It’s been a lovely quiet day today. Started a bit misty this morning but the sunshine broke through by about 11-ish.
We visited the West Wycombe Caves today. Also known as the “Hell-Fire Caves” after an 18th Century club who used to meet there. The caves were tunnelled into the side of Wycombe Hill on the instruction of Sir Francis Dashwood, the 2nd Baronet of Wycombe in 1750. The purpose was officially to give work to local people after three successive harvests failed and they needed work. The waste chalk was used to resurface the main road to the next town because it was so rutted and got bogged down in wet weather, causing wagons and coaches to overturn. Unofficially, the caves were dug as a folly by Sir Francis as a symbol of his wealth and status, as was the norm for that time. Most other follies were outdoors, such as gardens and buildings, so the caves are unique on that respect.
The caves are also the setting for two local legendary ghosts…. I’ll perhaps write about those another time though!!
We climbed Wycombe Hill to visit the church on top, and to view the Dashwood family mausoleum at its side. The mausoleum is HUGE and can be seen for miles around. Funnily enough, if you travel on the newly resurfaced road courtesy of Sir Francis, you will not fail to notice it in all its glory. Strange that!
We headed back to camp for some food and enjoyed our first barbecue of the holiday. As it was so late we didn’t bother with another meal but had a little drive out along Bledlow Ridge. We had a little stroll in the evening sunshine and a lovely pint in a gorgeous little country pub. Smashing!!
As I write this, we are sat round a little camp fire, listening to owls hunting and watching the stars appear. The sky is so clear it is like it has been painted. Ooh just seen a shooting star! I’m off now to finish my hot chocolate and look out for some more.