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This is it! I've given up work -retired from the rat race and am about to start on a 10 year adventure, doing all those things I've been meaning to do but never had the time to do them. I've offloaded my responsibilities and it is now my time. So follow my adventures and see whether I actually manage anything!

Friday, 28 October 2016

Last day in the Cotswolds

Not a great start to the day, as I reversed out of the drive at the same time as the neighbour and we collided. The drives are at right angles with each other and there is a large hedge in between. If I lived here I would definitely get rid of the hedge or cut it right down. Anyway, it was just one of those things and we both agreed it would be a 50:50 claim as neither of us was to blame. Fortunately no-one was hurt and both cars were still driveable.

Finally we got away to go and find the Rollright stones. An ancient monument with a stone circle.

The circle is known as The King's men

 The Whispering Knights

The Kings men stone circle is visible between the Whispering Knights which I'm sure would have been deliberate.

Standing a good distance from the others is The King stone.

It was another beautiful day and we spotted a few Red Admirals flying around. This one kindly posed for me.

The beautiful comma butterfly.

The stones were up on a ridge so we had great views as we were walking around.

The nearest village to the stones was Long Compton where we stopped for a look round its thatched cottages and Norman church..

This is the Lych gate leading to the church. It dates from about 1600 when it was the end of a row of cottages. The word Lych is derived from the Old English for corpse. They were shelters for the party bringing a corpse for burial when it was required that the priest met the corpse at the churchyard entrance. This one has a room above the gate  which  first became a cobbler's and then an antiques shop in the middle of the last century. Nowadays the room above the gate is loaned to the Compton District History Society.

The gargoyles with piping sticking out of the mouths, to make them more efficient possibly.

The church was closed and cordoned off. The reason was obvious when we went round the other side. was obvious
Apparently it was hit by lightning during a storm in August and until the damage can be repaired it will remain closed.

After lunch in a local pub we moved on to the market town of Northleach, known as a medieval new town.. After the Norman invasion of 1066 many market towns were established. These towns had a simple linear plan, with a long High street lined on both sides by long thin plots of land. These were measured out by using a pole or rod (16 feet long). The plot was 2 poles by 22 poles making an area of a quarter of an acre rented at the cost of a shilling a year. Householders could use the land to grow vegetables and keep chickens and pigs. Early houses had wooden frames and a thatched roof.

The 15th cent church was built by the town's wealthy wool merchants and their amazing brass memorials can still be seen.

This is thought to be the home of one of the wealthiest wool merchants in the town, John Fortey who redesigned the church in the 15th C. It became an inn in the 16th C. It still has the original timbered, jettied upper floor. It is now home to Castle's award winning butcher's shop.
The Old merchants houses now faced with stone

These gabled houses date back to the 17th C

At one end of the town during the 18thC and 19th C   was the workhouse  (now a care home).

This is the Cotswold Hall founded in 1886 as is still in use as the town community hall.

At the other end of the town from the workhouse was the prison, partially demolished in 1937 it is now the Cotswold Discovery Centre and cafe.


We drove back in the sunshine once again and decided on a last walk around Stow-on-the-Wold before leaving here in the morning.

We found the trees that have grown so close to the fabric of the church door that they look part of it.


  1. Dam you beat me again, Been wanting to visit the Rollwrite stones in a long while and I drive through Stow on the wold quite offten and still hav enot stopped off there yet. Whats next then Burford dwon the road.

  2. Never heard of the Rollwrite stones. Fascinating. I have that same photo as the last one you posted. The trees and the church have become one.

  3. OH, Marie, your poor little car. I'm glad it didn't keep you from having another interesting day though. I just love the last photo and the one where the gargoyles have "straws" coming out of their mouths. Never seen that before!

  4. You have a bit of history with banging into neighbours' cars. I am very impressed with the Lych gate with a room above and the tree trunks at the church door are amazing.

  5. Fascinating pictures of a fascinating part of history. That last picture of the trees and the doorway is really amazing. :-)

  6. A wonderful part of the world - with luck I may get to visit next year!

    Rollright stones.

  7. Wow! You saw a lot of cool buildings! I also liked the stones in the first part of your post. Interesting recap of your trip.

  8. There's so much fascinating history there. Where I live any tall building must be able to withstand lightning strikes as they're so frequent - we often get 60 or more thunderstorms in a year.

  9. What wonderful trees growing into the church entry, and the stone circles and Whispering Knights. Thank you for telling me the purpose of the Lych Gates, I often encounter them in my Anthony Trollope and other English authors' novels.

  10. Had the same "adventure" with my neighbor ! Only her car was badly damaged and mine had nothing. I bumped into her door ! I would love to see these stone circles, other than Stone Henge ! Would be something for Ilona, she loves everything which nobody can really explain and Has the famous 6th sense, whatever that is, but I have seen it once, she almost fainted in an old castle and had to go out, because we were there where people had been hanged she said the felt her souls. Sounds crazy, but she really has a special gift. For a down to earth girl like me difficult to understand

  11. There are several stone circles I noticed, in the UK and Ireland as well.

  12. What a great post! Love that gate, the thatched roofs and that last shot of the doorway flanked by the trees.

  13. I think my sister and I will have to return to England some day and do a proper road trip there. At least we will both be able to understand everything! Love the photos and you have really given me a taste of it.

  14. Such old buildings and churches. that last shot is amazing. Bad luck about the collision. That happened to me and a neighbour directly opposite us. It was many years ago now.

  15. new history to me; loved learning about this.

  16. Lots of history and great pictures here - apart from the one of your damaged car. Hope it doesn't prove very expensive or take long to get fixed.


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