Thursday, 28 February 2013

The fallen splendour of Wormleighton.

After a grey and grotty day the sky started to clear and we were treated to a sunset of unrivalled splendour.

Of course the clear sky overnight gave us a sharp frost and this morning the two resident swans

were pushing their way through a layer of cat ice.

A cold haze hung over the countryside and in the clear sky an exultation of larks were singing fit to bust.
After a breakfast of blueberries and bio yoghurt, (Don't ask) we set off for a brisk stroll along the towpath, the fields being a tad muddy. We reached the deserted medieval of Wormleighton and decided to cross the canal and walk up to the present village.

These are some of the earthworks in the field where the village once stood, unlike the myths that surround so many deserted villages this one wasn't emptied by the Great Mortality, that's the Black Death to you and I, but by sheep.

(Picture of sheep for anyone who might not recognise them.)
At the end of the fifteenth century William Cope, the landlord, turned the arable farmland over to grazing as it was more profitable. In 1499 twenty messuages were empty and sixty villagers had been rendered jobless and presumably homeless. In 1506 it was bought by the Spencer family who built an impressive manor house

of which only this one wing survives and in 1613 added a massive gatehouse.

It even had the Arms of the royal house of Stuart on it.

Unfortunately in 1645 the Royalist supporters of the Stuarts burned the whole shebang down to prevent the Parliamentarians using it as a stronghold. That's Civil War for you.

Other buildings around the village, alas there is no longer a shop, pub or post office but there is still a church.

But more of that tomorrow.

Watch this space..............

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