28 Feb 2017

A walk around Hambleden, Buckinghamshire

After a week back from our time in Berkshire I realise that it did us good and our daughter and her sons appreciated seeing us too. One day our daughter drove us to one of the pretty, unspoilt villages we often went to on outings with our children. We would go down to Hambleden Lock just outside Henley-on-Thames where friends had a house whose garden went down to the river. We didn't go down to the lock this time, but instead turned into a country lane and drove to the village of Hambleden itself where we stopped, visited the church and then had a wander around.  We then had a welcome cup of coffee in the village store before heading back to Reading by way of Henley-on Thames.

St Mary the Virgin Church
There has been a church on the site since the late Saxon/early Norman times and although it has been altered and extended over the centuries many of the external and internal features have been retained.  It is cruciform in shape with north and south transepts and a Lady Chapel on the south side with its own entrance door.

The patronage of the church went with the manor of some 4,800 acres as recorded in the Domesday Book (1086). The site of the original manor house  was located nearby, probably where the early Georgian house, Kendricks, now stands.  At one time it was the rectory and now is a private house.
From the Middle Ages the manor was the property of the Scrope family, important members of society in North Yorkshire.  Emanuel Scrope who built the manor house in 1603 was the great grandson of Henry VIII through an illegitimate son of the King and his mistress, Mary Boleyn (sister of Ann). King Charles I spent a night at the manor house when he was on the run from those who opposed the monarchy. The Sealed Knot Society, a group who re-enact historical events of the English Civil War has held one in the fields surrounding the manor house and I remember many years ago coming to such an event, making a day of it and having a picnic with the family. About 1666 King Charles II was patron and appointed the rector who had been his chaplain during his exile in France.  (My adapted notes are taken from the booklet purchased in the church).  I'm grateful to a member of the congregation who was present in the church at the time for showing us around. 

entrance to the bell tower

brasses on the wall on either side of the entrance to the tower 

the 12th century font or earlier (possibly late Saxon)

a memorial window - one of two in the nave and brass memorial dedicated to W.H. Smith, son of the founder of the bookseller and news agency firm who lived at a house called 'Greenlands', now Henley Business Management College.  On his death his widow was created Viscountess Hambleden of Hambleden. 

the nave looking towards the chancel and sanctuary

the roof of the chancel

looking towards the north transept from the nave

The monument of Sir Cope D'Oyley (d. 1633) and Martha his wife (d. 1618) and their ten children. The family lived at 'Greenlands'. The alabaster figures were originally coloured and gilded. Those children holding skulls died before their parents. the inscriptions are on black marble.

the south transept from the nave

This oak altar is known as the Wolsey Altar. It was carved in the early 16th century by Dutch or Italian craftsmen and includes the arms of Cardinal Wolsey on one of the panels. It was probably a bed-head which came to the manor house at the time of the marriage of Elizabeth Sandys  (widow) to Ralph Scrope of Hambleden.

The Lady Chapel

snowdrops were in flower in the churchyard

The village remains unspoilt and has been used during the filming of  many television drama series although one usually just gets a glimpse of certain buildings during these episodes. 

the village hall

the playing fields

'Kendricks', the former manor house and rectory

the village shop and post office

 The river at Henley-on-Thames.

I've had some technical difficulties with my Internet connection in the last few days.  I'm up and running again and hope to share some more of our time away before I take another break from blogging.
Wishing you a good day and a good rest of the week,

24 Feb 2017

Five on Friday

Hello everyone.  After a break of a few weeks from blogging I'm joining Amy of Love Made My Home blog for the Five on Friday linkup. Thank you Amy for organising the linkup. As we've just returned from a time in Reading in Berkshire I'm sharing some iconic images from a mural that we saw on a walk that we took with our daughter and a grandson along by the River Thames at Caversham Lock and Weir together with a few photos I've taken in the past when walking around my home town. 

1. the weir - it's possible to walk across from Caversham Lock onto three small islands in the river

The mural shows:-

2. Sports

carrying the Olympic torch with the flame as part of the relay
around the UK before the Summer Olympics 2012

The Reading Football Club (The Royals) home colours

3. Iconic buildings in the town and on the local skyline

Reading Town Hall, an office block which stands 128m tall called The Blade,
and the huge Green Park wind turbine near the Madejski Football Stadium

Reading Town Hall

We had our wedding reception here and at one time I was a secretary in
the offices in the building on the extreme right before I trained to be a teacher.
The buildings here and opposite were badly damaged in a bombing raid during WWII
 with loss of life. Later some buildings were rebuilt and new ones created in a redevelopment
 project - more about this another time as I have memories of stories
 I listened to as a small child (a few years after the war) which touched my own family.

The Blade offices
5. Wild life along the river

5.  Finally a view across the river to the island by Caversham Lock which was the starting point for the walk in Christchurch Meadows, across the river to Reading Bridge and Caversham Lock, which I'll share another time.

Thank you for visiting.  Wishing you a good day and a peaceful weekend.