Deer at Wollaton Hall
News of AOUG in East Midlands (05)
On a rainy day, some of our members met at the restaurant of Wollaton Hall, built on a hill overlooking the city of Nottingham. The very imposing building, built around 1508, is now owned by the local authority and some of the rooms contained exhibits of varied stuffed animals in the Museum of Natural History. Another room was devoted to stuffed birds. The main hall was very impressive with circles of swords apparently used to repel a local insurrection during one of the Civil Wars. The figure of a large owl, the heraldic symbol of the family who once owned the property, was on top of an organ. The various outbuildings contained historical exhibits relating to the many industries around the Nottingham are in past times. As we returned to the car park we were impressed with the large herd of deer roaming in one of the fields – through history the building has always been surrounded by a large deer park.
Some members met at the aptly named Gannet Daycafe in Newark-upon-Trent for a warming drink. We were directly opposite Newark Castle which is now in ruins but is famous as the place where King John died shortly after signing the Magna Carta. As a change from just visiting one building it was planned that we spend the day in this historical town. Being a Saturday the market was very busy but having crossed over it we entered the brand new National Civil War Centre. There were many exhibits of artifacts from the three Civil Wars including weapons and reproduction clothing. Running commentaries kept us informed of the exact locations of battles. Retracing our steps we stopped at St. Mary Magdalene Church where one of our members pointed out a hole right through the spire. This was apparently caused by a cannon ball shot through it in 1644. Inside of the church, a trio of musicians, were performing a concert of some very modern music.
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