Bude Castle is not a ‘castle’ as such, but a modest stately home situated in Bude – north Cornwall – that was once the home of Goldsworthy Gurney (1793-1875). Goldsworthy Gurney was born in Padstow (Cornwall) and was something of a genius. He was educated at Truro Grammar School, and despite not going to university, he apprenticed with a local medical doctor, learning how to be a general practitioner, and eventually inheriting the practice as a surgeon before he was 20 years old. However, he longed to experience life in London – one of the most progressive cities in the world – and in 1820 he and his family relocated to the city.
Although only the foundations exist dating to 13th century renovations, (the home was eventually abandoned in the early 15th century), they reveal expert stone-masonry, architectural design, and building craftsmanship, as well as over-all expertise in positioning of the stricture and the good use of natural terrain, (the local river, for instance, was diverted to form the water in the encircling moat). The area of Penhallam was awarded to the de Cardinham family from France, and Penhallam Manor apparently served as one of their stately homes – such was the family’s importance in the new Norman social order in Britain. English Heritage maintain the site – which is free to enter for the general public. The ruins lie in a forest clearing that is about a 15 minute walk from the small car park (which is designed for 5 cars). It is a beautiful place to visit.
The Arthurian Centre is located in Camelford, Cornwall. It is an educational centre specialising in all details surrounding the history, myths and legends surrounding the story of King Arthur. The centre is situated on a large country estate that has the river Camel running through it. The area is partly fields and partly forests, and as visitors exist the Arthurian Centre, they are led on a 500m trail through the countryside to find the ancient Arthur Stone which has been dated to around 540CE by the Irish Ogham script found engraved upon it
In the earliest layers of legend – King Arthur is a pre-Christian British leader – who unites the land and brings peace and prosperity to the land of Britain. He is assisted in this task by the magic Celtic wizard named Merlin. After Christianity arrived in Britain, the early Christian missionaries were surprised by the fact that the local Britons believed in the story of Arthur to a greater extent than they turned to the foreign and unfamiliar religion of Christianity. To combat this indigenous threat to the spread of Christianity, the missionaries pursued a policy of harnessing local ‘pagan’ beliefs and superimposing upon them a Christian interpretation.
Castles of this type (motte and baily) were effective because they symbolised an evolutionary development in human military planning. Lightly armed warriors from agricultural societies could penetrate these structures on foot, and often suffered very high casualties attempting to do so. Furthermore, tribal groupings living on farm lands, had no equivalent fortified structures to hide behind.
However, the racism of UKIP and the Green Party aside, (I have written elsewhere about this), we were able to short-circuit the far-right love-in that the Herald Express has in the area, by turning-up with our Red Flag and representing the truly leftwing politics that has given rise to, and sustained the anti-austerity movement across the length and breadth of the UK. It is the far-right supporting people of Torbay that are out of step with the rest of the country (and with history). The insularity of the place has produced centuries of apathy in the minds of the majority of primarily good local people, as they are continuously abused and oppressed by the local government and its media. The Red Flag of Socialism was flown proudly throughout the 8.29 miles of the march from Brixham to Torquay.