Monday, 7 July 2014

Hail and Sunshine - Monday 7th July

1 Hail Sun

You can’t believe English weather; last night after a glorious day, suddenly out of nowhere we had a hail storm with hail stones bouncing off the boat and the river, a short while later the evening sun came out and the boiling water turned into a tranquil reflection.

4 bridge mooring

This morning we motored down to Eynsham Lock where we both had a pump out; very good value at £9 compared to the canals at £15. We continued down stream to Godstow Bridge where we found a nice mooring and went across to the Trout Inn to book a table for dinner. This is a lovely ivy covered stone building with a terrace overlooking the weir stream. It was built as a hospice for Godstow Nunnery in 1138 so has plenty of history. This is a magical part of the Thames and is said to be where the Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) first created Alice in Wonderland whilst on a picnic by the river.


An unusual plaque adorns the bridge and is in “Deep Respect & Honour” for two aviators who met their deaths near the site in 1912. Donations from 2226 sympathisers from Oxford and Wolvercote paid for the plaque.


During the afternoon we took a stroll into Wovlercote Village where there are another two pubs The White Heart and the Jacob Inn, the later having Jacob Pigs and Hens in its garden ( a bit of a pong). The village also has a Chinese and a nice Village Shop open from 8am to 7pm. The other surprise was that it has a bus service to Oxford every 15 minutes.2 Wolvercote Lock

We walked on passed the Wolvercote Lakes, a nature reserve, to the Oxford Canal at Wolvercote Lock and of course had to get our canal fix by helping a single hander through the lock.


On the way back we called in to see Godstow Nunnery which once boasted a magnificent Church, Cloisters and Chapter House, but only the walls now remain. The Nunnery was founded in 1133 but come the dissolution of the monasteries in 1541 Henry VIII had many of the buildings demolished and reduced it to domestic use. A Century later it was used by the Royalists to defend Godstow Bridge during the siege of Oxford by the Round Heads.

3 Meadow

Adjacent to the Nunnery is Godstow Lock with magnificent views across Port Meadow to the spires of Oxford; the Heron had to get in the picture as well.

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