Sunday, 31 May 2009

Tales From Blankney

Blankney Hall - Occupants And Buried Treasure

The demesne of Blankney had been the property of the Deincourts since the Conquest, until in the fifteenth century it passed through the marriage of an heiress to the Lovels of Tichmarsh. All the estates of the house of Lovel were, however, confiscated to the Crown by Henry VII., after the battle of Stoke-on-Trent, when Lord Lovel himself only escaped by swimming his horse across the river. Blankney was bought by the Thorolds, who did much to embellish the house with the fine carved panelling of the period. But in the reign of Charles I., through a marriage with the Thorold heiress, it passed into the hands of Sir William Widdrington, who was created Baron Widdrington of Blankney in 1643. Lord Widdrington's great grandson had the indiscretion to take part in the rebellion of 1715; he was taken prisoner at Preston and convicted of high treason, and though his life was spared his estates were confiscated in the following year.
A tradition of hidden treasure at Blankney Hall survived for more than a century. When Lord Widdrington was attainted it was said that, foreseeing the confiscation of his land, he endeavoured to secure as much of the movable property as possible by concealing it in secret places, and a legend ran that he had deposited a large chest of plate in a vault beneath the great staircase. The family hopes, however, were dispelled when on one occasion, having workmen in the house, Mr Charles Chaplin, uncle of the last squire [Henry Chaplin], ordered the vault to be opened. The oak chest was there indeed, but it only contained a salt cellar of white metal and an iron ladle. Either Lord Widdrington had deliberately misled the Government treasure-seekers, or thieves had cheated posterity.

The above extract was taken from 'Henry Chaplin A Memoir' prepared by his daughter The Marchioness of Londonderry.

The Month Of May

We come to the end of another month, today is the last day in May. Before it finally slips away here are a few traditions concerning the month of May.

Gemstone: Emerald
Flower: Lilly Of The Valley

May is named after the Greek goddess, Maia.

Traditional Celebrations include dancing around Maypoles, appearance of' 'hobby horses' and Jack in Green.

May 1st is also known in some areas as Garland Day.

May 29th is Oak Apple Day - so called because on that day King Charles 1st returned triumphantly to London after evading capture by Cromwells troops, by hiding in an oak tree.


"A wet May makes a big load of hay.
A cold May is kindly and fills the barn finely."

"A swarm of bees in May
Is worth a load of hay."

"Mist in May, Heat In June
Makes harvest come right soon. "

Just thought you might be interested!

Today's Smile

Just phoned the swine flu helpline, all I got was crackling.

Swine flu isn't a problem for pigs, because they're all going to be cured anyway.

My friend says he's got swine flu.......I think he's telling porkies.

I have to say, I'm finding all these jokes about swine flu pretty boaring.


Today's brainteaser is a typical elementary maths puzzle. Can you calculate the answer? Good Luck!

One brick is one kilogram and half a brick heavy.
What is the weight of one brick?

Answer will appear in the Journal tomorrow.

Wildlife Pictures No.24

(Click on image to enlarge)
This is the last photograph in our series entitled
Wildlife Pictures. This series has produced some
wonderful images. I hope you enjoyed them!


Cutting money in half without damaging the paper.

A means of getting two people so close together that they can't see anything wrong with each other.

A person who lives poor so that he can die rich.

A female moth.

Maxine's World

(Click image to enlarge)