Wednesday 23 September 2015

Visiting my Ancestor

In Britain we have many castles. Not just up North and in Scotland, but also in every part of the country whether East and West or North and South. Some are still standing as in the photo above, whilst others are either just the outer shell of what was once a castle, or just a pile of bricks and stones beaten down by years of history.

Lately I visited a castle where purportedly my ancestor, the medieval King and Knight, Baron Sir Richard the Lion Liver, once lived. Click the crest on the right to learn more about him.

As soon as I entered the castle I was greeted by this armour which I understand he once wore when in battle, and also at the many jousting tournaments which he always won.

Note the lovely colourful plumage at the top of the helmet. Which explains why I always wear a cowboy hat with a feather on the side.
In one of the castle rooms we entered there was a table with two skulls side by side in a glass case. One skull was small and the other one much larger. They belonged to my ancestor, Sir Richard the Lion Liver.

       Sir Richard as a young child.     Sir Richard as an adult years later.

In another room we saw where the Knights of Sir Richard's triangular table used to hang their coat of arms.
In yet another room there was this intriguing painting with a story about Sir Richard written below it.
 Apparently, years ago Sir Richard fell down the stairs after a night's drinking with his knights and hurt his back. For ages he was bent with pain and walked with a stick as in the painting above. Eventually, he was persuaded to go to Gherkin the Wizard for a cure. After about five minutes with Gherkin, he came out walking straight and proud as if nothing had ever gone wrong.
Everyone cheered and danced with joy believing it to be a miracle. Sir Richard explained it was no miracle at all. Gherkin the Wizard had given him a longer stick.

The following photo best explains a famous story about my ancestor Sir Richard the Lion Liver.
Look at the windows on the left how narrow they are and shaped like a cross. This is deliberate so that the soldiers inside the castle could shoot arrows with their acurate crossbows without being seen by the attacking army outside, or shot back by the enemies' bowmen.

One night Sir Richard came back after a night's drinking with his knights at the local pub. He found the front door, (on the right of the picture where the visitors are), locked shut and his wife had gone to bed in a huff ... or was it a minute and a huff? I can't remember.

Anyway, Sir Richard did not want to ring the door bell and wake up the dragon inside ... or his wife for that matter. So he asked one of his servants to enter the castle from the back door. Now Sir Richard was a very accurate shot with the crossbow, even after a lot of drinking. So he said to his servant that he would shoot an arrow from outside through the second narrow window you see on the left. The servant inside the room would pull the arrow to which was attached a string, which was in turn attached to a rope. He would pull the rope inside the window and tie it to the furniture securely so that Sir Richard could climb into the castle.

All worked relatively well. Sir Richard shot the arrow through the window and it hit the servant waiting inside the room in the leg. The servant stifled a painful cry so as not to wake up the dragon. He didn't much care for his master's wife anyway.

He then tied the rope to the furniture so that Sir Richard could climb up. Once up Sir Richard discovered that the window was too narrow for anyone to get in.

So he got down again and asked his servant to let him in through the back door.

If you've enjoyed this tale about my visit to the castle half as much as I have enjoyed telling it; then I have enjoyed it twice as much as you.


  1. Does your cheek ache? With your tongue stuck in it so much---I just KNEW it had to be painful!
    Blessings, Funny Man!

    1. The thing is, Lulu, recently on a visit to a seaside town, we HAD to visit a certain castle. I don't see why I have to be dragged into such excursions. I quickly got bored.

      As we turned one corner we saw some coat hangers just as in the picture above. I made the comment about coat of arms; and it was not appreciated at all. I was told to shut up and enjoy the experience.

      God bless you.

  2. How well was Sir Richard at jousting? I hear he kept falling off his horse every time he went into a gallop. Not a very good knight. ;)

    1. Hi Manny,

      His aides used to lift him on the horse, even when drunk, and tie his feet together under the horse's belly. Because in those days jousting horses were covered by a large blanket coloured and decorated to signify their riders' heraldry, no one noticed that Sir Richard was physically tied to the horse.

      Consequently, he never fell off his horse when jousting, even when totally drunk. In fact he won a special medal when one day his horse collapsed and died and Sir Richard was still sitting on it. He was carried away with the horse as he waved to the applauding crowd.

      In fact he was never unseated off a horse. A valiant knight who drank all night and a good night was had by one and all.

      God bless.

  3. Great story, Victor! don't LOOK like Sir Richard, do you? I pray not. Those are quite some teeth!

    1. Hello again Mary,

      No; thankfully I am much more good looking than Sir Richard. Do you know, Mary; I used to have many pictures of myself hanging in every room in our house. Different portraits of me everywhere, even on the stairs. Then one day we had a break-in whilst we were out and the burglars just stole my pictures. Nothing else was missing except my pictures. They must have thought I was really handsome.

      However, if you want to know more about Sir Richard, click his crest on the right of this post; just under the clock.

      God bless you and yours.

  4. Thank you for sharing this interesting, and entertaining, post. The hangers and the coat of arms were particularly funny! God Bless you!

    1. When I mentioned the hangers when we were on tour in this castle, the people I was with did not like my humour and told me off.

      God bless you, Michael.



God bless you.