Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Mary Stuart at Fotheringhay

It is documented that after Mary, Queen of Scots was beheaded, her clothes, the block, scaffold and anything which might have become a relic, was immediately burned in the fireplace of the great hall of the castle. Now, on a recent jorney through Northamptonshire I passed through the lovely town of Oundle and by chance paid a visit to "The Talbot", a pub in the centre of the town. What a surprise I had on entering the pub to be greeted by numerous paintings of the then, rightful heiress to the English throne. And there in the pub itself is the stairway, moved years ago from Fotheringhay Castle, which she walked down from her castle lodgings to its great hall on the morning of her execution (8.2.1587). (Photo above) I imagine that the staircase has been remodelled and probably renewed much since 1587. A member of staff obligingly lead me up the stairs to where a small Tudor window from the castle has been incorporated into the fabic of this pub. The photo below is of one of the paintings of Mary which hang in the pub and which sympathetically represents her descent to the Hall for execution. Even her little dog is portrayed.
If you pass through Oundle I do recommend "The Talbot". Quite apart from its relic of Mary, the pub has very good beer on tap and a fine bill of fare. 

1 comment:

John Kearney said...

As a devotee of Mary Queen of Scots I will certainly when I have enough bawbees make my way to Oundle. It is sad that there is not the same memory of her within the Churches of Scotland and England.