Le Tour, Yorkshire & Fountains Abbey
Le Tour of Britain is racing through the UK with its start in Yorkshire and then on to France (see the Le Tour website and Twitter)
This might be a time to think about some of the Historic houses on the way and our link with the historic Barons Middleton who used to own the Wollaton Estate and who have another Estate in Yorkshire.
It’s all connected with the land Le Tour ‘thunders’ through with its lovely colours and super fit Cyclists and teams. Raleigh Cycle City (Nottingham) has always had an interest in Le Tour and it’s super fit athletes but now there are colour pictures along the route for those of us who havn’t followed Le Tour or spent a holiday inland in either land:- all that lovely farmland and it’s history and the buildings and people and their history might start us thinking!
As Le Tour moves on into France we might remember that at one time England and France were linked and the Kings and Queens owned both lands or part of them and ruled them together (and thats another link to our Robin Hood) from our school history.
Nottingham sent one or two Constables to help rule Calais and our land the other side of the channel once upon a time!
There was another important family in Notts, (there were several) the Cliftons of Clifton Hall who at one time were Catholic and were fined a huge sum for helping Charles I and were connected with France! Their House is still in Clifton Village next to the River Trent and if you look from the Beeston side of the River it looks like it’s a building from the French valleys.
Of all of the huge Estates in Nottingham in the past, Lenton Priory was the biggest and we understand it was at Lenton. It had connections with France as it was a Cluniac Priory – Fountains was a different order of monks! These huge religious orders organised the farming and the looking after of the land in days gone by before Industrialisation.
Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire near Ripon is super and survived, our Lenton Priory did not, and here’s an alternative thought; what if the land at Clifton was where the old Lenton (name change?) Cluniac Priory stood and the Church in Lenton is just a small part of the huge estate?
There are photo’s online and websites with photos and info on visiting these lovely historic houses in Yorkshire and around the land and in Europe and Le Tour gives a glimpse of how communications and peace time links and even maybe armies moved around long ago with horses instead of cycles!
If there are lots of Religious houses and Castles in both countries thats a cool focus for exploring the interior of a country instead of just the coast – and of course our Farming community are still linked in lots of ways. There are lots of Estates and Countryside in our lovely Europe!
We think of France as mostly wine growing!
If you are interested in this ‘alternative’ or maybe additional view of Clifton maybe being the Cluny Priory (there have been some archaeological finds recently that go back to the Romans) – it certainly was at Lenton then a comparison might be the Priory at Lewes. Perhaps one day Time Team might give the idea a thought.
Lewes in in Sussex on the S coast it doesn’t have anything to do with Le Tour but it is an old link with France just across the channel and is kind of halfway from Yorkshire to Paris.
Our Lenton Priory may have looked like Fountains or Lewes.