Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Marlborough,Wiltshire Pt.6

We have left Avebury and arrived in Marlborough just a few miles away. We walk past this pretty river, over the bridge, and into the town. Marlborough was a stage coach stopping place between Bath and London

Marlborough High Street is said to be the widest in England. It contains a number of specialist and designer shops,pubs and restaurants. Many are set under the 17th century arcades, known as penthouses.

Polly's Tearooms where we ate lunch

1610 is obviously the date the High Street originated as seen on the front of this building

This is a small part of Marlborough College, one of our top Public (private to USA visitors) schools and the seat of learning of my dear missionary friend, Norman Grubb.

To the left we see the Merchant's House which offers a rare insight into the life of a middle-class businessman and shopkeeper in the 17th century

Lots of different alleyways off the main street

Now on our way back to our cottage passing the burial mound described in the last post.

Golden grasses dancing along one of the many footpaths in this area

The Wadworth Inn, too pretty to pass

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Avebury, Wiltshire Pt.5

On our way to Avebury we pass this White Horse on Cherhill Down, which as shown in a recent post could be seen in the distance from the village we were staying in. There are 7 of these horses scattered around the Wiltshire Downs. They were restored around 1780 AD but are thought to originate from around the 1100's

The history of this downland area dates back to Neolithic c.4000BC.It was a period of woodland clearance and the first farms (herds and cultivation of fields) began to replace woodland. The Neolithic Age was a time when ground or polished stone weapons and implements prevailed. Later in The Bronze Age c. 2000BC metal tools were introduced.

When the Romans arrived in AD47 the conquered landscape of the Roman period was one of scattered communities centered on hill forts and settlement enclosures farming adjacent land. The Roman military built a network of roads centered on their own bases and the London to Bath Roman road passes through here.

Silbury Hill which we see here is the largest human built mound in Europe. (There are many dotted around these Downs) In sheer volume of material this one rivals the Great Pyramids of Egypt. It is estimated that it would have taken 500 men 15 years to complete. It was begun sometime between 2500 and 2900BC.It is thought to be a burial mound, possibly a monument to some long-dead Neolithic Chieftan.
Lets continue on to Avebury which was designated a World Heritage Site by the United Nations. It is the most impressive Neolithic landscape in the country.

We arrive at the village passing this old barn

The whole village is surrounded by these Neolithic stones at the heart of a Prehistoric landscape. Unlike Stonehenge (which is not too far away) one can walk around the whole of this stone circle which surrounds the village.

Also in the centre of the village is Avebury Manor, now owned by The National Trust but occupied and furnished by private lease holders. A much altered house of monastic origin, the present buildings date from the early 16th century with notable Queen Anne alterations and Edwardian renovation. The charming Edwardian garden was completely redesigned in the early 20th century and provided inspiration for Vita Sackville-West, a frequesnt visitor in the 1920's.

The Red Lion Pub on the edge of the village on a Sunday afternoon

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Corsham, Wiltshsire Pt.4 and Current Update

We quickly had a look at Corsham on our way back. This is a small town dating back to Medieval times. Famed for it's architecture, wool industry and a source for quarrying Bath stone.
During the second world war and the cold war, the town became a major administrative centre for the Ministry of Defence with numerous tunnels above ground and in the old quarry.
It was also famously the inspiration for Charles Dicken's novel, The Pickwick Papers which he wrote after he visited the area.

We were just too late for tea here, they took the sign in just as we approached.

Just a little garden update. This Rockrose hides the filtration system for the fish pond. I grew it from a cutting elsewhere in the garden and over the years it has done it's job well. Unfortunately so well that Alan now finds it almost impossible to get in to clean the filters. So reluctantly I realised that it was now necessary to remove it. I had to choose between a healthy p0nd or a pretty view.

So, it's all out, including other shrubs and ivy tangled up with it. Not a pretty site but.........

Replanted with shrubs that will not look so pretty but neither will they stop Alan having access when they eventually grow up.

In the last few weeks we have been experiencing relentless rain with almost tropical rain showers and storms. I have not sat out in the garden since before our holiday until Saturday afternoon when the sun shone brilliantly and brought with it swarms of large flying ants! Back into the house quickly, they were crawling over me and getting into my hair!
Here we have views taken at the back (sunset) of the house one evening last week and the second at the front (rainbow), both taken at the same time.

Dear Grandson Oliver was 3 yesterday and I just cannot believe how those 3 years have flown.
There are many, many more photos of our stay in Wiltshire, but have not had much time at my computer recently due to so many events at the moment including
two 60th birthday parties last weekend, outings and dinner engagements both here and at friends homes and church summer outreach activities. Stay tuned though, the photographs are good!

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Biddestone, Wiltshire Pt.3

Now you see us leaving Castle Combe and making our way to Biddestone.

We have arrived, and not too sure what this is at the side of the village pond but looks interesting?

Beautiful colouring. We will just walk around and take in the scene as we are planning to stop off at a few places before returning to our cottage. The thing that I so appreciate in my country is that one can take in lots of beautiful places on just a 45 minute journey.

If you play 'I Spy' I wonder what you will see?