In "Plymouth and Devonport : in Times of War and Peace" (Whitfeld, published 1900) it says that the siege [of Plymouth] did not start in earnest until September, 1643..  Exeter had gone over to the King, and Parliament realising the fall of Plymouth would be almost as catastrophic as losing Bristol, acted as follows..

"Colonel Wardlow was sent from Portsmouth in command of a company of Roundheads [I have seen various reports of the size of this force but it seems to have been 500-600 strong and travelled by ship], with instructions to maintain the defence. At the outset, however, St. Nicholas Island was 
nearly betrayed by Sir Alexander Carew, whose honesty was suspected by Philip Francis, 
the Mayor".

Following the arrest of Carew (who was subsequently beheaded with the same axe they had used for Stafford!)..

"Maurice hemmed in the town and no provisions entered it for several weeks. An attempt was then made to raise the relief, and the Roundheads, outflanking the enemy at Plympton and Hooe, seized several of the "malignants". Colonel Wardlow made a similar dash upon a heavy guard of Cavalier horse at "Knockers Hole," with an insignificant force of musketeers, and the besiegers fled towards "Roborow" Down. The Roundheads, in their exuberance, continued the pursuit "too farre," and narrowly escaped annihilation"

...and in another source..

"In November 1643 immediately after the reduction of Mount Stamford by Maurice and while all men stood in doubt of the issue Colonel James Wardlow governor of Plymouth gave orders for securing this Island which at that time from presumed culpability of four deputy lieutenants to whom its defence had been was utterly destitute of provisions and ammunition. Both the Fort and Island were in consequence revictualled and the garrison strengthened by which means and by employing officers of approved fidelity this important barrier was effectively occupied and secured from danger" ("BATH AND BRISTOL With the counties of Somerset and Gloucester Displayed in A Series of Views" BRITTON John, SHEPHERD Thomas Published by Frank Graham, 1829)

Clearly a man of some skill and experience..  

So...  Peter Pig, 15mm, painted August 2019, stay tuned for the dismounted version and horseholders...

Friday, August 16, 2019

Hangers on...

..."oi you, get orf ah ma land".... 

Painted up a little bit of local colour for the ECW project...

Moll from the local tavern..

The landlady of the tavern with a little friendly "persuader"
Slightly blurry...   Lady Featherstonehaugh wife of the owner of the local manor
Father Brimstone

Dreadful when close up but surprisingly effective at table top view..   

The Rasputin figure is Gallia (and truly awful I'm afraid, but in a lovely way) the rest are Peter Pig from the spares box for the Marlburian project (I like to re-use/use where I can)

Bear with - second regiment of dragoons is half done..