Walking Through History Day 2 Ramsbury-Littlecote

July 19, 2011 at 9:37 pm Leave a comment

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The sun shone on us today and the intrepid Walking Through History team set off in the trusty mini bus to Ramsbury via Minal and Axford. Ramsbury is a beautiful village – difficult to buy property here – it sells before it is advertised. Ramsbury was a bishopric…but didn’t have neighbouring Marlborough’s royal charter, never had a market and so didn’t become a town. The Church (Holy Cross) is a real gem – originally Saxon and those walls and arches are still visible…the Norman font is shaped like the bottom of a pine cone with biblical scenes carved around the base and four fish inside. There is an old saxon stone cross now in pieces inside the church. The village of Ramsbury itself is set out in typical saxon formation; High Street, and Back Street intersected by a Cross Road. The streets and houses are named after the traders who used to live there..dyers, blacksmiths and even once a theatre. We walked 4 miles along public footpaths and ancient woodland tracks; in this case a ditch which divided Ramsbury Manor and its neighbour…useful for pinching your neighbour’s deer ..by means of the ditch they could enter your park but not leave. Deer parks were something the Normans gave us (with apologies to Monty Python). On then to Littlecote, an Elizabethan manor house now owned by Warners. Anyone is welcome to view the impressive public rooms (including the Hogarth room)…there is a headless horseman ghost and beautiful restored Elizabethan gardens (the box hedges in a square around the lavender were particularly striking on this summer’s afternoon). The Roman mosaic is worth a visit in the gardens….half secular and half religious, of the Orphic cult with a ‘sea’ dividing the two sides. It was found in the 18th century, recorded thoroughly by drawing and then lost again and only round in the 20th Century and loving restored in the 1960’s. We didn’t even get wet today! Tonight Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and Schuberts ‘Trout Quintet’ by the Renown Ensemble in the Memorial Hall. Marlborough College Summer School doesn’t get much better than this!

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Walking with local history day 1 Walking with history day 3 Savernake to Crofton

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Debi Evans

Debi Evans

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