We left Wallingford at 9.30am – we are getting into the swing of this now!
Up through Benson Lock, through Shillingford and then through Day’s Lock. We had planned on stopping just after the lock where there are some nice moorings but a) there was a large Charolais bull standing by the river and b) there was only one mooring. Andy said that there were some more moorings further up so we carried on. We found a spot but it wasn’t long enough for us so Ferndale popped in there. FL found a nice spot which was big enough for both boats so we tied up only for Sue to find a wasp’s nest so they went back down river and breasted up with Ferndale.
Just below Day’s Locks there is the bridge where the British Pooh Sticks Championships were held for 32 years but it’s had to move due to "logistical problems". This year's tournament was been staged on the River Windrush at Langel Common, near Witney.
The wind really got up and Richard had to take all the cauldrons off the roof and put them in the cratch. I don’t think I have put enough stones in the bottom of them this year.
In the afternoon we went for a walk into Dorchester-on-Thames. It is such a pretty little village but someone has allowed a carbuncle of a block of flats to be built in the middle which really spoils the aesthetics.
We had a stroll round the village and then went into the Abbey. It is an amazing place and steeped in history. In 634 Pope Honorius I sent a bishop called Birinus to convert the Saxons of the Thames Valley to Christianity. King Cynegils of Wessex gave Dorchester to Birinus as the seat of a new Diocese of Dorchester under a Bishop of Dorchester; the diocese was extremely large, and covered most of Wessex and Mercia. The settled nature of the bishopric made Dorchester in a sense the de facto capital of Wessex, which was later to become the dominant kingdom in England; eventually Winchester displaced it, with the bishopric being transferred there in 660. Briefly in the late 670s Dorchester was once more a bishop's seat under Mercian control. Dorchester again became the seat of a bishop in around 875, when the Mercian Bishop of Leicester transferred his seat there. The diocese merged with that of Lindsey in 971; the bishop's seat was moved to Lincoln in 1072. In the 12th century the church was enlarged to serve a community of Augustinian canons. King Henry VIII dissolved the Abbey in 1536, leaving a small village with a huge parish church.
I took this photo below and it has taken me ages to find out what it is but it is the modern shrine of St. Birinus.
The Abbey ladies were serving teas so we just had to partake. A mug of tea and a large piece of the lightest strawberry sponge for £2.50!
We then walked back to the boat and had a quiet evening.