Penny Hampson

Finding the Right Spot

September 7th, 2021

A couple of weeks ago I made a trip to Falmouth in Cornwall; it was mainly for research purposes for my forthcoming book due out later this year, but I can’t deny that I also enjoyed my visit and it wasn’t all about work. It was sad to discover that, thanks to Covid restrictions, one […]

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Will You Take the High Road? A Tour of Scotland

March 22nd, 2021

Regular readers of my blog may recall my article about John Byng, Viscount Torrington, an 18th century diarist who wrote about his travels round Britain. Well, in the Gentleman’s Magazine, I discovered yet another chap who enjoyed touring the country. Amongst the ecletic mix of articles in the July 1812 edition, one in particular caught […]

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You’ve Got Mail: A look at the mail coach service

February 20th, 2021

I’ve written before about the various ways in which mail got delivered in the past, specifically the packet ships . Now I’m looking at the mail coach service and John Palmer (1742-1818), the mail coach pioneer. John Palmer was born in Bath to a family of wealthy brewers. As well as the brewery business, his […]

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The Good Soldier: Part 2

December 10th, 2020

My previous post about Sir John Moore’s system of training officers and soldiers at his training camp at Shorncliffe in Kent concerned some of the practicalities of of life, such as dress, cleanliness, and discipline. But Sir John believed that every aspect of a soldier’s life should be regulated and that, with training and application, […]

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Learn How Not To Travel: Two Dangerous Trips

October 5th, 2020

I’ve been looking at my October 1812 edition of The Gentleman’s Magazine and discovered amongst the many news reports, accounts of two hair-raising events. On the 1st Oct it was reported that, at one o’clock in the afternoon, a Mr Sadler ascended in his balloon from Belvedere House, near Dublin. It must have been windy, […]

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Want to visit one of Oxfordshire’s best kept secrets?

September 11th, 2020

Another trip out last week for the husband and I. This time we were meeting up with friends for a socially-distanced picnic. The venue was the glorious Buscot Park, near Faringdon, Oxfordshire. The weather wasn’t great when we arrived in the early afternoon, with grey skies and even a few spots of rain. By mid-afternoon, […]

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Fishponds and Railway Lines: Traces of the Past

September 1st, 2020

Looking for somewhere different to walk recently, the husband and I set off to visit Eynsham, a village to the west of Oxford. We’ve done a walk there in the past and decided that it was due further exploration. I like Eynsham, it’s architecture is a mixture of many time periods, making it easy to […]

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A Sweet Day Out

August 9th, 2020

A few days ago, the husband and I got up early and headed off for Sherborne, Oxfordshire, an estate owned by the National Trust. It’s popular with walkers, but generally isn’t very busy, and it seemed like a good time to visit when most other people were heading for the coast. Another reason for our […]

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An Evening’s Entertainment in Bath? Step This Way

August 3rd, 2020

Because I miss being able to visit Bath I thought I’d write a bit more about another of its attractions, Sydney Gardens. Situated at one end of Great Pulteney Street, this is the oldest park in Bath and one of the few remaining eighteenth-century pleasure gardens in the UK. Designed in 1795 by the architect […]

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