If you read or watch stories of the Tudors you will know that they spent some of their time at Richmond Palace. Surely you have wondered where this magnificent royal palace is now, the answer is that it no longer exists, unlike the nearby Hampton Court Palace which is still practically intact.
If you go to Richmond however you can still see traces of the old royal palace, including an old door. You can see the exact area on the map at the bottom of the article, it is located between the Thames and Richmond Green, streets in the area have names such as Old Palace Lane and Old Palace Yard.
The presence of the Old Deer Park just outside was no accident, the Tudor kings liked to hunt! The palace was one of the first buildings in the world to have flush toilets, built by Elizabeth I’s godson.
The history of Richmond Palace
The palace was built by Henry VII, the father of Henry VIII in 1501 after the palace of Sheen that was in the same place caught fire. The name of the building became Richmond in honor of the homonymous earl who was in Yorkshire and had nothing to do with this area of London. So it was the area that took its name from the building and not the other way around.
Richmond Palace was built in red and white brick and with fireplaces decorated in the fashion of the time. It had long galleries to put art, typical of the Renaissance period and was not fortified. It also had rather large and bright windows made with panels.
Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon spent their first Christmas in the palace and the king often held tournaments in the garden in front of the palace. The palace was particularly liked by Elizabeth I who died in this palace in 1603, like her grandfather Henry VII before her.
With the queen the Tudor dynasty also ended but the Stuarts continued to use Richmond Palace even if James I preferred the Palace of Westminster and failed here. Charles I gave the palace to the queen and it became the official home of their children. But King Charles I was beheaded and the monarchy removed. At that point the Parliament sold the building for £ 13,000 which was practically demolished for raw materials. It was never rebuilt.
The ghost bus of Notting Hill
There are also relatively recent testimonies of this apparition dating back to the 90s. This is a number 7 bus that appears in the Cambridge Gardens area of Notting Hill at 1.15am in the morning only in May.
The first appearance was in 1934 when a gentleman driving a car swerved quickly to avoid something and crashed into a wall and died instantly.
Some eyewitnesses said the man tried to avoid a number 7 bus, while a couple of others said there was no bus.
Other motorists since then swear they see a driverless bus with the lights off driving at high speed into their vehicle. But when they avoid them and turn to see what it was, the bus disappears.
No one has an idea of the reason for these apparitions and why they are seen always at the same time and only in the month of May.
How the ancient Egyptians used medical plants
Of all the ancient civilizations, the Egyptian one was definitely the first of which we have a good knowledge of how they used herbs and plants for medicinal reasons. Sure, everything we know is a bit vague, but we have some ideas.
The first Egyptian physician we know was called Imhotep and worked for the pharaohs of the third dynasty, around 3000 years BC. We also know about him that he was an astrologer and had the ability to cure many diseases.
Obviously our knowledge is partly based on legends, anyone who was able to cure diseases was considered a magician and therefore seen as if an almost divine character, a magician and for his healing powers. But in general in Egyptian civilization, medicine and religion went hand in hand. So it wasn’t just the medicines that healed but the gods through medicines.
The concept of active ingredients, chemistry and pharmacology are modern concepts that were not found in Egyptian medicine. Another aspect of Egyptian culture that developed knowledge of the properties of herbs and plants was mummification. In fact, many substances that we use even now were used to mummify and perfume.
The interesting thing is the use of certain plants or natural remedies such as frankincense or myrrh (which would be the resins of plants and therefore require a little processing) which are still used today. They certainly used different essential oils such as peppermint, camphor and others that we also use.
Frescos have been found in Egyptian times showing the production and use of essential oils. Of course, even in this case everything was very much linked to religion.
Another thing we know for sure because papyri have been found, such as Ebers’s, which list the medicines that were recommended to a patient, were basically the ancestors of our medical prescriptions. Obviously not all medicines were plants, the Egyptians also used minerals as medicine but the majority were undoubtedly of vegetable origin.
The Oldest Song in the World that can be played
This is the oldest piece of music that can be reconstructed and therefore played is the Hurrian Hymn no 6. It was found in the Royal Place of Ugarit which is found in modern Syria but those days was in Canaan. This piece of music is about 3400 years old. It was only discovered in the 1950s with other five tablets containing instructions to play music but unfortunately the others were too ruined to be able to be deciphered.
The song was meant to be played with a lyre, it also had lyrics but only some of them can be read. It appears to be a prayer to Nikal the Goddess of Orchards. It was written in the Hurian language.
The instructions for another song were also found, this would be even older going back about 4000 years but there are only fragments and it’s impossible to play it.
Watch the Hurrian Hymn no 6
Concerts coming up!
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