Friday, 17th July, West Kington to Great Chalfield, 16.5 miles
Leaving West Kington, Tim shows me the path by the church that leads down a narrow track to the village. Jane and I had visited it yesterday.
The church, another dedicated to St Mary, has historical connections with Hugh Latimer, Bishop and Martyr, one time rector of West Kington from 1530 – 1535, ‘made Bishop of Worcester in 1535, he resigned in protest against old doctrines, he was twice committed to the Tower and was burnt on 16th October, 1555’.
It is drizzling and I find it refreshing. Tommy is once more naked but I had taken the precaution of putting sun block on his sores to prevent the sun burning his pink skin as there’s a good chance the sun will blaze down later.
The bridle paths are good and we have managed to find a route which crosses all the main roads. Stopping to re-tie my boot laces, I notice the verge is full of these wild strawberries.
From West Kington, we make our way to North Wraxall, through the woods at Stoney Bridge,
on to Euridge Manor where I hear shouting. Turning around, I see an army thing going on. Then on across the fields
to Widdenham Farm and along the By Brook river. I know someone who would love to throw a fly across the water here.
and up onto Box Hill. On a sharp bend in the road, Tommy stops to admire himself in the mirror.
Crossing along the edge of Kingsdown golf course, before a long descent along the old Roman Road into South Wraxall.
By late afternoon, we are on the final stretch of country track towards Great Chalfield and the sun is beating down with little shade and no cooling breeze across the corn fields.
Great Chalfield Manor is a beautiful Medieval Manor House which featured in the Wolfe Hall TV series last year. It was also where the owners kindly hosted a Memorial Service for my brother, Tim, earlier this year. Here is a view of the church which is older than the Manor House, through one of the mullioned windows,
and some of the graffiti scratched into the recesses,
as well as some of the wildlife. (Look away now, Georgina) If you enlarge this photo, you will see a face in the body of the spider.
The house is occasionally open to the public. The Floyd family very kindly agreed for Tommy and I to stay on our way through. When we arrive, there is a coach load of visitors who have come to see the gardens, having tea in the coach house. The gardens are a feature of The Manor that Patsy is justly proud of.
Once Tommy is settled, I am able to soak my aching feet in the bath. I discover Sue from the Roddam’s yard has not only delivered our tack and bags but has also left us with a donation. Another day completed and bed beckons, in my room with a very special view, no doubt to dream about the fate of poor Hugh Latimer.
With thanks again to the Floyds for their kind hospitality.