The below, by historian G.M Trevelyan, is my favourite quote about history.
“The poetry of history lies in the quasi-miraculous fact that once, on this earth, once, on this familiar spot of ground, walked other men and women, as actual as we are today, thinking their own thoughts, swayed by their own passions, but now all gone, one generation vanishing into another…”
I think about this quote a lot when I’m in a place that has remained unspoiled through the years – most recently at Ludlow Castle last week.
Yes, a lot of these places aren’t unspoiled in the sense that they haven’t changed (Ludlow for example is now ruinous) but by virtue of the fact that their character and essence remain undiminished – whether or not the buildings and places themselves have been able to fight off the indiscriminate forces of time.
When a place retains its past link to Tudor times it makes it that little bit easier to immerse yourself in the history, like you’re being transported back – for you’re walking in the same footsteps they took all those centuries ago.
The below is a picture I took at Haddon Hall last summer – a place that was well known to Mary Queen of Scots, among others.
I had Trevelyan’s words firmly in my head as I imagined people long since departed walking across the stone bridge, going about their lives.
Some photos from last week’s trip to Ludlow Castle – where history is imprinted on every wall.
It was here that Henry VII’s hopes and dreams of a Tudor Dynasty that would be continued by his first son briefly flickered and died.
For all that would follow in the years to come, the death of Arthur Prince of Wales within these very walls 517 years ago would change everything.
For Henry Duke of York and Catherine of Aragon especially, the death of Arthur would set their lives on very different paths to the ones they had been prepared for.
Little did they realise in those turbulent early months of 1502 just how intertwined those paths would become.