Lunch & Castles Talk

Lunch & Castles Talk
Romandie-East Region

In the footsteps of Othon de Grandson

Lasting impressions with Robert Dean ….
BRA Romandie East Luncheon Meeting and guest speaker Robert Dean….

On a blustery late summer day 26 BRA members and several distinguished guests met up from all corners of Switzerland to enjoy a delicious luncheon at the Hotel Forclaz-Touring in Martigny followed by a talk from our honoured guest speaker, BRA Councillor Robert Dean, an acclaimed historian who has spent a lifetime in travelling the globe far and wide to follow in the footsteps of Othon de Grandson, an experienced diplomat, bard and military expert of his age. He was also an English Member of Parliament and owner of lands in England, in the Grandson region of Switzerland, at that time Savoy, and Lord of the Channel Islands.

The Eagle Tower at Caernarfon in North Wales was built for Othon in his role as Justiciar of that newly conquered country. The meeting place was not chosen by chance as it stands beside Batiaz Castle, one of the medieval castles that Robert covers in his book ”Castles in Distant Lands: the Life and Times of Othon de Grandson” written in laymen’s English and so very pleasant to read.

We were all mesmerised by his presentation! Most of us knew little of Othon de Grandson, a valiant gentle-knight and crusader, finally laid to rest in a choice place in Lausanne Cathedral at the grand age of 90 years old. Nor of his allegiance to King Edward 1st, former prince regent and childhood confident with whom he conversed in the French language.

Who would have thought that such a strong British connection to Switzerland had already been forged all those hundreds of years ago that most of our Swiss peers are totally unaware.

Annabel Behrouz-Bray