Saturday, 18 May 2013

Sunday Times Where Was I? Holiday Puzzle

Not much sport in it this week. The most likely answers, near as I can figure it, seem to me to be;

Q1. Bury St Edmunds

Q2. Mary Tudor

N.B for question 2, Mary Tudor was also known as Mary Rose (Henry the Eighth's sister) and Queen of France.

The initial clues place us in the town of Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk and a literary character who visited and called it a 'handsome little town' was most likely Samuel Pickwick, in Charles Dicken's novel 'The Pickwick Papers'. Both Pickwick and Dickens are said to have stayed at 'The Angel' hotel in Bury St Edmunds (Dickens for real and Pickwick in prose). According to the English Heritage site, the Abbey in the settlement was built c1020, by some good ol' Normans. St Edmundsbury cathedral, which according to some references was awarded that status c 1914, stands very close to the Angel hotel, within the grounds of the ruined abbey (Henry the eighth's work, no doubt).

King Edmund, who the town is partially named after, was martyred there by some rowdy heathen Danish tourists c903 (some heathens can be a bit more dangerous than pagans, because they are known to put curses on people) on the orders of one Ivar 'The Boneless' and his brother Ubbe Ragnarsson, who had him shot full of arrows and then decapitated,with his head being thrown into the forest. Some sources claim that his supporters later found the head, because a wolf was standing beside it howling, hence his symbols being the arrow or the wolf.

It is believed that king John held a meeting with his barons in Bury St Edmunds, to discuss his tyrannical behaviour, with them making him an offer he could not understand (possibly the charter of liberties), which resulted in the signing of the Magna Carta at Runnymede c 1215. Scene I in Shakespeare's 'Henry VI', features a meeting of the parliament in the abbey at Bury St Edmunds and the quote 'Smooth runs the water, where the brook is deep' is thought to originate from this play.

St Mary's church in Bury, which appears to lie to the south south east of the hotel (not to the east), is said by some references, to be the burial site of Mary Tudor (aka Mary Rose and  the Queen of France) b c 1496. The Theatre Royal in Bury was designed by an architect called William Wilkins b c 1778. Wilkins is known to have designed several colleges, among them University College in London. The pub which claims to be the smallest in Britain, is 'The Nutshell', it's dimensions are said to be 15ft x 7ft.

Link to the competition:

Where Was I?

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