• Phil

Back to Business with the Bard

As the lockdown restrictions gradually ease I am hoping to start offering guided walks again in Coventry in the not too distant future. I am looking initially at offering the walks on an individual basis and gradually moving towards small groups when appropriate.

There are short descriptions of my walks on my website. I shall shortly be updating my site to allow customised bookings according to individual requirements.

One of my walks "The Bard, the Blitz and the Tudors" is a stroll through the Cathedrals / Bayley Lane and Priory area looking at the strong connections between William Shakespeare and the Berkeley family who were resident at Caludon Castle during his lifetime and some of the buildings in the City Centre which they frequented and knew well. This area was hit hard during the Second World War blitz and there are many stories to tell including links between the bombings and those local aristocrats from centuries before.

I spent part of last night watching a Royal Shakespeare Company production of Romeo and Juliet which was aired on BBC 4 as part of the BBC's Culture in Quarantine: Shakespeare offerings. Eight Shakespeare plays are available on BBC iplayer including "A Midsummer Night's Dream". There is very strong evidence that this play was commisioned for the wedding of Thomas Berkeley and Elizabeth Carey. The couple lived at our own Caludon Castle where Thomas had grown up and both were godchildren of Queen Elizabeth I. Thomas' father Henry Berkeley (godson of King Henry VIII) actually outlived him and became the last aristocrat to die at Caludon which was a hotbed of culture during the time of the renaissance with a very well connected family hosting musical and theatrical performances and taking a great interest in the newly emerging earth sciences and astronomy. If you want to hear more think about joining me on a Coventry ramble of your own in the coming weeks......

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