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Monday 23 October 2023

Trafalgar Day.

Once again, sorry for the late post as we had a internet black spot and then busy packing up to head home.

It was a very still morning as we set off from Fenny Compton. Just opposite the water point are some pigs and piglets. They look like Gloucester Old Spots to me. The piglets would have made a better photo but they had all just been fed so were head down in the trough! The Gloucester Old Spots are known for their intelligence and for being docile as well as been hardy too. The owners were feeding their sheep too

We went to the Wharf for a pint last night. We will probably go again.

After bridge 134 the vista opens up. The field on the off side has many lumps and bumps in it, and this is the abandoned Medieval village of Wormleighton. Shapes can be made out with the rectangles being housing and roads going up the hill can be discerned. The original village was Anglo Saxon and was founded in AD956. It was in the Domesday Book with a population of 200 to 250. It expanded in the 12th and 13th Century but contracted in the following two centuries. In 1490 the parish was bought by William Cope how moved the centre of the village up the hill and abandoned this area, making 60 people homeless, and turned the land over to pasture. As the land has never been cultivated the remains are well preserved below the sod. It seems that the original moated manor house was down by the canal. It had two islands and the NE one has been cut through by the building of the canal. In fact the canal travels through part of the original moat. The other part of the remains are on the towpath side, but as that field has been cultivated it has been lost. The Manor was owned by the Spencer family through the 16th and 17th Centuries. In 1645 it was burned down by the Royalists during the English Civil War. The Spencers moved to their other holding at Althorp. Yes this was the Lady Diana Spencer family of Princess fame. In fact Wormleighton Manor was four times the size of Althorp Hall, and there are some items from the original hall at the new gaff.

This all wooden construction bridge is now numbered 113A but previously had no number. Looking at the old maps there has been a footbridge here since 1885. I am not sure whether it was named the Wedding Bridge all along, or just when it was replaced in 2009

It was good to see that there was somebody who was enjoying the wet weather and the HS2 works. The ducks looked like they were having a great time.

Just round the corner from the construction and it seems it has vanished.

I was hoping to see somebody taking advantage of the open air hot tub at this glamping site, but unfortunately there seemed to be no takers this weekend.

As we approached Marston Doles I saw that the old warehouse at the wharf was actually a trapezium shape, and there is the date in dark brick, 1865, in the gable end too. The large windows indicate where the crane accessed door were and there is the little gable where the pulley would be suspended at the left.

As we were going down hill Helen drove and quite surprisingly we met several boats coming up so we were able to swap at at least some of the locks.

Helen was just getting ready to swap with a boat coming up the last lock, their first. I managed to drop off our rubbish as we penned down and then we were lucky enough to find a berth waiting for us just round the bend after the water points. Day done.

As it was Trafalgar Day we had booked to eat at the Folly to celebrate the Victory of the Royal Navy over the old enemies., but alas at the loss of Admiral Horatio Nelson, and many other seamen. Oh yes, and it was also my birthday.


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