The Byfurk Gate Wax Museum
The castle gatehouse at Fenton-on-the-Marsh is unusual, possibly unique, in that it doubled both for access to the town and to the country for the motte-and-bailey castle established by William de Gaulois soon after the Norman Conquest -- guess he wanted to keep his options open. The castle is now just an overgrown ruin with earthwork embankments and a large mound that was the motte, and is now part of Fenton Moat Gardens, the park on the north side of the town (to the east is the municipal car park and a shopping center). This corner of the town is one of the few parts that
still retains some of the medieval town wall, as it demarcated the St. Aegthigus abbey church precinct, which in the 19th century was being considered as a new diocese, although that never panned out. The gatehouse adjoins the churchyard and Cobble Square, and with that constitutes the only area of Fenton that can be considered picturesque. And the Fen and Fancy public house, the prime drinking/eating site in Fenton, is on Cobble Square.
The castle and the Cobble Square area was always part of the
Marshmount properties, but became estranged over the years (except for the Fen and Fancy, which has always been owned by a minor branch of the family, the Simburys). It turned out that Seth Pottlebury, the current Marshmount title holder, owns one part of the Bifurk Tower Gate, the central double tower, by some oversight of a magistrate
of William IV's who appropriated the castle for a town park to commemorate the
defeat of Napoleon (the north and east towers are still used by local administration).
This building, before it fell into total decrepitude, had been used as
a wax museum established by Guichardo Marshmount's great uncle Stan. Under later renters it had become an antique store, then a junk shop. No longer! The Marshmount estate has recovered possession and decided to restore it as a museum. It will be called the St. Robert Wax Museum, after William's famous son
who somehow managed to get canonized. Renovation is in progress at this time
(October 1999) but should be finished in time for the millenium. Note that this is for the most part a miniature wax museum, as the building is rather small so we have small models.
Here is our scheme:
- Undercroft: Medieval subjects, especially the Normans, the Marshmounts, and St Bob
- Ground floor: Special exhibits, shop, and book store (specializing in
- First floor: Famous modern figures -- west tower, Elvis and the like;
south tower, political personages (since space is limited, there will be a special ceremony in the lobby whenever a figure is retired from here -- this involves the guillotine that is a permanent fixture next to the staircase)
- Second floor: Modern avatars -- Star Wars, Star Trek, and other alien
creatures, but no robots, all true-to-life wax creations that look as though they could
exist as biological forms
- Third floor: Well, there really isn't one yet, it is pretty ruinous at this time; it will eventually contain an exhibit of human evolution, from Neanderthal to
Eventually, we will restore the third story, and also buy up the other two towers currently owned by the town council -- now at great expense to them under government budgetary strictures and with no real use for a bureaucracy -- too small for that. (Probably can get Castle Admin. pretty cheap and soon; Park Admin. could be problematical because they also have a lot of sheds
attached, which are not shown on the plan.) Please e-mail us with suggestions for what YOU
would like to see in these new rooms. One suggestion we have had for the Castle Admin. tower is (courtesy of Mr Fischer of Brooklyn): Ground floor: Famous assassins and terrorists; First floor: Notorious barflies and gamblers; Second floor: Waitresses we would like to sleep with; Third floor: Tech folk (Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, etc.). Consider it done! (This tower has a loo too; we don't have a real loo, just pissoirs in the wall, so we need the place.)
Here is the grand scheme:
||Basement: A) Saint Robert, B) Marshmounts (miniatures)
||A) Royal Family and Other 'World Leaders', B) Lobby (exhibits and guillotine), C} Bookshop, D) Assassins, E) Ladies Room
||A) Barbie Dolls and Things Like That, B) Pop Idols, C) Politicians, D) Barflies and Gamblers, E) Mens Room
|A) Monsters (Frankenstein, etc.), B) Star Wars, C} Drek & Other SF, D) Waitresses
||A) Freaks & Weirdos, B) Dictators and Tyrants, C} Saints and Wimps, D) Tech Folk
By the way, we now have full-time the expert services of our new adminstrator and waxworks doll expert, Madame Cynthia Astarte Hunt, who has a worldwide but obscure reputation.
This page was written by Seth, who is obviously not a linguistic Brit talker, and why should he be since he was exiled for a long time to places like Montana?