Feb 23, 2011

Ice Cream With A Medieval Twist

My two 'hobbies' in life are making ice cream and medieval castle history. The subjects may seem disparate at first glance but in fact it's suprising how often the two cross over. Don't believe me? I'll give you a recent instance ....

I had just enjoyed a late lunch at a Tea Room near Hadrian's Wall and on my way out visited their farm shop. My eyes gravitated to an ice cream freezer in the corner where locally made ice cream was being advertised. Having already eaten but unable to resist the temptation, I opted to buy a small tub of the vanilla ice cream on offer.

I left the Tea Room to take a walk to the historic, medieval Lanercost Priory next door. The sun was setting and I began to eat my ice cream as I walked and looked around this historic place. Lanercost was already familiar to me, having previously read a lot about its history. King Edward I of England had stayed here on his way to Scotland in 1306/07, Robert The Bruce subsequently came and ransacked the priory and before both of them there had been William Wallace, one of the greatest of medieval heroes, who had also paid a visit. In more recent times, members of the pre-Raphaelite brotherhood had also been here - William Morris and Sir Edward Burne-Jones, the latter having created 3 of the priory's beautiful stained glass windows.

This was tangible history - a real place where real people had played out part of their historic lives. The memory still abides, as does the taste of that vanilla ice cream!

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