Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Weedon Bec, a royal bolt hole.

We stopped off at Weedon Bec this morning for a quick trip to the shops and a look at the village. We moored on the embankment, just by the aqueduct.

A quick walk under the canal and past St. Peter's and St. Paul's church.

Still plenty of snowdrops in the churchyard. As is not unusual these days the church was locked so we were denied our favoured pastime of combing the place for ancient graffiti.

There are several thatched properties in the village, this is undoubtedly the most imposing, as a non expert I would say probably 15thC?


This is all in the older part of the village. Like most villages this one is sprouting new housing estates around the periphery, fortunately they have not yet overwhelmed it.
The village is also home to the Royal Ordnance Depot, built during the Napoleonic wars as a depot for a battery of artillery it also has a Royal Pavilion built for George III. The plan being that if Le Petit Caporal did eventually get round to invading they could bung His Majesty onto a canal boat and rush him out of harms way.

The depot has spent most of it's life as a store and magazine. Out of sight from this angle there are the gunpowder magazines at the far end of the complex where up to one thousand tons of gunpowder would be kept.
As built the depot relied on the Grand Junction Canal and had a branch that ran directly into it

through the arch in the East Lodge. Where I was standing to take this would have been in the middle of the canal. It's now having a housing estate built over it.


It still holds water in the depot and originally went through another lodge, just visible at the far end, and into the magazine area.
The buildings have also been used as a military prison and a military school of equitation. What does the future hold? Current plans are for a retail centre.

For anyone interested, today is the vernal equinox, the official first day of spring. Wonderful, it's snowing.
Forgot to mention it, there is a splendid new greengrocer's in Bridge Street so if you ever stop here you know were to get your five a day:

in the Tudor greengrocer's.

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

3 comments:

James and Debbie said...

I found some ancient (or at least old) graffiti in part of Tours cathedral in France. It was a part that was only open for a short while for restoration. The date of the graffiti was 200 hundred years to the day that we were visiting, not spooky enough... the person scratching the date into the stone had the same three initials as me :0

Halfie said...

Equitation?

Graham and Jill Findlay said...

Equitation: Posh word for horse riding. It was actually the Army School of Equitation.