6 Nov 2010

The Mists of Llanbradach

Yesterday was Guy Fawkes Night, an evening to celebrate the failure of the Gun Powder Plot to kill James I and replace him with someone more in line with the plotters religious views. Over the years the true meaning behind the evening seems to have been, not quite forgotten but maybe not quite as remembered as it once was.

The larger towns usually host a fireworks display, Caerphilly (my nearest town) is hosting a display tonight at the castle (if you watched Merlin last week you would have seen it throughout the episode pretending to be two different places) and I think I'll take a meander down to watch as they're usually very very good.

{ Source: Photokat22 }

The smaller villages, like the one I live in, tend to have private bonfire parties that, if they're anything like the ones I attended as a child, involve hot dogs and jacket potatoes and more cartwheels and sparklers than big exploding fireworks. If you're lucky there's even a bonfire and if you're really lucky you were allowed to make a Guy to throw on the fire.

Those of you here in the UK, do you find that the morning after Guy Fawkes Night dawns misty and smelling of smoke? It certainly does here! Below is the Old Tip and the Old Pit as the mist rolled further in at around 8am this morning. I'm endlessly fascinated by how the landscape here interacts with the weather, the clouds constantly brush the trees and it creates a beautifully isolated looking environment at times that I just can't get enough of! I predict more photos along the similar lines throughout winter.

I'll leave you with a section of a documentary broadcast in 2007 (I think), narrated by Richard Hammond, that recreated the Gun Powder Plot and explored Guy Fawkes' role in the conspiracy. Only this time they actually blew the building up (one they built specifically obviously, not the actual House of Lords). The results are astonishing and I highly recommend the entire documentary.

Thanks for stopping by,


  1. This documentary and experiment is just the sort of thing that UK television does no incredibly well (and of course they have so much history to work with!). the other thing, though (and I know this because I've been there) is that across the street from Parliament is Westminster Abbey and at least one more historic church, and considering how far the explosion effect went and how far the debris was thrown, other historic and iconic structures in that area might have been damaged or destroyed as well, had Fawkes succeeded.

  2. It's interesting because in the documentary, after they witnessed the devastation of their explosion, they looked at what effect Guy Fawkes' would have had on the surrounding area. A lot apparently (and unsurprisingly!). I'm a huge fan of historical documentaries that bring the story to life and make it accessible. This documentary ticked all those boxes!

    London, on the other hand, would no doubt have recovered as it has constantly done throughout the years of people using explosives against it, and something else would have sprung up in place of all those buildings that would have been destroyed - much as the House of Lords in Fawkes' time was demolished to make way for a ... well, a car park as it turns out in this instance!


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