Steve's World Blog Information and articles on cities, towns and villages around the world.

April 3, 2011

St Lucia Windward Islands Caribbean

Filed under: caribbean,History,Holidays,Travel — Tags: , , , — needahand @ 4:57 pm

An island country situated in the Windward Islands, Lesser Antilles, in the Caribbean Sea, St Lucia covers an area of about two hundred and thirty eight square miles, it has a resident population of just over one hundred and seventy three thousand. The first settlers in St Lucia came from France, and they found the native Carib people already on the island, control of St Lucia changed continually between France and England, until 1814, when the British finally took over total control of the island. St Lucia is a popular holiday destination and the most poplar time to visit is between January and April when the weather is at its best (this being the dry season). The capital of St Lucia is Castries.

History of Fuengirola Costa del Sol

Filed under: Costa del Sol,History,Spain — Tags: , — needahand @ 8:20 am

Location of an early Iberian settlent, what is now known as Fuengirola was originally known as Suel. A little later the Phoenicians founded a trading post there, to serve their ships, which regularly plied their trade along this coast, on their way to Portugal and beyond. Subsequently occupied by the Romans, and noted by Pomponius, a Roman historian, a fortress was built in Fuengirola, together with spa baths and residential villas. Sohail Castle was built much later, and by another civilisation, namely the Moors, this was during the 10th century. The settlement was burnt to the ground in the Middle Ages, and became little more than a heap of ashes and rubble, its remaining residents fleeing to nearby Mijas. In the late 15th century Fuengirola was recaptured from the Arabs, by the Christians, it soon became depopulated, but eventually recovered to become the sizeable town that it is today. In the 20th century tourism arrived and saw the area grow considerably, attracted by the wonderful weather, excellent beaches, and good amenities, Fuengirola has continued to attract visitors up to the present day, becoming one of the most popular resorts on the Costa del Sol.

March 29, 2011

Rugby and Southam Warwickshire

Filed under: England,Facts,History,United Kingdom — Tags: , , , , — needahand @ 7:38 pm

A couple of towns which are situated fairly close together in the county of Warwickshire, Rugby and Southam are both to the south-east of Coventry. Rugby is in fact the 2nd largest town on the county, since Coventry and Birmingham were moved to the West Midlands in 1974. Rugby of course gives its name to the sport, after the new game was “invented” by William Webb Ellis, while playing football at Rugby School in 1823, when he bent the rules by picking up the ball and running with it. Southam is a much smaller town but has an interesting history receiving a charter from Ethelred the Unready during its early day as a Saxon settlement.

Coventry West Midlands

Filed under: England,Facts,History,Travel,United Kingdom — Tags: , , , — needahand @ 9:00 am

Previously part of Warwickshire, but, since the 1974 counties shake up, one of the cities of the West Midlands, Coventry is a large city with over 300,000 residents. It has a proud history of industry, first in weaving, then coal mining and finally car manufacture. The history of the city however goes back beyond any of these industries, to Saxon times, when it grew up around a Saxon nunnery during the seventh century. The modern history of Coventry is more brutal, with its almost total destruction by German bombing during World War 2. Due to this damage the city appears mostly modern, though a surprising number of old buildings survived, including Bird’s Hospital, the Charterhouse, the Golden Cross Inn and the St Mary’s Guild Hall. Many may not realise that a river runs under Coventry city centre, the River Sherbourne was mostly paved over, during the rebuilding work that took place after the War, outside the city the river is a nice place to take a stroll when the weather is fine. Coventry is approximately ninety seven miles from central London.

March 25, 2011

Warwickshire Towns

Located in the West Midlands region of England in the United Kingdom, Warwickshire comprises some famous towns and popular tourist destinations. Its worldwide fame as the birthplace of William Shakespeare gives it its nickname “Shakespeare’s county” though of course it has much more to offer, such as Warwick Castle, located in the county town of Warwick, a Norman castle built on the foundations of a former Anglo-Saxon burg. The county also boasts a famous spa town in the form of Leamington Spa, known to the Romans but mostly developed much later, in the 19th century. One of the counties largest towns, located in the heart of coal mining country, Nuneaton was actually better known for its textiles, it too goes back to Saxon times but grew mostly later around a Benedictine nunnery. The town with which William Shakespeare is inextricably linked is, of course, Stratford-Upon-Avon, and life in this pretty town seems to revolve around the Bard and everything connected to him.

Leicestershire Towns

Continuing our series of posts on Leicestershire, today we shall be visiting 4 more towns to the west of the city of Leicester, Coalville, Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Hinckley and Lutterworth. Coalville and Ashby-de-la-Zouch are two ex-coalmining towns, the name Coalville of course, slightly gives this away, and in fact it has seen the digging of coal since medieval times, and continued until the decline in the industry in the late twentieth century. Ashby-de-la-Zouch has not been quite so reliant on mining, with other industries like brick-making and ribbon making, to supplement the coal. Hinckley on the other hand is famous for the production of hosiery and stockings, second only to Leicester for this specialised trade. The Warwickshire border runs between Hinckley and Nuneaton which is only five miles away. Lastly we shall consider Lutterworth, a smaller town with around eight thousand residents, Lutterworth got its name from the Old Norse, and has some ancient buildings.

