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Norman stonework in wall of Dunton church  Bucks
The Monday Photo

Even small and simple churches have interesting details, so it’s always worth having a look.

For example, here’s the blocked up North door of St Martin’s church, Dunton. Built in the 12th Century, it is of course Norman; the zigzag (chevron) pattern is typical of the Norman style.

St Martin’s has a small 12th Century nave and smaller 13th Century chancel. It has a low 13th Century tower with clasped buttresses. The South wall of the chancel is 18th Century. Dunton is between Whitchurch and Stewkley.

Have you ever found something you didn’t expect while out exploring?

First printed in 1965 and now out of print, this is still one of the best guides to looking at churches. I often refer to my own copy.


I used a Sony A6000 and zoom lens for daily carrying, when I'm not going out just to take photos. I always carry a a camera.

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Stony is a Live!

Simply Floyd 4

Get ready folks! There’s just four weeks until Stony Stratford’s nine day festival, Stony Live begins.

There’s all sorts of live entertainment to see and get involved in; live jazz, blues, folk, and rock music, dancing, fairs, and comedy. The festival runs from Saturday June 4 to Sunday June 12th, and it’s spread over more than twenty venues; most but not all are pubs.

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On the Market

Bell Alley  Winslow

The Monday Photo

At the bottom of Winslow High Street is the Bell Hotel. At one end of the hotel is Bell Alley, and that’s where we are standing.

The Bell can be seen in the photo; the white gable end of the front range at centre bottom, and the five windowed brick building to its right; once the farmer’s bar, well used on market day.

The first detailed reference to the Bell was in 1591, though the present timber framed building is listed as being 17th Century. It was refronted in the 19th Century. At least some interior walls are wattle and daub.

On the right of the photo is what was once another pub; the 17th Century George Inn. Not to be confused with the present day George nearby, it spent some time as a workhouse. It is now a restaurant and part of the Bell. This alley was once known as George Alley.

Centre left of the photo is the 1870 ironmonger’s shop built by W.H. French. The Midgeley family later took the shop over and ran it as an ironmonger’s for a century. I think the building far left is part of it.

This shop and all the other buildings in this block, once known as the Buttermarket, were built on the once much larger Market Square, as were the block across the road that includes the modern George pub.

You might find similar encroachments were made on the market in your own town. If so, please let me know in a comment.

 

This post's photo was taken with a Pentax camera and fisheye zoom lens.

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Out of Order

Folks

After being overwhelmed with non blogging stuff then being horribly ill (not the Covid) for a fortnight I haven't posted for over three weeks. I even missed St George's day! I'm feeling rather better now and I hope to be back next week; see you soon.

St George and the dragonSt George battles the venomous wyrm.

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Swan Upping

Swan on Buckingham Town Hall

The Monday Photo

If you stand in the Market Square in Buckingham and look up at the town hall, you’ll see this fine swan, made from painted copper. It’s on the bell turret at the top of the building.

The bell turret is lead covered oak; the clock face added in 1882.

This swan is also a weathervane, and if you go to Buckingham you’ll probably find it’s pointing in a different direction when compared to this photo.

In 1996 the swan underwent restoration; in this photo I took from ground level with a long lens, it still looks good.

You probably know that the swan is a big part of the coat of arms of Buckingham and of Buckinghamshire, and also features on the county flag.

Buckingham’s town hall was built in 1783, replacing another one less than a hundred years old which had got into a very poor state.

The new building incorporates a staircase from the 1685 town hall, which had been positioned a bit further North than the present one.

The roof on the right hand end of the town hall oversails the wall below by a long way, because Castle street was widened by cutting back the North end of the building. Castle Street is the road to Chipping Norton, Bicester, and Oxford.

This road widening was completed before 1925, but probably after powered vehicles were becoming more common. I’d guess it was in the first quarter of the 20th Century. In 1903 at Winslow a house was cut in half to widen the road. 

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Foot Locked

Canal swing bridge  Fenny StratfordThe swing bridge is built over the lock and you can see the track it swings round on here. This bridge was built in 1999, and judging by old photos, is quite similar to the one it replaced. The weight limit sign nearby can’t be the one for this bridge, which probably has about a two ton limit.

In May 1800 the Grand Junction canal opened between Brentford in London and Fenny Stratford. It was a success.

But the next stretch was built on more porous ground and would be trouble; it leaked. To aid repairs, in 1802 the canal company built a temporary lock at Fenny Stratford. That lock is still there; it's Fenny lock.

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