Sunday, 23 August 2015

Sunday Times Where Was I? Holiday Competition

Near as I can figure it, through the possibly flawed perceptual filters of my own reality tunnel, the most likely answers this week, seem to me to be:

Q1. The Coventry Canal

Q2. Manduessedum

N.B. The Eastender is not one hundred percent sure that Manduessedum is the answer to Q2 but it is in the right location given the author's position and seems to be a good fit with the clues given. So he is taking a punt on Manduessedum being the Roman settlement in question. The modern name for the  place, is Mancetter.

The initial clues seem to place us in Stoneleigh Abbey, which lies three miles or so, South west of Lunt Roman fort. Some of the references I checked say that Humphry Repton designed the gardens there.According to some of his biographies, he used to present his designs to his clients, in a red book. The motto 'Tout Vient de Dieu' or 'everything comes from God', appears on the family crest at Stoneleigh Abbey. It also appears to be part Jacobean and part Baroque in design.

Lunt Roman fort is situated just south of the City of Coventry, near the airport. It has both a gyrus and a horreum, with a gyrus (believed to be Greek in origin) being a circular enclosure, where the horses of a Roman cavalry unit, would be corralled. A horreum is a shed where the Roman military kept their emergency grain supplies.They were required to keep a years supply of food in case the cow chips hit the windmill and the fortifications fell under siege.

Coventry canal (completed c 1790), seems to be around thirty eight miles long and starts on the north side of the city. Travelling North from Coventry would likely take the puzzle author past Arbury house. An author called Mary Ann Evans (pen name George Eliot), was born on the Arbury estate, c 1819, at South farm, where her father Robert was the agent. The Arbury estate, according to some of the sources I checked, is thought to be owned by the Newdigate family ( motto "Et decus et pretium recti) , which appears to mean, "both the ornament and reward of virtue" .

North of Arbury hall, lies the town, where according to some of his biographies, a great British engineering genius, called Sir Geoffrey de Havilland, was schooled, at Nuneaton Grammar. De Havilland set an altitude record in 1912, when he took one of his aircraft to a height of ten thousand five hundred feet. He also designed the de Havilland Mosquito.

Three miles north west or so from Nuneaton, lies a dorp called Mancetter
, which appears to be built over a Roman pottery town called Manduessedum, which seems to originate c AD 50 to AD 60.

N.B. Due to the number of people who normally write poison pen letters in green ink, posting on his page, the Eastender has moved to moderated comments but rest assured, if you have a non abusive comment related to the puzzle and its solution, he will endeavour to publish it.

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