Tuesday, 13 May 2014

It started out so well.....

We had a wonderful weekend at Wadenhoe, the Kings Head did us proud, wonderful food and really good service by friendly staff. Saturday night was so good we stayed on for Sunday lunch, which was just as good. 100% recommended. The pub moorings are now the only ones available at Wadenhoe, the ones below the church have had an outbreak of newts and are now an S.S.S.I. with big no mooring signs.
Yesterday we moved on to Fotheringhay. As you make your way down the river you are never out of sight of either a spire or church tower.

But as you approach Fotheringhay they are put in the shade by one of the finest churches I have seen.

The parish church of St. Mary and All Saints. It has been described as, "Floating on its hill above the River Nene, a galleon of Perpendicular floating on a sea of corn." Who am I to argue? Except there is now no corn, just pasture and sheep.
It was started by Edward III as a collegiate church and finished about 1430. A parish church was subsequently tacked on to the western end and that is the part that remains today. The original cloister and church being demolished during the dissolution of the monasteries.
The moorings are in the field just below the church, four quid a night but possibly the loveliest moorings anywhere.

It's as imposing inside as it outside. It also houses a mausoleum to several leading members of the House of York from the time of the Wars of the Roses.

It wouldn't be a church without graffiti and there was plenty to find. But most interesting

was this faint mark on one of the pillars. It is the masons mark of William Horwood, one of the masons employed in the building of the church. A direct connection to a man of the 15thC.
Of course when anyone hears the word Fotheringhay the first thing that springs to mind is the castle where, on the 8th of February 1587, Mary Queen of Scots was beheaded. More importantly it is where King Richard III was born in 1452.

There isn't a lot left of the castle, just the motte and one small chunk of masonry but climb the mound and the views are well worth the effort.

In the evening the clouds cleared and for a brief while the setting sun lit up the 1722 bridge.

And so to bed.
This morning the wind had had dropped and the weather forecast was scattered showers so we set off through a landscape of bucolic beauty.

The clouds came and went.

Between Warmington and Elton the right bank was heavily wooded and the haunt of wood and mandarin ducks. We saw three pairs of wood ducks and one pair of mandarins, they are obviously well established here.
At Yarwell Lock, as we watered, Jill gave me the good news, the carpet in the saloon was soaking wet. Investigation led to only one suspect, the water pump was leaking copiously. Oh goody.
Shortly after, as we progressed through this scene of rural exquisteness, the heavens opened and the rain and the hail lashed down, the day was getting better, the thunder and lightning was just the icing on the cake.
Soaked to the skin we moored at Wansford station, by the Nene Valley Railway. Luckily we always carry a spare water pump and I spent a merry hour mopping up and replacing the pump. Some days.........

Watch this space.......


Sue said...

Oh that is going to make Wadenhoe a very busy place then. You can just about poke a boat around the corner up the mill stream past the tree by the pub but it is a devil to reverse back out of because of the stream.

I had better change the guide I think for now until I hear the newts don't like the hundreds of scouts that use that area in the summer!

Graham and Jill Findlay said...

The scouts were still there, perhaps newts are child friendly?