Have been visiting the south coast of England circa 1850, primarily to explore its fabulous castles built originally by King Henry VIII between 1539 and 1540 when he became a tad paranoid of European invasion after pissing off the Roman Catholic Church. If I’ve got this right and I think I have, Henry wanted to divorce his wife Catherine of Arogan, but Rome wasn’t having any of it, so Henry decided to start his own church and make up his own rules. He got a new wife! With mainland Europe being only 25 miles away by sea Henry built a chain of gun forts in preparation for an invasion that never happened.
Back to 1850 I’m spending some time at Walmer Castle in the company of the Duke of Wellington who, was not only one of the leading military and political figures of the 19th century, gaining ultimate fame after defeating Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo, but also something of a fashion pioneer designing a pair of innovative boots to fit comfortably with the newly fashionable pantaloons. We remain forever in his debt for bringing to the nation the much loved Wellington boot. The defeated Napoleon however brought very little to the world of fashionable attire other than wearing his hat around the wrong way, placing the then popular bicorn across his head rather than facing it’s pointy ends fore-and-aft as was the style of the day.
Wellington’s room at Walmer Castle is most comfy, with a nice old desk for writing letters and a sturdy campaign bed from his military days. The sound of the sea is most soothing and beneficial to getting a good night’s sleep. I leave with a pair of new boots, a fantastic hat and a shiny sword which will come in handy very soon, as on my last night I received a call to arms from my good mate Tommy who’s castle is yet again being invaded by the local rats.
Do you own a pair of Wellington boots, are yours the regular variety or do they have fancy patterns on them? Have you ever visited Walmer Castle? If not, you really should if you get the chance, it’s fabulous! Morris would love to hear from you, so please feel free to hit the comments box.
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