The Palace of Westminster/

The place of government , but with extensive royal apartments.  The Westminster Hall which we see today was extensively remodelled by Richard II but was founded on the same outer walls. In the earlier building the roof was supported by two rows of internal pillars. it is all which is left of the Palace of the 14th century the rest of which was removed by two disastrous fires in 1512 and 1384.

As It Was

0782_01 An artists impression. Westminster Hall is the central building The palace had several private docks.

Unique Features

611px-palace_of_westminster_from_roques_map_1745 this old map shows the old palaceConceptual drawings from the 17th century give some idea of the original palace. One of the fascinating snippets is that most rooms could be accessed both from the public corridors, which might in themselves be very private, or from a totally seperate set of royal corridors. This facilitated both affairs of state and other very different affairs.

The Arches

441px-westminster_hall_edited An old Print which shows some detail which escapes the camera.The internal arches which enabled the central pillars to be removed are spectacular.

The External Image

westminster-hall-2 Modern exterior view of Westminster hallNevertheless the hall is still the feature which provides the “signature’ of the westminster complex when see at close quarters.

The Sepentine River


The most dangerous woman in the world

List of Characters

Table Of Contents



Table of Contents

Extract from The Prisoner of Foix--Chapter 43 -The EntranceNo need to buy a Kindle. Read it on your computer or tablet

John Stanley-26th April 1355


'Looks like we are going to see a bit of excitement, John. The Captain tried to get an agreement from the Prince that if there is surf running across the channel to Arcachon we will turn back to Bordeaux, but the Prince would hear none of it. Instead, he has offered to provide insurance for all three ships. If they are damaged or sunk, the owners will be compensated and every sailor who makes the passage will be given a bounty payment. What none of this seems to take into account is that if we sink in rough, fast-flowing waters we might all drown.'

John raised his eyebrows. 'But that is what we are going to do?'

'Yes, despite the fact that surf running accross the entrance is not uncommon and the deep water channel moves continually. In the end, the Prince attacked their captains on their weakest point, their professional pride! He threw down the gauntlet. He offered to take the Sally first through the channel, and to take control during the passage.' He raised his brow. 'We are going into the Bay of Arcachon, come what may! '

Extract from The Eagle of Carcassone -- Chapter 24-- A Real GoddessNo need to buy a Kindle. Read it on your computer or tablet

John Stanley - 22 July 1355

An hour later John walked with Ximene close to the river along the valley below St Feriole. It was the very essence of a summer’s day. The sun was fierce but in the shadow of the trees, it was cool and fragrant. The trees and shrubs along the riverbank hid their progress, from the Château, from St Feriole.

Eventually they reached a point where John thought it was safe to emerge from cover. To his satisfaction the stream extended into a pool with a sandy beach, shaded by trees. Where the stream entered the pool there was a flat grassy area, almost circular. Behind this, the bulk of two mountain ridges provided a splendid backdrop. 

He looked around once more ‘Not just a good training ground but a great training ground. If the Greek heroes knew about this they might be tempted to join me, to train with me’

Ximene laughed out loud. He turned to look at her. She had removed her outer clothes and was wearing a white chemise, cut short so that it barely reached her knees. Around her waist, she wore a plaited leather belt, obviously fashioned from the multitude of leather straps to be found in the tackle room.

She ran her hands down over her breasts. ‘When you were unconscious I heard you muttering about gods and goddesses, so  I have decided that from now on, for you, I will be the goddess.’