" he forgot to wind it up "
Wristwatches were only commonly worn from the 20th century. Before then, pocket watches were used. They were manufactured in Europe from the 16th century, and were designed to be carried in a pocket. They often had a protective hinged metal cover and a chain to attach them to a belt, waistcoat or lapel. They would of course stop working if not regularly wound up.
" that ever-to-be-famous June morning of 1215 "
The exact spot where the Magna Carta
was signed in 1215 is not known, possibly in a meadow at Runnymede, or on an island in the Thames (now known as Magna Carta island). The Magna Carta is one of the most celebrated documents in British history, and its original purpose was to limit the powers of the king. One copy is held at Lincoln, one in Salisbury and two copies are in the British Library
View the Magna Carta online at the British Library.
" ruins of an old priory in the grounds of Ankerwyke House "
Ankerwycke Park is on the opposite side of the Thames from Runnymede. It is the site of St Mary's Priory, where Henry VIII occasionally met Anne Boleyn. The Ankerwycke Yew is believed to be 2,000 years old, a tree said to have witnessed the signing of the Magna Carta. Ankerwycke Park was acquired by the National Trust in 1998.
" Why don’t you light the gas? "
This refers to the lighting of a room. From the early 19th century, gas began to be used for lighting streets and buildings, and every town and city had a gas works to manufacture gas from coal. There is a National Gas Museum
at Leicester in England.
" Bells of Ouseley, a picturesque inn "
Built around 1300, this picturesque inn at Old Windsor was demolished in 1936. The replacement inn is a mock Tudor building, which has become a Harvester chain pub, called the Bells of Ouzeley.