Wednesday, 15 October 2014


Rutland is England's smallest county and perhaps best known for Rutland Water, one of the largest artificial lakes in Europe which was completed in 1975. Essentially a drinking water reservoir it is also a very popular recreational area.
Normanton church was built in 1826,   Prior to the creation of Rutland Water  when the village of Hambleton was submerged, the floor level of the church was raised and the masonry was proofed against damp.  A bank and causeway were also constructed and thus access was maintained and this iconic church was preserved in the waters of the new reservoir. 

OAKHAM is the charming county town of Rutland.
A weekly market is held around the old Butter Cross which contains the old town stocks and is a Grade 1 listed building/


All Saints Church

Apart from earthworks, only the Great Hall of the Norman Castle remains. It dates from c.1180-90 and is a Grade 1 listed building. The Hall, which was in use as an Assize Court until 1970, is also notable for its horseshoe tradition.
A unique custom enforced for some 500 years meant that royalty and peers of the realm who visited or passed through the town had to pay a forfeit in the form of a horseshoe. Some 200 of these commemorative shoes are displayed on the inner walls and the earliest one is an outsize example from 1470 when King Edward 1V visited the town. The horseshoes are hang upside down which whilst generally thought to be unlucky was though to prevent the Devil from sitting in the hollow. One of the more recent one's dates to 2003 when The Prince of Wales visited the town.

This colourful garden is close to the town centre.

An old thatched cottage on the Melton Road in Oakham, was once the home of Jeffrey Hudson, who was born in Oakham in 1619.  
He was  a dwarf, just 3ft 6ins tall.    Although he was so small, Jeffrey didn’t allow himself to be treated anything other than a man and during his lifetime he was a soldier, courtier, adventurer and duellist!   He fought on the Royalist side in the Civil War and was even said to have been captured by pirates and to have fought several duels .  On one occasion he chose pistols on horseback and shot his opponent dead.   He became page to the Duke of Buckingham, and it was whilst the Duke was entertaining Charles 1 that Hudson leapt out of a cold pie.  Queen Henrietta was so taken with him that he entered her service.
A life sized statue of Hudson can be seen in Fyvie Castle in Aberdeeenshire, depicting him as a soldier in helmet and breastplate and with a musket at his side.

Hudson died when he was 63 years old and still only 3ft 6ins tall, a claimant for the world’s smallest man.

STOKE DRY is a typical village in the south of the county.

 Although supposed witchcraft was endemic in this area in the 17th and 18th centuries, a notice in the church of St Andrew, asks the visitor not to believe the story that a former vicar sealed a witch in a small room over the church porch and left her there to starve to death.






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