We woke up to a lovely morning – one of those mornings when I am more than happy to get up! The new sleep machine shelf/drawer worked very well, Richard has even put the electric wire under the bed so aren’t going to trip over it all the time.
We were determined to be ready for 9.30am this morning and we even had time to plant my lily plant that I had brought with us and had flowered beautifully but was now, to be honest, just taking up room. I had been looking for somewhere to plant it and Beale Park seemed a good place – I wonder if it will survive.
We were first away – spot on 9.30am by my watch and even turned and went down river a bit so we weren’t too far ahead.
We stopped at Goring for Sue to post a birthday card and Diane wanted a look round. It is a very small town but has a very good butcher which we all patronised. Next we went to the Church of St. Thomas of Canterbury. It has an interesting history.
It seems that the building was originally without aisles or transepts and then consisted simply of a chancel, nave and western tower, with the chancel ending in a semi-circular apse. The north aisle was added in the late twelfth or early thirteenth century by the Augustinian nuns of the adjacent priory. Before the aisle was built, the nuns shared the church with the parishioners of Goring, but this arrangement was found to be inconvenient, so the nuns built the aisle as their place of worship. This, too, proved unsatisfactory, so the apse was demolished and the nuns built their own church to the east of the existing building, separating it from the parish church by a stone screen. After the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the nunnery church was destroyed and the stone screen extended upwards to form the east end of the parish church. During excavations in 1886, the foundations of the original Norman apse were discovered. Two years later, when a major refurbishment of the church was undertaken, the apse was rebuilt on these foundations and the wall that had served as the east end of the church for so many centuries was demolished. Nothing can be seen today of the nunnery except the corbels that supported the roof of the cloister on the south wall of the church. One of the oldest bells in England is inside the church - it was cast about 1290.
Cleeve Lock was on self-service and as we all wanted water Ray became temporary lockie while he waited. It was amazing how long the tanks took to fill bearing in mind we only filled them the day before yesterday. We went on ahead as Richard wanted to call in at Sheridan Marine for a few bits. The other two were just coming past as we were ready to cast off – good timing.
We had hoped to moor in Wallingford but coming up to the bridge we could see that it was jam packed. Andy noticed a space on the bank and pulled in so we all pulled in and managed to squeeze ourselves in – Ferndale behind FL with us breasted up against FL. It was a bit of a struggle to get on and off but Ray dug a step out of the bank and we all climbed up that way using a rope to haul ourselves up. We had to climb over FL and onto Ferndale before the treacherous accent!!
We sat and had a drink on the bank then decided to have a wander into Wallingford. Diane and Ray hadn’t been before so wanted to have a look around. We went into St. Mary-le-More church in the centre of town. I’m afraid we found it rather a mish mash of styles which we didn’t like very much. The original church existed by 1077. The west tower was originally 12th century but its upper stages were rebuilt in about 1653. The nave and aisle were built in the 13th and 14th century and the chancel was built somewhat later, but all were rebuilt in 1854. In 2009/10 underfloor heating was installed and the floor retiled and I assume the glass office and meeting room were added.
Wallingford’s history goes back a long way and there is far too much to even write a potted history here. So have a look on Wikipedia
We went into the courtyard of the George Hotel for a drink and then walked down to The Boat for another drink and, as it was getting late, a meal with of course another drink. We then swayed back to the boats – Diane just had to go for a paddle and then we had great fun getting down our abseiling course!