Monday, 14 September 2009


We have just had a lovely few lovely, in fact, that I kind of feel as if I've been away on holiday!!

On Friday I visited a local farm with seven members of the Malmesbury Art Society to do some drawing. I have never done any drawing outside before and it was a wonderful experience!! The farm was stunning and there were all sorts of interesting things dotted about. I chose to base my picture on, what I can only describe as, a shed with wheels and then I moved round the farm incorporating different bits and pieces into the picture. It's not finished yet but I took some photographs round the farm to help jog my memory. Tom arrived on Friday night so the games console was turned on, curry was ordered and a few bottles of wine were sunk!!

Saturday was absolutely glorious, blue sky and sunshine, so we got out our English Heritage book out and had a flick through to see where we might visit. Tom was quite keen to see Stonehenge so we headed there first and then had a look at what else was in the area. We decided on Old Sarum Castle near Salisbury and then, if we had time, we would head over to Old Wardour Castle.

The great earthwork of Old Sarum stands near Salisbury on the edge of Wiltshire's chalk plains and it dominates the landscape!! Its mighty ramparts were raised in about 500 BC by people in the Iron Age and it was later occupied by the Romans, the Saxons and then the Normans. The Normans realised the strategic importance of the site and it was them that built the palace, castle and cathedral, the remains of which, we meandered round on Saturday afternoon. There is not much left of the actual building but there is enough for you to get an idea of the sheer scale of the must have been a very impressive sight in it's day!!

After that we headed over to Old Wardour Castle. It's quite secluded, and wasn't massively easy to find, but it was worth the perseverance because to describe it as stunning isn't doing it justice!! It was built at the end of the 14th century for the 5th Lord Lovel and is very unusual as it has a hexagonal tower house inside it's central courtyard. Apparently the Lovel's supported the Lancastrian cause in the War of the Roses and as a result Wardour Castle was confiscated when Edward of York defeated the Lancastrians and became king. It then changed hands a number of times but it's downfall came when, having been surrendered to the Parliamentarian Sir Edward Hungerfold, the owner and Royalist Henry Arundell led a counter-siege. Gunpowder mines were laid in a drainage tunnel beneath the castle but too much gunpowder had been used and the explosion led to the collapse of a large part of the castle and it was decided that the damage was too much to repair. A large part of the castle is still intact and as you can meander through it, climb up the stairs and get a real feel of how it would have looked in it's hey day!!

We then headed back home, lit the barbecue and sat in the garden drinking wine and munching steak till it was too dark to see and we had to head back indoors!!

Yesterday, before Tom headed hom, we took a trip to a place called Honeystreet to have Sunday lunch at a pub called 'The Barge Inn'. It has a camp site out the back, mooring for canal boats and is home to the Crop Circle Enthusiasts so has a real mix of clientèle. It also has a fantastic view of one of Wiltshire's White Horses but it was a bit chilly to sit out yesterday so we had our lunch inside. All too soon it was time to take Tom to the station.

We had such a lovely weekend that I feel rather contented today!!


Lily Sheehan said...

Sounds like you made the most of your weekend. I just sat in the pub (when I wasnt chained to my lap top)

Great pics too!!

Queenie said...

Wow, that does sound lovely. I didn't know about either of those old castles but they are now both firmly on my 'to see' list, so thanks for that.

French Fancy said...

Just think - you could just have sat and drank, played games and chatted but you actually went out and explored as well. Best of both worlds and how great to have this late summer sunshine.

Looking forward to seeing the shed painting


menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Oh visiting castles, great fun! We too have been getting out and about lately and the weather was sublime. You pack so much into your life. Wish I had your energy!

Mark said...

You put me to shame - all those trips in Wiltshire; I must try harder. That said, I always think Stonehenge is disappointing; can't believe they ever allowed that road to be built right next to such an important monument.

Sheds are good to draw; sure I'd have chosen sheds too.


Suburbia said...

That all sounds just perfect! No wonder you feel like you've had a holiday.

Did you see any crop circles, I'd love to see some of those heavily patterned ones :)

JJ Beattie said...

Carol that sounds lovely. I am imagining the damage of a weekend with Tom!

I'm off for lunch (with L) and then to see the knitted house. Wish you were coming...

DJ Kirkby said...

