Yesterday was a travel day so we were up early to pack up and hitch up. In some ways it was sad to leave Buckinghamshire but in others it was nice to be moving on to stage 2.
The journey wasn’t that long really, only 4 hours or so but it involved driving down country lanes and back roads…. which meant tractors and farm traffic…. ARGGGGHHHH!! We made full use of our new van when it came to lunch and we had a lovely little picnic in a layby at the side of the road. Even managed to have a civilised bathroom break too… Luxury!
We arrived on site here at Hogsdown Farm in Gloucestershire in the late afternoon and were greeted by the lovely owners. We got set up on the corner of a field with both vans facing each other, very communal! It’s a lovely site and in a lovely area. Only noise is the distant M5 and every now and again a passing train about 250 yards away!
The site plays host to about 3 or 4 dozen hens and a very henpecked cockerel. He certainly knows his place! The hens greeted us in their own way by charging at us in one group when we took Bella for a walk.
We had tea from a local chippy ( can’t beat fish and chips when you’re starving hungry!!) and we visited my brother and his family in the evening. It was great to catch up with them again as we don’t get to see each other very often.
Today was a bit slow to get started but we ended up mooching offsite in time to go and find lunch in the local historic town of Dursley. A tiny little place but you could feel the history oozing out of the old stone buildings. Here’s a picture of the old Toll House which was where fees were paid to sell goods at the market.
And here is the toll list :
We then drove up the road to Tetbury, which is absolutely gorgeous!! It’s an ancient town with many buildings dating from the 16th Century. That’s the time of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I in case you’re wondering! The church dates from the 1700’s but is built on the site of an old Saxon church from around 780.
And here is the interior:
As I said, the foundations of this church are on top of a Saxon church. This stone coffin is typical of the ones the masons re-used to lay those foundations. For some reason this one was saved.
Further along the town there is another toll-house. This one is bigger than the one in Dursley, possibly because it was because the building doubled up as the town hall as well. Maybe even as a magistrates court or something. I’m guessing here, and it’s something I’m going to look up when I get home next weekend.
Here’s the toll-house as it stands today:
And here it is as it was about 100 years ago.
Not changed much has it?? I bet it hasn’t changed very much in the last 500 years to be honest!!
After a lovely day out marvelling at our history it was time to get back to site to make our tea. Tonight was an old favourite – camp pasta. I’ll perhaps share the recipe some day…. but you’ll only be allowed to cook it if you are camping!
To finish off the evening we have just played a couple of hands of the most competitive game of Dominoes in the history of Card Dominoes. Great fun and a great way to drown out the sound of the rain belting down on the awning roof!