Cromwell’s Chests

The school room where Cromwell attended school in 16th Century England.

Recently, I was fortunate to visit the Cromwell Museum in the heart of the city of Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire. The Museum is situated alongside Pizza Express – actually quite handy. It was upon leaving the eatery that we spotted the Museum – talk about ‘going there and figuring out what to see’ approach – it works sometimes. This was an exciting discovery for me.

My knowledge of English history is rather sketchy but Oliver Cromwell was one character in English history that featured in my history classes. Back to the present. As I walked around the exhibits in the rather confined space, my eyes were drawn to the ornate chests. Cromwell’s medicine chest was one – the most famous one. I took the photo through the glass display stand so the image is not sharp. Anyway, the chest and its contents were most impressive. Must have been an expensive chest to make not to mention the containers – all very precise, decorative and of the same size. Such a beautiful piece of work. Cromwell must have been proud to own this set.


Below are some of the items in Cromwell’s medicine chest. The scissors and the syringe stood out for me. Firstly, the scissors was ornate and gorgeous. I bet it’s one of a kind in the world. The second item was the syringe. I shuddered mentally to imagine who would voluntarily offer their arm up for a shot from this syringe! The needle part was enormous and I wondered whether Cromwell had occasion to use it and whether he flinched – even quietly. Ouch! How we have progressed, syringe-wise!

The scissors and syringe stood out...

I moved around looking at more items especially the costumes and a whole bunch of other interestng Cromwell memorabilia. Then I saw this chest…it was different from the medicine chest. This one was very beautifully decorated on the outside with stones of various colours and I think bone or ivory or mother-of-pearl.  The craftsmanship and decorations were amazing. A lot of work must have gone into making this chest too.

Another ornate chest...

I was thankful to have come across this exhibition of some of Cromwell’s belongings, especially the chests. I left the Museum grateful for the opportunity to have seen this exhibition. If you happen to be in Huntingdon, pay a visit to the Cromwell Museum – it’s worth the time. I learnt quite a bit about the man and some of his priced possessions.

A Wells Bombadier And Whitebait…

Takes pride of place, at least for me, in the dining room. Fascinated by the date on the clock

Good Friday evening saw us at dinner at the Black Horse Inn in Swaffham Bulbeck near Ely in Cambridgeshire, East Anglia. Was known as the Horse and Groom established in 1765 and renamed The Black Horse Inn in the 1870s.

That was our last evening at the Inn. The place was buzzing and it seems that the whole town gathered there for the evening! A healthy sign. Well it was warm and welcoming so we were not surprised that we had to wait at the bar while a table was found and cleared for us. While waiting, one glass of  Wells Bombadier ale, an English premium bitter ale was ordered, and oh how it hit the spot!

Tasty even on a cold Spring evening...

Some information on Wells Bomabadier at and a video review of Wells Bomabadier ale.

Whitebait are young herring or sprats as they call them here in Britain and Europe and in many parts of the world including New Zealand and Australia. There is nothing on whitebait in other Pacific Islands but I think there are but known as other species of fish not necessarily herring or sprats. Anyway, I like whitebait because I could eat the whole fish – bones and all. They are small enough to eat one whole. When cooked well done one shouldn’t encounter any bones when eating it.

Pleasant surprise...made my night!

I must say dining at the Black Horse Inn took on a different meaning for me once I saw whitebait on the dinner menu. Yeah, you guessed it – I ordered it and of course enjoyed it immensely.

The Black Horse Inn has comfy and modern rooms. Clean, cosy and well-heated! Now that’s important for a Pacific Islander and a tropical islandmeri like me – need the heat. The bathroom was modern – extremely clean. If you are lucky you can pick up the wireless connection in the bedrooms but the signal in our room was very weak so unfortunately that was why I wasn’t able to blog until I returned to Middlesex. The Inn is quite near to Cambridge city centre, Soham and Stow-cum-quy (pronounced kai). I’d stay there again if in the vicinity of Swaffham Bulbeck. So much history around this region – dates back several hundred years.

We spent two nights at the Inn. Arrived on Maundy Thursday evening and departed on Easter Saturday. The Inn is centrally located and close to Cambridge city centre, Stow-cum-quy (kai) and even Huntingdon.

Couldn't find any information on this memorial...

I searched the web for more information on this memorial but no luck. Too bad. The memorial is situated opposite the Inn on the green.

We checked out the next day on Easter Saturday headed for Huntingdon and a busy Saturday afternoon.