Thursday, 21 August 2008

The Search for Gaveston's Cross

This is an account of my recent visit to Warwickshire to find the monument which marks the site of the murder of Piers Gaveston.I first tried searching for this elusive cross when I visited Warwick Castle in the late 80’s with my parents. I managed to find out it was in Leek Wooten and foolishly assumed it would be a monument on view. How very wrong I was. In all, I made 3 attempts to find the cross in the 1980’s on 3 visits to Warwick, and had given up. It didn’t help that anyone at Warwick didn’t know anything about it. This year, I decided to have a short break in Stratford, and was determined to find the elusive cross. I felt hopeful, as it was even marked on local maps of Warwick.

First problem, I didn’t have my car. Then, in Stratford tourist office, no one had heard of the monument still. In Warwick, a lady there confirmed she had heard of it, but had no idea where it was – except it was near Leek Wooten and gave me a bus timetable. A friend of mine had decided to come to Stratford with me – and she had no interest in history at all. Her interest was stoked, (thank goodness!) because no one seemed to have heard of this monument.We caught the bus to Leek Wooten, and the driver was amazed that we wanted to get off there. To say it’s a tiny hamlet is an understatement. I felt a little hopeful because we had passed street road signs with ‘Gaveston’ and ‘Piers’ in them. We walked the length of Leek Wooten in under 5 mins, and could not make head nor tail of the map. No signs for the monument, and no mention of Blacklow Hill. Then we came across a postman, and at last! – someone who knew what I was on about! Yes, he knew about ‘the old monument’, but his memory was a little rusty as to how to get to it. He gave us some directions, but warned us that a local farmer had fenced off his land, and we’d find it difficult to get to the cross. We had to trudge across a field, which he warned us would be muddy, and then we’d come to a ‘gate’ which sealed off the land. We followed his advice, and I was heartened to find a house with the name ‘Gaveston Lodge’. We got to the end of a row of newly built houses, and found a field! Gazing along the field, we couldn’t see anything that resembled a hill or a monument.

8 comments:

Lady D. said...

Great blog! Welcome to blogland Anerje! A Gaveston blog is what we've been missing! Are you planning to post regularly? Do you want a mention on mine to get you some readers at all?

Anerje said...

Thanks Lady D. Well, this is all new to me, but I was desperate to get my pix up! Don't know how regular I'll be. Not much info on Piers in general. But yes, a link would be nice, thank you, and I'll return the favour -when I work out how LOL!

Alianore said...

A warm welcome to blogland from me, too!

Anerje said...

thanks Alianore!

jayne said...

I know exactly where this monument is and have visited it often. It is spooky

trekker1682 said...

Hey all me and my friend tom today went to Gavestons Cross. It was a nice climax to the day as we really went to search for an entrance point to get into Guys Cliffe. As this didn't happen we said we had to find that cross. I never thought something as historical as this would be in the woods. We found it and it was amazing. When you get to the lodge there is a some gates to a field, turn left into the field and keep walking to the woods. Keeping close to the main boundary (be careful as its muddy). as soon as you get towards the woods there is a fence which you can walk over. Now you want to get in the woods and stay to the left for about 50 yards. soon as you reach a fence within these woods head in a NNE direction for 30 yards and hey presto you've found a beautiful monument we found it at 3.45pm and it was dusky which gave the magical touch. beware of guys with guns they are trespassers like us but have shot guns to hunt pigeons and rabbits. we spoke with one and he was polite and shocked to see other people there. A great day and if anyone nows a way into Guys Cliffe that would be amazing.

trekker1682 said...

To anyone who wants to visit Gaveston's Cross please email me at amar.j.sharma@hotmail.com or amar.sharma@shireleasing.co.uk and i will be happy to take you right to it.

Wallenstein said...
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