Almost Wordless Wednesday – Why I dislike the Tudors, reason no…

On a recent trip to Winchester, we visited the ‘Great Hall’ – all that remains of Winchester Castle and home to King Arthur’s famous ‘Round Table’.

The table was built by King Edward I in the 1200’s. Edward, a massive fan of the Arthurian legends had a plain wooden table built for him and his knights to play at being legends (some would say he already was). The brightly painted table we see today was the product of the lovely, huggable and caring King Henry VIII – on his orders Edward’s table was painted and hung on the wall of the great hall.

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But take a look at this photo for a while and consider something that probably 99% of the thousands of visitors each year don’t notice, but occurred to me as soon as I saw it (maybe I’m just more cynical?)

Yes, the table is very impressive, but the whole purpose of the round table in the legends of King Arthur was that, by being circular, no man could sit at it’s head and therefore all men were equal. This is one of the key messages in the legends! But, even though Henry was supposed to be a fan of Arthur and should have known better, by hanging the table vertically and having a whacking great painting of himself placed at the top (or the head) of it, he’s placing himself above everyone else, and that’s is exactly opposite of everything the table stands for!

Personally, I’d like to see the table taken down and stripped back to how it was during Edward’s reign, but it’ll never happen – and it probably doesn’t matter to most people – but to me it’s yet another reason why I’m not a fan of the Tudors.

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Farewell my Friends!

32 thoughts on “Almost Wordless Wednesday – Why I dislike the Tudors, reason no…”

    1. It’s a shame but I think it’s unlikely, as it’ll be destroying the Tudor painting – English Heritage would have a heart attack!!!

      Don’t get me wrong, the great hall is amazing and it is a very impressive table – it just didn’t sit well with me.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hahaha… do they have a suggestion box? Perhaps you could drop them a little note. Seriously though, when a place or an item has such a long history, you have to stop and ask – which period are we to most honor? And I understand that no one is going to destroy a masterpiece to uncover the original but it’s still frustrating.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I can see your point here about restoring it. It’s an interesting “problem” here in this country. I know you mentioned in a comment on a recent post of mine about York Minster and one of the things we found of interest on the tour was a “restoration” during the Victorian Era that included the addition of the Virgin bottle feeding Jesus. So, when the next restoration is due, is that kept or taken away? fascinating conundrum.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh I agree it is a strange issue for any restoration – which bit of history is important and what isn’t? So many of our buildings have been chopped and changed and modified over the years. Kenilworth Castle for example had about five phases of majour building. If you where to restore it, which phase do you take it back to – Tudor, King John? Remove the stone castle and re-build the wooden motte? It must be a hard call to make.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Nobody could be more cynical than me, but your observation never even dawned on me, but it does raise intriguing questions about restoration, and something that I’ve been banging on about for ages. Another topic for another time maybe, but another great post as usual Stuart – and thanks for opening my eyes to who should get the biggest slice of the pie. It’s bound to be Henry of course πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Malcolm I think Henry probably had the whole pie, not just the biggest slice! πŸ˜€

      I agree, an interesting topic – and I’ve heard some really stupid things over the years in regards to listed buildings.

      Liked by 1 person

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