Wednesday, 1 May 2013

We reach the southern limit of navigation. Plus sacerdotal graffiti!

We have reached the end of the Wey and are moored at the most southerly point of the connected waterways system in Godalming.

Godalming town wharf, right next to Sainsbury's car park. Handy for shopping, we are once again stocked up.

To be precise the end of the Godalming Navigation is at the town bridge, just round the corner from here, but as there is no winding hole and it is exceedingly shallow the accepted end is the wharf.
For the last few days anyone local to whom we have mentioned going to Godalming has looked at our top boxes, sucked their teeth and muttered "Broadford Bridge, doubt you'll make it". By this morning paranoia was setting in. "Only about five foot high", this in spite of the book stating it was six feet four inches. So we took everything that projected above the boxes out and stowed it inside the boat, we even took the covers off the boxes. As we approached this bridge of doom,

well the level gauge said we had 2.1metres (Whatever they are) of head room, Jill translated and said it was nearly six feet nine inches and guess what,

there was the best part of a foot to spare. Moral? Never listen to the yokels locals.

 Just beyond the bridge you pass Guns Mouth, once the site of a gunpowder mill but more importantly the junction of the River Wey

with the Wey and Arun Canal. I would like to think that one day I might navigate down into Sussex but I suspect I'll be long gone before the restoration is complete.

Godalming surprised us by being a pleasant town, managing picturesque whilst avoiding twee. This is The Pepperpot, originally the town hall, whether it has always been pink is a matter of conjecture.

Old buildings now house modern buisness'.

Unusually the church was unlocked and guess what? Graffiti.

I have seen these described as "Pilgrim crosses", carved by medieval pilgrims before they set off, as the Pilgrims Way runs close by there could be a connection.

Another ancient Christian symbol, or just a fisherman hoping for good luck?

The left hand symbol in the bottom picture could be a crude representation of the much deeper and neater sign in the top one.
For a bit of official ecclesiastical embellishment,

an early medieval wall painting of John the Baptist.
Here endeth the lesson.

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


Neil Corbett said...

The Wey must be low at the moment. When we went down to Godalming we got under the bridge easily and like you, laughed at the warnings. After a night of rain we only just scraped under after taking the chimney etc off!!
Kath (nb Herbie)

Graham and Jill Findlay said...

Must admit that our chimney would never have made it. On the plus side it forced me to sort out the top boxes.