In June 2016 I started my history blog with a lot of enthusiasm, unfortunately by early August my enthusiasm fizzled out. I had planned to write about my visits to stately homes and other historic sites, but instead I edited a 2013 university paper on accused 19th century poisoner, Eliza Fenning, posted it to my blog and forgot about writing – except for one article I posted in the following March to honour my uncle who had received the Legion d’Honneur medal from France for his service in World War Two and even that had taken me four months to finish.
I made a trip to the grave of infamous suffragette, Emily Wilding Davison. I had driven near the town of Morpeth on a trip in August 2016 but didn’t want to ask my husband to divert to see a grave. So one free morning I was half an hour away and took my chance. I wrote a blog post about the trip, merging it with notes I’d made after visiting the Women’s Library at the London School of Economics.
I also visited the church of St Mary and All Saints in Chesterfield during October. This church is famous for its twisted spire. Building began in the late thirteenth century and it was finished about 1360. It is believed the spire twisted when unseasoned wood had 32 tons of lead tiles placed in situ. When the ‘green’ wood dried, the weight of the spire forced the wood to twist. I never managed to write an article for the blog, but at least in this post I shall share a picture of the famous spire.
Work took me to RAF Cosford! I do not work in the forces, however we used its Hangar One for our meeting, to be honest, we were all suitably impressed with the location.
I then went on a hunt for a royal mistress – Dora Jordan – and drove to Chelsea to photograph the townhouse (and blue plaque) where she had lived after her separation from the Duke of Clarence and wandered around Bushy Park and its locality trying to find Dora Jordan Road – I didn’t. Later the same day I headed to David Garrick’s Hampton home and photographed his blue plaque and Garrick’s Temple to Shakespeare alongside the river Thames.
Later in November, on a bright Sunday, I headed to the Diana, Her Fashion Story exhibition at Kensington Palace and excitedly posted on my blog later the same day. It was the day before the royal engagement announcement. Thank goodness I went to the palace on a quieter day!
December was a bit of a bust for me! We’d planned a trip to see the Harry Potter: History of Magic exhibition at the British Library, we’d booked time off work, we were going to Winter Wonderland afterwards – we were going nowhere! I had a fall and broke my ribs and so I had to rely on internet sources for my blog posts.
January, however, I was back in business! I was still poorly but I struggled to the British Library to finally get to see the Harry Potter exhibition a month or so later than planned. Although worn out by my trip to town, within a day I had written on my blog about my visit, I am a stubborn so-and-so!
Later in the month I visited Italy and my blog followed! I wrote my first post on my phone! Castello di Pompeano is a mediaeval castle near Serramazzoni. I’ve still not managed to visit when the castle is open, but maybe one day . . .
From the mediaeval I sped into the twentieth century with a visit to the Ferrari Museum in Maranello. It was an abrupt about face, but having visited the region a few times, it was on my bucket list. The Ferrari post was planned and written about in January, but posted on 1 February. I didn’t know it then, but February was going to be another ‘royal’ month.
I was scrolling through Facebook and noticed an ad for Historic Royal Palaces offering half price entry before 9 February, so I took advantage of this offer and visited Hampton Court Palace as it is local to me. I managed to write two posts from my visit during February, Young Henry VIII and Vote 100, and a third in March, The Chocolate Kitchen. I deliberately set out to write multiple posts from my visit (getting my money’s worth – all £9 of it in entrance fee) and I achieved my aim.
In March I planned another trip away, this time as a birthday treat. I’d come across the Royal Women exhibition at the Fashion Museum, Bath, online and I was keen to visit. So once again another big visit to an institution gave me material for my blog. I thought I’d get two articles out of it, now I’m contemplating a fifth! Although I do admit to missing my previous lengthy narrative posts and I feel another one is due immanently . . .
Work had me stay in Leeds during March and I had some free time to visit the Thackray Medical Museum – so watch this space!
August 2016 – September 2017
So what happened? I visited the places I’d planned to visit and failed to write any posts although one or two pictures made it to my ignored Instagram – I’ve mostly posted on my personal Facebook page.
Alnwick Castle and Gardens
Virginia Water – and the ruins of Leptis Magna
Heritage walk around London
Heritage walk around Liverpool
The Fort Perch Rock – New Brighton
The Bruce Castle Museum
Castle Semple Collegiate Church
I wonder what my blog would look like if I had posted about the places I visited listed above. . .
If you like this post you might like to read its companion article Sourcing History for Blogging: Research Without Leaving the House.
6 thoughts on “Sourcing History for Blogging: Six Months of History Trips”
You still could post about them, some fabulous places visited there!
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1. Happy Belated Birthday.
2. The spire is pretty neat.
3. The “Reading Prison” sounds fascinating.
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There’s still time! I had big gaps when I first started too. I didn’t post regularly till I learned to interact more with other bloggers (which you’ve achieved much more quickly than me, though to be fair I wasn’t really trying to do it, not sure why.) Now I find I look at the world through bloggers eyes – “can I write about it?” – and I specifically started my monthly round-up posts so that I could include smaller things that didn’t warrant a whole post. Sorry, a long ramble – but the point is your blog is yours and will evolve over time to suit your own needs. There is no “right” way to do it!
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I think it would be great to see posts about those places, regardless of when you actually went. It’s so cool that you have such deep history in Britain and all of Europe at your disposal.
Hope those ribs are feeling good!
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