Day One - London to Chard

Trip Start Sep 09, 2012
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Trip End Nov 24, 2012


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Where I stayed
Linden's House, Chard, Somerset, England
What I did
Stonehenge
Old Wardour Castle
Old Sarum
St Mary's Church, Chard, Somerset
Chard Cemetary

Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Monday, September 10, 2012

Arrival into London went very smoothly, though Customs within about 30 minutes and then picked up our bags, with nothing to declare we walked out into the airport feeling we must have missed something in the doing. We had a wait to pick up our car so decided we'd check out the showers that apparently ARE at Heathrow after all the reports I’d read saying there weren’t any anymore. I don’t rate them though! The water is WAY too hot resulting in a sauna like atmosphere making dressing afterwards extremely hard and the 'towel’ you can purchase was completely useless. I have learnt my lesson and mum decided to forgo this and wash up in the toilets! Much better!

Breakfasted and headed to pick up our car. Were initially presented with a Mercedes A-Class which was too small, we couldn’t put both out suitcases in the boot! Headed back into the car hire and swapped for a Volvo. Whilst we don’t have the prerequisite hat, we purchased a tissue box for the back! GPS attached, Off we went.

Leaving Heathrow was hilarious as we tried to follow GPS directions, road markings and yes, the GPS led us astray. Eventually with the help of a nice man, we found ourselves on the freeway heading towards Stonehenge.

Stonehenge is an eerie place, well would be more eerie if there wasn’t the cast of thousands of tourists around. It’s something you HAVE to see however and so we wandered around listening to our audio guides pondering the structure and those who built it.

Then a quick call in to see Old Sarum, a ruin with a huge moat that dates back a thousand years and was dug out using antlers! Those poor people having to dig with only antlers!. The walls were amazing, made with chrystalized rocks of pretty colours.  

Next stop was Old Wardour Castle. While a ruin, there are many beautiful architectural features left to make this a special place. You can explore inside and climb the stone spiral staircase, each piece carved to perfectly fit the next.  The grounds house a grotto, uniquely constructed by a special grotto builder to be "romantic". It was even used in the filming of Robin Hood Prince of Thieves!!

On to Chard, the home of some of our ancestors. First stop St Mary's where Henry Howell and Caroline Viney (my great great great Grandparents) were married. A beautiful church with graveyard. The Chard Cemetery was an exciting place to visit as we found the graves of the above, and Caroline's parents and other likely relatives. Henry was buried with his first wife and their daughter Ann. I have letters from Ann about life in Chard. Caroline was buried with her parents. Coincidentally Elizabeth Viney (my g-g-g-g grandmother), died on my brother's birthday in 1871 and her husband Joseph, my g-g-g-g grandfather, died 3 years later on my birthday.

We also found the house where Henry and Caroline lived, with their son, Frederick, my g-g grandfather and it still bears the original name Snowden Villa.

Stayed at Lindens House.

 



 
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