I am Linda and along with my husband Richard and our dog Muffin we enjoy our summers on the UK's canal system

Tuesday 5 August 2014

Stanstead Nature Reserve (Lee Navigation) – Monday 4th August

We didn’t set off until gone 11am as Dot and Gordon wanted to go and have a quick look at the Castle (Gatehouse).  We set off first and used the services and just as we were finishing Ewh ha Cul appeared.  Down through Hertford Lock and on to Ware Lock where Muffin had a near nasty incident when he got off the boat in the lock with his lead on and got caught round the lock steps.  He ended up almost being strangled and I was so glad that we keep a harness on him when we are cruising as I’m sure if his lead had been attached to his collar it could have been very nasty.

The difference between the roof of a continuous cruiser and a summer cruiser!
At Hardmead Lock a foreign chap on a bike came up and muttered something about tobacco.  Gordon said that he didn’t have any but the chap said that he was selling it!!  Strange things do happen on the waterways!  We moored up at Standstead Nature Reserve again and had lunch.

Dot and Gordon have a problem with Ewn ha Cul.  When they moored up Gordon noticed oil on top of the gear box which had spurted out of the dipstick cap.  After research he thinks there was a blockage in the breather which he has blown out so we will see what happens tomorrow.  He has also noticed that his brand new propeller has another bent blade!  It’s not as bad as last time by any means but it is still damaged.
Stanstead Nature Reserve
Richard did a bit of painting this afternoon while I watched from my chair on the picnic area.  Next thing I woke up!  Goodness knows how long I was asleep for.

We sat out on the towpath for a while in the evening with Dot.  Gordon was busy taking his frustrations out on some knotting!!
An old Hertford Castle gate (borrowed from Google)
The old Castle circa 1812 (borrowed from Google)
I thought I would do a bit of research on Hertford Castle and have found out the following.  The Castle was built on a site first fortified by Edward the Elder around 911. By the time of the Norman Invasion in 1066, a motte and bailey were on the site surrounded by a moat.  Henry II took a great interest in the castle and its potential and it was practically reconstructed between 1170 and 1174. This included the building of the flint walls, drawbridges and gatehouses.  Henry VIII spent considerable sums turning the castle into a civilian palace, including building the gatehouse, which still stands.  The castle fell into disrepair during the reign of James 1. Around 1790 the south wing was added to the gatehouse and the windows of the existing gatehouse were all remodelled, and the parapet added with its brick battlements. Around 1800 a new gateway and lodge were built by the Marquis of Downshire.  In the 1930s, the north wing was added to the gatehouse and, subsequently, the current owner, Lord Salisbury gave, what was left of the castle to the town. Hertford Castle now houses the offices of the town council.  The castle also had many royal tenants through its life and during the Hundred Years' War the castle was used to detain prisoners of royal and noble rank.

3.97 miles
3 locks

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