Dowdeswell

Trip Start Jun 08, 2005
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Trip End Jul 19, 2005


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Flag of United Kingdom  ,
Monday, June 20, 2005

Where was I? I believe Janice may have told you that the breakdown truck arrived and charged our battery a little. We would however have to drive for half to three quarters of an hour to charge the battery fully so there was no point in going straight to the camping ground was there? And it was only 1:00am wasn't it? What better time then to drive down to Cheltenham? So we did and then parked in a service area parking lot for forty winks, long overdue considering the early start the previous day.
We managed four hours sleep and then set out in search of the village of Dowdeswell, home of the clan, apparently. There's much wheat grown in the fields around Dowdeswell. It is all standing tall with nothing to do but look wheatlike and wait for a photo opportunity. This was obviously its intention as the wheat had allowed large numbers of red poppies to flower in its midst, and conveniently, both wheat and poppies were also in a mist in pale morning sunlight. The photo opportunity had arrived. I took it.
So what of the village of Dowdeswell? There is both Dowdeswell and Upper Dowdeswell and the two are separated by about half a mile. Upper Dowdeswell has a manor house, hidden from view, and several other houses. Dowdeswell has Dowdeswell House, a priory and several other houses. All the houses are constructed of stone. Half are old, say 16th century and half are brand new but in the same style. This is one seriously rich village. The stone walls along the roadside are high and very well maintained. I'd love to learn more but it's 7:30am on a Sunday morning and I can't work up the courage to tap on a door, wake the inhabitants and make a claim to their estate. There is little doubt about the justness of such a claim. In the late 17th century Dowdeswell Manor and much of the surrounding farmland was gifted to the Church by the head of the family, who was as nutty as a fruitcake at the time and under duress too. We could be in for millions here! But we had to leave for an appointment with a Roman Villa.
Arriving early I managed to get an hour's extra kip before waking at 11:00am. I use the verb "to wake" rather loosely here as the person stumbling around the Roman ruins felt somewhat like a Roman ruin himself and the weather is rather hot. Much of interest to occupy a couple of hours here then second breakfast, lunch and on to Longleat for an early night.
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