Now that I have proven there was a secret meeting held in Christine Rosamond’s house, and that there exist a conspiracy to alter true events and conditions surrounding the drowning a famous artist, I can take My Story, and Storytelling almost anywhere, for what we have here is another Rosamond Legend.
Above is an image of Rosamond’s Tower at Westenhanger Castle, where a replica of the ‘Discovery’ is at rest. Legend has it that Rosamond Clifford secretly met with King Henry. This was one of the trysting places. There is a statue of Pocahontas as a mermaid because she befriended and married, John Smith, a descendant of a Lord of Westenhager, who sailed to America. Can it be said John carried the legend of Fair Rosamond with him, and, he sought a Fair Maiden in the New World to replant the Never Ending Story of a trysting place?
Walt Disney and I have some things in common, and, I have every intention of exploiting the True Dream.
Westenhanger Castle was the home of Sir Thomas Smythe, who obtained a Royal Charter in 1600 to set up the East India Company. He subsequently commissioned the construction of a number ships including ‘Discovery’.
The three ships left London on 19 December 1606 and arrived in Chesapeake Bay in April 1607. On 13 May 1607, the settlers landed in the area that went on to become Jamestown, Virginia.
A ‘Pocahontas’ mermaid sculpture designed by Georgia Mason and given to the people of Kent by the City of Norfolk, Virginia, will also be unveiled to take up permanent residence in the castle.
In its heyday, Westenhanger Castle was a fortified 14th century quadrangular manor house reflecting the opulence of its owners at that time. However, its history began almost 1,000 years ago, in 1035, when King Canute owned the estate.
The de Criol family was initially responsible in 1343 for the building of a permanent structure on the site. The castle stayed in the family until the Wars of the Roses when Sir Thomas de Criol or Kyriell was beheaded the day after the Second Battle of St Albans by order of Queen Margaret of Anjou. Sir Thomas de Criol had no sons, and Westenhanger came to his son-in-law, Sir John Fogge. The manor house at the time contained 126 rooms.
In 1656, the exiled Charles II was persuaded to return to England, and Westenhanger, ideally located close to the English coast. Thousands of armed men were instructed to hide in the surrounding woodlands and when the King entered the house, word would be given for them to rush in and murder the King and his followers. However, the King was forewarned as he was about to leave for England.
Through the centuries, the castle has been reduced in size and suffered serious neglect. Since the mid-1990s, the current owners have been working with English Heritage to consolidate the stonework and prevent further deterioration of the manor house, castle walls and associated buildings. The impressive medieval barns which stand intact outside the curtain wall have recently been reunited with the castle under one ownership and work is ongoing to restore these barns to something near their original state.
It is now being hired out as a conference and wedding venue. Access is via the entrance to the racecourse, off the Westenhanger segment of Stone Street.
Colonisation of America
Westenhanger Castle is now home to a replica of the Discovery, one of the three ships that entered Chesapeake Bay on May 13, 1607. Sir Thomas Smythe, the founder of the expedition, was the son of Thomas ‘Customer’ Smythe, who was granted Westenhanger (or Ostenhanger, as it was then) as a reward for his service as the Queen’s collector of imports. The younger Thomas commissioned the construction of Discovery for the East India Company in 1600 and, along with the Susan Constant and Godspeed, the ship sailed for Virginia on December 19, 1606 under captain John Smith, arriving on May 13 the following year.
As a result of this expedition, the first permanent English-speaking settlement in the New World was subsequently established at Jamestown, Virginia, forming a base for what would later become the United States of America.
On December 19, 2008 the replica of the Discovery was presented to Westenhanger Castle by the Jamestown UK Foundation, a charity set up to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown in 1607.
A replica of ‘Discovery’, one of the three ships that established the first English speaking colony in America, will formally be presented to Westenhanger Castle later on this week.
The ship will be given into the custody of the castle by the Jamestown UK Foundation, a charity which was set up to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown, the first permanent English-speaking settlement in the New World.
The Chairman of the Jamestown UK Foundation, KCC Deputy Leader Alex King, will formally unveil a plaque to commemorate the handover. Attending the event will be other members of the foundation including Sir Robert Worcester KBE DL, the Lord Cornwallis OBE DL and Lady Cornwallis, the Rt Hon Michael Howard MP, a number of Kent Ambassadors and representatives from the US Embassy.
John Forge, the owner of the castle and Mark and Terry Whitling, who are distant descendents of Sir Thomas Smythe, will formally receive the ‘Discovery’.