Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Journey...

I said that I planned to use this blog to celebrate the places I tell at, but it occurs to me that as with a good story, the journey to any venue is just as important as the place itself. Last weekend I traveled over to Oxford to visit a friend who just happens to be an events and education manager for the Ashmolean and whilst the main reason for the trip was pleasure, we discussed future work together. The journey there had been an arduous one. Having decided to travel on the major roads and motorways, we were held up by road works and accidents. So on the way back we decided to go cross country; to take the minor roads through many a market town and village and also past many interesting places like Thornborough Bridge, just off the A421 in Buckinghamshire..

It was a wonderful place; an old medieval bridge now closed to traffic, standing next to the road bridge and very busy road. I had no idea it was there and would never have known of it if I hadn't decided to take the longer, more complicated road home...

Thornborough Medieval bridge

One of the stopping off places to get out of the way of passing traffic

What made it such an interesting place was both the beautiful countryside and the immense history of the place stretching back some 4000 years or more. From ancient burial mounds, to roman villas, deserted medieval village and the remains of a later canal.

Click on images to make larger and clearer

And this continuity of human involvement in the area continues to this day with picnic tables and circular walks. Situated near a busy road, It shouldn't be as wondrous a place, but it is. A place full of atmosphere and the perfect place to take a rest from a long journey and who knows even get in touch with your own past while you're doing it!

One of the ancient burial mounds just to the north of the bridge

I certainly did , even taking time to admire a modern gate, but built in what looks to me to be a very old, traditional way; all split rather than sawn timbers and held together with rough joints and clout nails. I even liked the bit of baler string keeping it closed!

A modern old gate!

I liked it so much I might make one for my garden (I can't believe I just admitted that)... So there you go; Thornborough bridge and walks... A place that has grown and evolved over time just as a good story grows and evolves over time, and a place i would never had seen had I not considered the journey....

Dave the Yarnsmith

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