Friday, March 25, 2016

Northumberland Day 1 - Colourful boats at an overcast Lindisfarne

Lindisfarne at Holy Island in Northumberland by Martyn Ferry Photography

After arriving in the late afternoon gloom the day before, leaving behind a country that seemed to be bathed in sunshine along most of its length, I awoke to another misty, leaden day and headed off to Berwick-upon-Tweed for want of somewhere to go.

Had a mooch around the town, half of which looked closed and up onto the surrounding wall which encompasses the settlement for views over the coast and River Tweed. But it the views were all pretty dismal, although there was a very real sense of history about the place which I think the murkiness gave atmosphere to.

After getting a coffee I took a drive south to Lindisfarne to have a look around the harbour. I spent a bit of time getting some shots of the colourful old boats the lined the shore, as there wasn't much else I could do. I got a bit carried away, as I had a good idea that this would probably be the one and only time I would get the camera out that day.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

An abandoned village in Oxfordshire

Hampton Gay manor house ruins in black and white by Martyn Ferry Photography

Last week I took a visit to the abandoned village of Hampton Gay, all that remains of the place is a ruined manor house and church. The outline of the former village can be seen as raised plots in the fields. The name Gay originates from the de Gay family, former Lords of the Manor there in the 12th century. Hampton, or hamm tun is an old Anglo Saxon word meaning hamlet by the water meadow

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The Cotswolds - Woodstock

Woodstock Oxfordshire town hall on a sunny day

Next in our very occasional series on places to see in the the Oxfordshire Cotswolds, we visit the picturesque market town of Woodstock. The name Woodstock is Old English in origin, meaning a "clearing in the woods". The Domesday Book of 1086 describes Woodstock as a royal forest. Ethelred the Unready, king of England, is said to have held an assembly at Woodstock at which he issued a legal code now known as IX Ethelred.

Henry I, youngest son of William the Conqueror, built a royal lodge in Woodstock and this was enlarged to create a grand manor house by his successor Henry II. The Black Prince was born here in 1330, and It is this area that became the Blenheim estate.

Henry II often stayed at Woodstock with his mistress 'The Fair Rosamund' and during his time spent here granted parcels of land to build hostelries for the use of his men. A weekly market, on Tuesdays was also established when he gave Woodstock a Royal charter in 1179.