Ooooh I've been to Old Sarum...amazing place.

Ann said...

You did it to me again, I keep writing on your past blogs, will get back to this.

SueG said...

I love the way you guys can have a holiday even by staying near home. Sounds like a wonderful weekend!

Carol said...

Lily - There is absolutely nothing wrong with just sitting in the pub!!

Queenie - They were both great but my favourite was Old Wardour Castle. It was just beautiful and it was actually used in the film 'Robin Hood Prince of Thieves'.

French Fancy - I suspect that if the weather had been a bit pants that's exactly what we would have done!! We did wish that we had been a bit more organised and had taken a picnic but perhaps next time!!

MOB - I love history and find visiting castles, long barrows, Roman ruins etc completely fascinating!!

Mark - We don't know the area at all so are having fun exploring...There is just so much to see and do here!! (We've actually just booked a Landmark Trust property in Cornwall for New Year so will spend a blissful five days exploring that area...can't wait!!)

Yeah, we were disappointed with Stonehenge when we visited (so was Tom)'s very commercial...Avebury is much better!!

Hehehe, long live sheds!!

Suburbia - It was lovely...a holiday at home :-)

I have seen a crop circle!! It was very impressive and I was ridiculously excited about it..tried to take some photo's but it didn't turn out!!

JJ - It wasn't as messy as it usually is...we were actually fairly well behaved!! (well, for us anyway!!)

I am so jealous...wish I was coming along too!!

DJ - It's fab isn't it!! So impressive and the views across the countryside are just stunning!! Next time your in that neck of the woods try and visit Old Wardour Castle...I think you would love it!!

Ann - Hehehehe, sorry hon :-)

C x

Carol said...

Sue - You managed to sneak in there!!

I had a lovely's nice when you feel like you've had a proper break and you've not been anywhere!!

C x

ladyfi said...

Wow - that castle is just stunning. Amazing! Sounds as if you had a wonderful wonderful weekend!

Carol said...

Ladyfi - It was stunning....we took sooooo many photographs it was unbelievable!!

C x

Ann said...

Think I am on the correct page Carol.

You did not disappoint, I was reading, holding my breath, and there it appeared, the pub, thought you had gone all teetotal on me hen ha!!.

Love to idea of a campsite behind the pub, wow, stagger out of door, and fall into tent, clutching Bacardi bottle in one hand, bottle of coke in another.

Sounds a truly wonderful weekend, no wonder you feel contented, sometimes life seems so beautiful, doesn't it.

Debs said...

What an incredible weekend. Love the shed, those crop circles and must go and visit Wardour Castle.

HelenMHunt said...

What a lovely time you've had. Lucky girl x

Carol said...

Ann - You are indeed :-).

Don't be silly!! Me!! Teetotal?? Ha, that'll be the day!!

The only danger about the campsite is that it's right next to the canal!! A stagger in the wrong direction and....splash!!

It does...and it's usually the simplest things that make it great!!

Debs - It was unexpected so I think that made it even better!!

Helen - We ate, drank, laughed and when exploring...I was lucky indeed :-)

C x

Milla said...

delicious photos, esp the arches one and the crop circles - fascinating. So much more advanced than the rubbishy old ones in my day. Like the shed one, too, though if it were mine it would be full of dust and spiders.

Milla said...

PS, don't get it, put a comment on your DJK wedding one last time adn it's not there!

Carol said...

Milla - I took loads of photo's of the was difficult to just choose one!!

Hehehe, we have a shed and it is full of dust and spiders!!

I was sure I had replied to a comment you left but when I looked back I couldn't find it either!! I think blogger must be having one of it's funny turns again!!

C x

Calico Kate said...

Love those crop circle patterns. Was the shed on wheels perhaps a mobile hen house?
Sounds like a really good weekend out of 'life'.

Carol said...

Calico Kate - The pub were selling crop circle patterns carved into large stones...they were very beautiful and I was very tempted!! Might get one next time we're visiting...

The shed on wheels could very well have been a mobile hen house!! There were a couple of coops next to it

C x

Anonymous said...

Was that the Barge Inn that we toured the countryside looking for and couldn't find?

Mum x

Carol said...

Mum - It was indeed!! It turns out that Honeystreet is a place near Pewsey...not a street in Pewsey!!

C x

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