The Old Bell

Time for a Pint at Ye Olde Bell

Hurley, Maidenhead, Berkshire

This past Wednesday evening I had the opportunity to meet Randolph Churchill for the first time. What a name that would be to live up to. He’s the great-grandson of Sir Winston, grandson of Randolph and his first wife, Pamela Digby [later Harriman] and son of Winston S Churchill MP.

His Grandmother is the same Pamela that married former New York Governor Averell Harriman in 1971, became a naturalised US citizen and was appointed Ambassador to France in 1993 by Bill Clinton.

That’s quite a lineage.

I’d guess he’s about 30 something and a charming fellow. He was kind enough to say a few words at the dinner last evening at The Old Bell where we had our last dinner before continuing on to Oxford for the remainder of the week.

The Old Bell or in Old English Ye Olde Bell is an inn that dates from 1135. Being from California, it’s rather difficult to think in those terms. There’s not much in California that’s more than a hundred years old, except for our splendid Redwood trees up north.

What else was going on the in world in 1135?

Well, according to the History Channel World Timeline, here are a few highlights:

  • Portugal becomes independent of the Moors.
  • Louis VII ascends to the throne of France when his father, Louis VI, dies in 1137. The new King marries Eleanor, heiress to the Aquitaine, an immensely rich territory.
  • King Henry I of England dies and is succeeded by his nephew, Stephen of Blois.
  • Civil war begins in England when Matilda lands at Arundel with an army to support her claim to the throne against her cousin, Stephen, in 1139.
  • Germany’s House of Brandenburg begins in 1134
  • Rome’s Second Crusade is soon to end in disaster.
  • Chinese seamen and caravan leaders employ crude magnetic compasses to navigate their journeys.
  • The foundation for the University of Paris is laid.

Quite a good deal of action at this time in history…







One response to “Time for a Pint at Ye Olde Bell”

  1. Laban Avatar

    If you ever have time to read them, the monastic ‘Cadfael’ thrillers by Ellis Peters are set around this time, during the conflict between Stephen and Matilda.