Thankful for the Middle Ages

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What a time to be alive!

Something I’ve wondered about off and on for years is why nobody was making figs inspired by classic art. There are a lot — tons really — of minis out there of this or that TV or film character. And a fair few of daring heroes and cruel villains from books and comics. But nobody was mining manuscripts or pillaging paintings for ideas. Until finally …

Antediluvian Miniatures has a terrific range of demons pulled from the pages of manuscripts and woodcuts.

Skull & Crown’s Triumph of Death is a marvellous line of skeletons taken from medieval and renaissance books and prints.

Skull & Crown’s Killer Rabbits are a wonderful warren of malevolent bunnies modelled after medieval marginalia. Seriously, it was a weird scene. Check it out.

And last but sooo not least, Old School Miniatures has a great range of rabbits and other marginalia minis. I mean …

Right!?

So yes, I’m thankful for these magnificent Medieval minions.

[Edit: I should mention Hereditary and Paimon. Do it!]

Thirlwall Castle

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This will probably be the last of my posts about the North of England.

We went to Thirlwall Castle. It was a cool cloudy day. Seemed right.

Here are the three plaques nearby and on site.

And I shot a pano of each face. I hope they’re useful to some of you.

From the Northwest

From the Southwest

From the Northeast

From the Southeast

As I said earlier, I’ve recently been delving into Burrows & Badgers. And now I find myself on the brink of going down the Rampant hole.

So castles are on my mind.

King Arthur’s Well

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One morning in Haltwhistle I was poring over this map …

… (which I pre-ordered before we left home, still have and still love) and came across this:

So we worked it into our hike that day.

Here’s the approach from the west:

And here are two shots of it looking north:

And here is a pic of the open space to its immediate northeast:

Much later I looked it up online and drilled down on it in Maps. Here’s what I found:

Strangely, I was only able to find a couple websites that mention it, and only THIS ONE loaded.

Equally strange nobody seems to have taken photos of it like the ones I shot, so you’re welcome to them.

Now, given that one can’t turn around in Britain without tripping over something really, really old, it’s possible I was at some other site entirely.

Oh, and I’ll add that sheep seem serene — if a bit skittish — in ones and twos at a farm or fair. But when there’s fifty or so of them standing perfectly still, staring unblinking as you walk by. Well, it’s disconcerting.

More About the North

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My post yesterday reminded me of some highlights from the trip my wife and I took along Hadrian’s Wall in ’16.

The Anchor Hotel in Haydon Bridge is a nice place. Quaint rooms, good food, reasonable rates, fine location in the village.

But the most memorable part of staying there was that when we checked in, there was a wake happening in the bar. That’s a one-of for us.

We also had a nice dinner one night at the General Havelock Inn.

In Haltwhistle I ate some the best pub food I’ve ever had.

Our home away from home away from home was The Black Bull.

The pints. Oh the pints!

And I spent much of *ahem* a couple days there reading through these two finds from the corner book shelves:

Perfect fodder for the journey.

While at the Milecastle Inn I went for the game pie.

Best meat pie I’ve ever eaten. No contest! I still yammer about it. Just ask her.

After all was said and done I came home from the North with a greater knowledge of the Roman wall, a new love I’m still pursuing of the Border Reivers and admiration for the people who live there now.

Broken forts and shattered castles will do that to a man.

I’d go back tomorrow.