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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Eleven Plus Success

We went to Groombridge today. The history goes back to the Norman Conquest. The present house was built in 1662. The gardens were planted in 1674. They are a magical place to wander through.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle used to visit Groombridge Place on a regular basis. His final book, `The Valley of Fear’, was written about and around Groombridge. The story is about Holmes investigating a murder and finding that the body belongs to another man.

Sir Arthur wrote:

About half a mile from the town, standing in an old park
famous for its huge beech trees, is the ancient Manor House of
Birlstone. Part of this venerable building dates back to the time
of the first crusade, when Hugo de Capus built a fortalice in the
centre of the estate, which had been granted to him by the Red
King. This was destroyed by fire in 1543, and some of its
smoke-blackened corner stones were used when, in Jacobean
times, a brick country house rose upon the ruins of the feudal

We watched hundreds of children playing in the garden and it was not difficult to imagine that one of them could one day become as famous as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Could one day one of the happy children pass the Eleven Plus and go on to become a famous and world renowned author?

Could one day one of the children pass their Eleven Plus and go on to amass a fortune and end up the proud owner of a significant part of history?

Grammar School children do tend to go on to become leaders in politics and the city.

Perhaps one day your child will also fulfill his or her early promise. After all: “It could be you!”

1 comment:

Paul Wright said...

The Groombridge estate has been linked with some powerful and famous families, as well as with dark and dreadful deeds. Its owners have been involved in signing the Magna Carta, winning the battle of Agincourt, beheading Charles I and have held high office. They have written brilliant poetry, commissioned wonderful works of art, built churches and provided selflessly for the poor. Others have gambled, kidnapped, been imprisoned, kept mistresses, gone bankrupt. At Groombridge Place there have been clandestine marriages and mysterious deaths, and ghosts still walk ..... hey what a great place for kids to visit and encourage a sense of cusiosity for thr great history of our country! Brilliant Shaun, good thinking!