Tourists at Kenilworth Castle
Yesterday afternoon, Clara's Carleton College colleague, Jackson, took the train from Oxford to Leamington Spa and joined us for a tour of Kenilworth Castle. For those of you who don't know him, Jack spends most of his sabbaticals, and part of most summers, living in Oxford and researching Lactantius at the Bodleian. We spent a good long time at the castle, then had a couple of pints and a meal at the Famous Virgins and Castle pub on the High Street, before walking home in (yet more) rain and returning Jack to Leamington to catch a 2030 train back to Oxford. Clara was home in time to catch the last half hour of Bettany Hughes' television programme on Athens on Channel 4, featuring a brief talking-head segment with our graduate school friend Jay Samons, who is now the chair of the classics department at Boston University.
Above are Jack and Clara standing in front of Kenilworth Castle's Norman keep—begun in the twelfth century, it withstood the longest siege in English history in 1266 (when Henry III besieged the rebel barons following Simon de Montfort) and was finally "slighted" by Cromwell's forces in the Civil War of the mid-17th century.
The weather is looking better today for our trip down to Stonehenge and Old Sarum. We're spending two nights at a bed and breakfast in Salisbury, and tomorrow we'll be making a long side trip to Chichester to see Fishbourne Roman Palace. I'll report on this, our last big excursion of the sabbatical year, in a post on Tuesday or Wednesday.