23 March 2013

Being tourists

A day out, or rather, on the way home from a visit to Stratford. We were ready to leave at 8am, and Charlecote, which we wanted to visit, didn't open till 12, so what to do in the meantime? Looking at the guidebook, we set ourselves five "munros" -
The quaint village of Welford-on-Avon boasts the tallest maypole in England -

Its stripes match the butcher shop nearby (or vice versa) -
Second, the 15th-century bridge at Bidford-on-Avon -

Indeed the water was deep an flowing fast, and we saw many signs on the back roads warning of Flood! and fields with standing water. Bad times for farmers, and bad times for anyone wanting to drive around. And to think that last year at this time we were under a drought warning.

Hunting for an obelisk near the site of the battle of Edghill (1265, it said on the map, but that should be 1642) we were unsuccessful (it might have been this obelisk) so drove up Fladbury Hill and needed to drive back to photograph this on Hill Furze Road -
On the other side of the hill, a view - with primroses -
We reached The Fleece Inn just as it was opening, but first had a quick look round the village of Bretforton before having coffee -
updating an old barn
the traditionally painted circles (in the Fleece Inn) keep witches from coming down the chimney
The warmth of the fire was very welcome after the biting wind. Then on to another National Trust property, a huge medieval tithe barn - with bellringing practice coming across the fields -
It wasn't open, but you could stick your arm and camera through the square holes and get a view of the interior. The narrow slits widen on the inside to give a surprising amount of light -
A tenth of farmers' produce was paid to the church, and stored in these barns. A fair number survive, even if the tradition doesn't.

Those were the "munros" done and it was off to the final stop of the day, the Elizabethan manor of Charlecote House -

A spot of lunch and another chance to get out of the cold wind. Though it was hardly warm inside - very historically appropriate!

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