The White Spring: a dark Victorian well house now plays host to mystical waters and pagan shrines.

We are in England. It is one of the greatest mysteries of Avalon, the legendary island featured in the Arthurian legend, that two different healing springs, one touched red with iron, the other white with calcite, should rise within a few feet of each other from the caverns beneath Glastonbury Tor, and both have healing in their flow. The quaint sculpted gardens of the Chalice Well surround Glastonbury’s most famous natural water source, the Red Spring, so called for the iron oxide it deposits in its basin. But just opposite…

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Shipley Glen Tramway: a historic funicular tramway in England

We are in the wooded Shipley Glen, near the village of Saltaire in the English county of West Yorkshire. Originally built and operated as a way to ferry Victorian thrill seekers to and from an amusement park built at the top of a wooded valley, the tramway has served several generations in a variety of capacities. Opened on 18 May 1895 by Sam Wilson, a local publican, showman and entrepreneur, the tramway runs between Baildon and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Saltaire, two villages at opposite ends of the…

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The curse of Milner Field – England ~

Nestled in a wood, reached only by a small country lane popular with walkers and cyclists, the ruins of Milner Field have lain hidden from view since the 1950s, when the mansion’s eerie reputation led to a failed demolition using dynamite. However, when even TNT couldn’t shift the seemingly cursed house, it was torn down instead. At least, as story goes. The mansion was built between 1871 and 1873, and it was the brainchild of Titus Salt Jr, the son of the wealthy Victorian industrialist and philanthropist Sir Titus Salt.…

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Coffin technologies that protect you from being buried alive!

The fear of being buried alive is know as taphophobia, and as early as the 14th century, there are accounts of specific people being buried alive. We are in High Middle Ages, and when the tomb of philosopher John Duns Scotus was opened, his was reportedly found outside of his coffin, his hands torn up in a way that suggests he had once tried to free himself. In 17th century England, it is documented that a woman, Alice Blunden, was so knocked out after having imbibed a large quantity of…

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Execution with the Cannon: terrible capital punishment until the nineteenth century

Execution by cannon was a method of execution in which the victim was tied to the mouth of a cannon which was then fired. The cannon has been one of the main protagonists of the war scenes for many centuries, and from the fifteenth century until the Second World War it was perhaps the decisive weapon of the outcome of most land battles. The prisoner is generally tied to a gun with the upper part of the small of his back resting against the muzzle. When the gun is fired,…

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What We Call Today “living room”, Was Actually Called “Death Room” in the victorian era…

We all know that the living room is one of the central parts of every modern home, often used for television, relax or other family activities. If today it happens often in modern houses that the kitchen and the living room are annexed, during the 800 (and up to the ’70s of’ 900) there was the custom to keep the kitchen separate from the living room, even for a really strange reason, which not everyone knows. The living room, in English also “parlor” (from the French parloir, to speak), played…

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16# Rare Vintage Photos of Christmas From the Victorian Era

It’s hard to imagine now, but at the beginning of the 19th century Christmas was hardly celebrated. However by the end of the century it had become the biggest annual celebration: many attribute the change to Queen Victoria, and it was her marriage to the German-born Prince Albert that introduced some of the most usual aspects of Christmas. In 1848 the Illustrated London News published a drawing of the royal family celebrating around a decorated Christmas tree, a tradition that was reminiscent of Prince Albert’s childhood in Germany. Soon every…

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The murder of Julia Thomas: the dismembered and boiled widow who shocked Victorian London.

The murder of Julia Martha Thomas, know as the “Barnes Mystery” or the “Richmond Murder” by the press, was one of the most notorious crimes in late 19th-century Britain. Julia Martha Thomas was a former schoolteacher who had been twice widowed. Since the death of her second husband in 1873, she had lived on her own at 2 Mayfield Cottages (also known as 2 Vine Cottages) in Park Road in Richmond, a villa built in grey stone with a garden at the front and back. When Julia assumed Kate Webster…

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