S: ENGLAND -- September, 2010
BC: On our last day, we drove to Heathrow, took a train to Paddington Station, caught the tube from Paddington to King's Cross-St. Pancras, and from there.... | ...we took the Eurostar to Paris.
FC: ENGLAND September, 2010
1: Battle Abbey | England September, 2010 | In September, 2010, we travelled to England with Sydney, to take her to Herstmonceux castle, where she was to study a term abroad.
2: Our home base in England was the village of Bourton-on-the-Water in Gloucestershire. Known as the "Venice of the Cotswolds", it is famous for its picturesque High Street and stone bridges crossing the River Windrush.
3: Barton Cottage, where we stayed, is near one end of the High Street of Bourton-on-the-Water.
4: The village church of Bourton-on-the-Water is St. Lawrence's. Parts of it date back to 1328; but most of it was rebuilt in 1784, including the main tower...so it's a relatively new church, by English standards.
5: While in Bourton, we went to several local restuarants and took a tour of the Costswolds perfumery. A small firm started in the 1960s, it is located in a 300-year-old building, also on the high street. | This was taken on the way to get groceries, up near some of the new houses of Bourton.
6: From Bourton, we took several day trips. The first was to Stratford-upon-Avon, where we saw Julius Caesar performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company. | We visited Shakespeare's birthplace and the museum beside it. The garden has been planted with flowers and herbs from Shakespeare's time.
7: Late one afternoon, we drove up to Coventry. We could see the ruins of the catehdral that was bombed during World War II. The modern cathedral is immediately adjacent (George is standing in the space between the ruins and the new cathedral). | I had read the story in Helen Humphries' book.
8: Bath (Aquae Sulis) was beautiful and interesting, but crowded.
9: We spent a long time touring through the old Roman baths. | The Roman baths are below modern street level. | At left are the remains of a hypocaust -- early under-floor heating.
10: Another highlight in Bath was a guided walking tour of the city, with its magnificent Georgian and Regency buildings.
11: The photograph to the right, of the Royal Crescent, was taken from a hot air balloon (not by us:). It shows the contrast between the public front of the crescent buildings, and the private back -- somthing that our guide pointed out. | At left, a tablet commemorating Beau Nash, who is credited with making Bath one of the most fasthionable towns in 18th century England (but buried in a pauper's grave). | Cricket practice (seen on the way into town).
12: One day we went into London. | (It's possible she was out of town.) | The tube was having a n unreliable day, so we walked from Paddington station to Westminster. The picture to the right was at the Wellington Arch, along the way. | We hung around Buckingham Palace for a while, and had lunch in Green Park, near the Canada Gate. But HRH didn't come out to greet us. | We passed Nelson's statue at Trafalgar Square, commemorating another cat.
13: The PM didn't come out to see us either (he was probably busy meeting with Sir Humphrey Appleby) ... | ...so eventually we went on a tour of Westminster Abbey, before taking the train back to Oxford and driving to Bourton. | We took the bus back to Paddington station.
14: William the Conqueror founded Battle Abbey a few years after the Battle of Hastings. The pope ordered him to build it as penance for the many people killed.
15: This was the site of the Battle of Hastings in 1066, the most important battle in English history, and the last successful invasion of England. The day we visited was grey and misty, fitting for a visit to a place where thousands were killed in a single day.
16: The next stop was to check out Herstmonceux Castle, where Sydney would be attending school. Herstmonceux is a brick Tudor castle in east Sussex. | The existence of the Herst settlement is recorded as far back as the Domesday Book. | From 1947 to 1988, the grounds were the home of the Royal Greenwich Observatory.
17: Today it is used by the Bader International Study Centre of Queen's University, also accepting students from Dalhousie (including Sydney:). | Construction of the castle began in 1441. Brick was an unusual building material at that time, and Herstmonceux is one of the oldest significant brick buildings still standing in England.
18: One day after Sydney had left, we hiked from Bourton to Upper Slaughter, passing through the village of Lower Slaughter on the way.
19: The mill is on the river Eye, in Lower Slaughter. | This was in an antique shop in the village. | The name "Slaughter" is from the old English "slothre" meanng "wet land" or "slough".
20: The church of St. Peter, in Upper Slaughter, dates to the 12th century. The path leading up to the church is cut between two banks. | What is George looking at in the photo above?
21: This is a view looking out over the Cotswold Hills, on our way back down to Bourton-on-the-Water. | We had lots of company on the walk.
22: Another day trip was to Sudely Castle, and then to the village of Chipping Campden. | Ss | Sudel | It has a long history of other royal connec-tions, before and after Catherine Parr. | As the plaque indicates, Sudely was at one time the home of Catherine Parr, widow of Henry VIII. | There are eleven different gardens, several of them among ruins of the old castle. The former banqueting hall, above, was built in 1483. | The Queen's Garden has been replanted in the original Tudor style.
23: As early as the 14th century, Chipping Campden was a major market town where sheep were brought to be sold and shipped to market. | The Market Hall was built in 1627, to shelter the traders. | Willam Grevel, a wealthy local wool merchant, built this house around 1380. | One of the things we noticed while driving along the narrow, tree-lined roads of the Cotswolds was how the trees and hedges were trimmed to allow the very tall lorries to pass through. | "Chepyn" is medieval English for "market".