Visiting a Tudor Rose

I’ve been a little behind things of late due to a project elsewhere taking up a large portion of my time and RL in general being somewhat awkward in its scheduling of things. So there are a few SL Destinations pending a write-up, including another Halloween theme or two which may or may or now seen the light of day. If they don’t my apologies to the creators concerned, both for my failure to get them blogged and because when I do make it in-world, I get totally distracted.

For the latter, you can blame Honour :). You see, I love castles; a good deal of my time has been spent travelling around England and Scotland visiting castles and the ruins of castles, so when Honour blogs about a castle I’ve not seen in SL, then that was it as far as the day’s plans were concerned; I was off to see for myself.

Tudor Rose
Tudor Rose

And Tudor Rose, with its castle, cathedral and waterfront, is certainly worth seeing. It has been developed by Amas Veritas (ppeapod) on behalf of region owner Elizabeth I (Elizabetth Chester), and the Whiteraven group. About Land provides the background to the region:

The setting is north of London along the Thames River to a castle that has been occupied by King and Queens alike for over 900 years, the Elizabeth castle.

This beautiful kingdom is a stage for councils, state ceremonies, summit politics, important feasts and Renaissance dances rich in culture.  A place where Queen Elizabeth I takes respite from the hectic life of court in London in this country retreat.

Tudor Rose
Tudor Rose

I admit that I wasn’t aware that the Thames ran north from London, nor did I realise the lands north of that great city were quite so hilly (the region has a near-mountainous surround on all sides); but this really is nit-picking on my part. What we’re presented with here is plenty to appreciate, enjoy and photograph.

Tudor Rose can be split into a number of distinct areas. The castle itself sits on an island on the north-east side of the region. To the west and south of it lies a small waterfront town, dominated by the huge bulk of a cathedral . Here can be found an inn, a quayside with two ships alongside and a slipway where a third vessel is under construction, its hull looking ready to be tar-sealed. Together the castle the cathedral with its entourage of houses and places of business make up the focal points to the region.

The cathedral is imposing. While built on lower ground to the castle, the spires atop its towers almost match the highest spire on the castle itself. Both the castle and cathedral are open to exploration, although in the case of the former, you may well want to take care if Her Majesty is in residence. Period costume does not appear to be a requirement for visitors, but I’m sure it would be appreciated.

Tudor Rose
Tudor Rose

Beyond the cathedral, moving southwards between it and the woodland separating it from a river, one can find the remaining features in the region. First are the jousting butts, heralding the days of chivalry, and which appear to be in frequent use. Make your way through the trees south-east from here and you’ll find a small church. From her, a path leads the way to a bridge crossing a stream, and which in turn brings you to a mystical dance circle, shrouded in mist and overlooked by a tall, round tower.

I’m not sure how much role-play goes on here; during my visit there were a good few people in period costume, but no-one accosted me for wearing modern clothing, and I didn’t come across any note card / rules giver either on my arrival or in my travels around the region.  Certainly, the opportunities for role-play would appear to be many; be it of a courtly persuasion within the castle itself, possibly involving Queen Elizabeth and her courtiers, or out jousting or perhaps (and possibly more mysteriously) at the open-air dance circle, where the rolling mist and surrounding gnarled trees suggest something of a dark nature may well be acted-out here at certain times of the year. There’s even a hint of the Arthurian within the castle.

Tudor Rose
Tudor Rose

There are a couple of slight incongruities with the architecture within the region in that both the castle and the cathedral have elements which are suggestive of them belonging more in a European landscape than perhaps having once sat close to London. However, as with my earlier quibble, this is a little bit of nit-picking; as a fantasy / role-play region, Tudor Rose has much which is welcoming, and the design lends itself to allowing several different activities or scenarios to be acted-out simultaneously.

For those looking for a period region offering opportunities to meet others interested in the Tudor history of England or similarly role-play, or if you’re simply looking for somewhere new to visit and photograph, Tudor Rose may well be worth adding to your list of places to visit.

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