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Clun Castle is a ruined castle in Shropshire. It was established by the Norman lord Robert le Say after the invasion and went on to become an important Marcher lord castle in the 12th century with an extensive castle-guard system. Owned for many years by the Fitzalan family the castle played a big part in protecting the region from Welsh attack until it was gradually abandoned as a property in favour of Arundel Castle. The Fitzalans converted Clun Castle into a hunting lodge in the 14th century but by the 16th century it was largely ruined. Today it is a Grade 1 listed building and is owned by the Duke of Norfolk who also holds the title Baron Clun,and it is managed by English Heritage.

It would seem that Hopton Castle was founded in the 12th century as a motte and bailey. During the Civil War it was one of the few castles to be held for the Parliament in the west. In 1644 Sir Michael Woodhouse, with a force of 500, laid siege to the castle which was defended by about 30 Roundheads commanded by Samuel More who eventually agreed terms and surrendered and it would appear that the captured men with the exception of More were killed although accounts vary on how the siege ended. The castle was still habitable in 1700 but fell into disrepair soon afterwards. In 2008 the Hopton Castle Preservation Trust took ownership of the castle and raised one million pounds, half of which came from the National lottery, to fund conservation work.

The River Severn is the longest river in the United Kingdom and the second longest in the British Isles after the River Shannon. It rises at an altitude of 610metres on Plynlimon, Ceredigion, near Llanidloes,Powys, in the Cambrian Mountains of mid-Wales. It flows through Shropshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire with the county towns of Shrewsbury, Worcester and Gloucester on its banks. It is considered to become the Severn Estuary after the Second Severn Crossing between Severn Beach, South Gloucestershire and Sudbrook, Monmouthshire and it discharges into the Bristol Channel which in turn discharges into the Celtic Sea and then the wider Atlantic Ocean. And as Len Goodman on Strictly would say "SEVEN"!!!

This shows the middle terrace at the front of the castle, the Aviary Terrace. Below it is the Orangery Terrace and above the Top Terrace. The balustrade is adorned with statues of shepherds and shepherdesses.

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The garden at Powis has survived the 18th reaction against the formality of earlier garden design and thus Powis is one of the few places in Britain where a true baroque garden may still be fully appreciated, the baroque being a period of artistic style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance and grandeur. And very definitely not a lot of people know that!!!

See previous comments. The two graves at the far end of the row are those of two of the three soldiers killed in the ill-fated Bravo Two Zero patrol in the Iraq War in 1991 led by Andy McNab (a pseudonym), those being Sgt. Vince Phillips and Trooper Bob Consiglio. The third loss was Trooper Steve 'Legs' Lane whose remembrance plaque is on the Wall of Remembrance. It is widely thought the patrol was a cock-up from start to finish but it has made two members, McNab and Chris Ryan very well-off indeed. I shall comment no more!!!

The "SAS Plot" at St. Martin's church Hereford.


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