Sunday, July 09, 2006

Ironstone Villages - 8 & 9 July 2006

Great TewGreat Tew is a wonderful little collection of ironstone and thatch cottages spilling down a valley below “the big house” belonging to the Great Tew Estate.

Falkland ArmsWe walked around the village, checked out the Falkland Arms, the church with some rather lovely brasses and a beautiful marble monument, and the remains of an old engine house.

Great TewNext unusual spot was Aynho. Unusual in that many houses have espalier apricot trees on their street frontage walls as rent to the Lord of the Manor used to be paid in apricots.

Great TewThe church is very different, looking more like a grand house than a church. Unfortunately it was locked but given the size of the windows must be quite stunning inside.

Brasses at Great TewMonument at Great Tew

The National Trust property for the weekend was Farnborough Hall, reasonably unremarkable from the outside but with the most fantastic plasterwork ceilings and wall panels in some of the rooms. It also boasts a great terrace walk with wonderful views over the valley.

Aynho ChurchCottage at AynhoSunday saw us at Broughton Castle, the set for quite a number of movies and deservedly so. A full moat surrounds the site and some “castle” bits remain around the site of the old drawbridge but the house is from the 1300’s onwards.

Broughton Castle GardenWe were captivated by an amazing bed in the Kings Chamber, you can see a little of it on the web page. It is a fabulous piece of the modern wood-worker’s art.

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