March 22, 2011

Desborough Rothwell Loddington and Braybrooke

Filed under: England,History,United Kingdom — Tags: , , , , , — needahand @ 5:42 pm

Four of the lesser known of Northamptonshire’s towns and villages, Desborough, Rothwell, Loddington and Braybrooke, are all in the Kettering area, and all lie to the west of that larger town. The largest of the towns, Desborough grew around the weaving industry and now has a population of approximately 8,000. Another town of a similar size is Rothwell, its well known Market House, was designed by the eccentric William Grumbold, and took over three hundred years to complete. The village of Loddington lies close to the Cransley Reservoir, and has a population of just four hundred. Finally the village of Braybrooke used to be the site of a fortified manor house, called Braybrooke Castle, little now remains of this structure, Braybrooke has a population of just three hundred.

March 20, 2011

Towcester Rushden and Corby

Filed under: England,History,United Kingdom — Tags: , , , , — needahand @ 6:02 pm

Towcester Rushden and Corby – Three widely differing towns located in the county of Northamptonshire, Towcester, Rushden and Corby are 3 of the larger towns in the county. Towcester famous for its racecourse actually dates from Roman times, when it was a significant settlement, it is a charming place with a 12 century church. Rushden is a growing town, the 5th largest in the county, with over one fifth of its 10,000 population arriving in the last 10 years, it grew around a variety of industries including lacemaking. Corby is an almost entirely industrial town, peppered with industrial estates, it grew around first the iron ore industry then later steelmaking, which produced a boom for the town during the twentieth century. These three towns surround the county town of Northampton, Towcester to the south-west, Rushden to the east and Corby to the north-east.

Northamptonshire Map.

March 16, 2011

Lowestoft Maritime Museum

Filed under: England,History,Holidays,United Kingdom — Tags: , , , , , — needahand @ 1:10 pm

One of the most popular attractions in the Lowestoft, Suffolk area, the Lowestoft Maritime Museum is located in Whapload Road, and opened in 1958 as a resource for local people to trace the maritime history of this area. Ideal for a visit when the weather is not so good, it was founded by the Lowestoft and East Suffolk Maritime Society in Robert Sparrow’s cottage, in what is known as “Sparrows Nest Park”, the museum housed in a small cottage, has rooms featuring various aspects of Lowestoft’s maritime history, specifically the fishing industry, with exhibits of nets, tools and trawling equipment. So if you are planning a visit or holiday in the Lowestoft, Great Yarmouth or Corton areas, this year, be sure to head along to this fine museum and learn something of the industry which has been so important for the area. The address of the Lowestoft Maritime Museum is: Maritime Museum – Sparrows Nest, Whapload Rd, Lowestoft, Suffolk NR32 1XG. Telephone Number: 01502 56196301502 561963. Website: lowestoftmaritimemuseum.org.uk Lowestoft is 3 miles from Corton and 12 miles from Great Yarmouth.

March 15, 2011

Northamptonshire England

A county of spires and squires located in the East Midlands region of England, Northamptonshire or Northants, is a landlocked county bordering Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Warwickshire, Leicestershire, Oxfordshire, Lincolnshire, and Cambridgeshire. Taking its name form the town of Northampton, the county has a population of over 600,000 and an area of some 2,364 square kilometres. The county town as you would expect is Northampton itself, and it has several largish towns namely Kettering, Daventry, Wellingborough, Corby and Rushden, to name but a few. Kettering is a market town dating back to Roman times when it was taken from a tribe called the Belgics. Daventry is another market town with Anglo-Saxon roots, it now has a population of over 20,000. Wellingborough another market town received its charter from King John, and is surrounded by five wells.

December 18, 2010

Hoddesdon Hertfordshire

Filed under: England,History,United Kingdom — Tags: , , , , , — needahand @ 5:44 pm

A a small commuter town located in the valley of the River Lea in Hertfordshire, Hoddesdon has a population of 20,250, and is an ancient town which mostly developed as a stopping point for horse drawn coaches travelling between London and Cambridge, heading north on the Great North Road. Hoddesdon originated as a Saxon settlement probably deriving its name from the Old English or Danish, it was significant enough in the 11th century to be listed in the Domesday Book and later received a charter to hold a market. As the importance of horse drawn carriages declined, another industry provided income for the town in the form of gravel, though this ran out by the 1970’s, leaving water filled gravel pits providing water sports facilities for its modern day residents. Hoddesdon is just north of Broxbourne and surrounding villages include Roydon, Great Amwell, Hunsdon, Lower Nazeing and Stanstead Abbotts.

December 10, 2010

Hemel Hempstead Hertfordshire

Filed under: England,History,United Kingdom — Tags: , , , — needahand @ 6:52 pm

A large town located in the county of Hertfordshire, Hemel Hempstead has a population of over 80,000 and though settled as long ago as Anglo-Saxon times, mostly grew as a New Town after the second world war. Recorded in the Domesday Book as Hamelamesede, the town received its charter in 1539, after which it held a street market every Thursday, its parish church of St Mary dates from the 12th century. In 1946 Hemel Hempstead was named as the site of a New Town, and quickly developed into a busy town, surrounding its older parts on all sides. Popular with shoppers from surrounding towns, Hemel Hempstead is a commercial centre for the region. Interesting places to visit in the Hemel Hempstead area include the historic village of Kings Langley, formerly the location of a priory and a royal palace (of the Plantagenet Kings), and the former coaching station of Redbourn sitting on Watling Street, a charming village with a 12th century church.

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