Broadway to Chipping Camden
Oct 17, 2015
| Staying at Dove Cottage was like being in another time period. You could feel the past creep up on you. There you were in a stone outbuilding with the cold continually creeping into your bones. Tending doves, scrapping their droppings up, feeding and fattening them 'til time for them to go to the market. Day after day after day! You wonder what the dove keepers feelings were, did they want a different life, were they content or dispossessed? Oh, if only those cotes could tell!
What a wonderful day we had hiking! Our hike would take us 6 miles today to the town of Chipping Campden. Chipping means “market” and campden is a town in a valley that is surrounded by open cultivated hill pastures. At least, that is what our guide book tells us.
Indeed as we hiked today we did pass fields growing what G thinks is potatoes. We also saw threshed hay fields as well as those that were freshly plowed. Again, the land rolled in the most agreeable fashion never making sharp turns or drops but just gradually lowering the spectator down to a flat view. Mist lightly settled over the area and lent an aura of mystery to the villages under its influence. You can tell fall is near by Virginia Creepers dramatic color change. It pops before your very eyes!
As we ambled along, a tower became apparent in the distance. Like a sentinel standing guard, it spoke of a time when invaders were a constant threat and a quick relay of their coming might save your land.
We made our way up to it, passing a dry stone fence in the process of repair.
We also passed a field of Her Majesty's red deer. Reaching Broadway Tower, we were shocked, just shocked to find that it was not of medieval origin but was constructed as a gentleman's Folly in 1800. It was the rage of the age to have old fortifications and old ruins built on your estate or manor lands. These were called “follies”, fanciful flights of imagination. This is what the Earl of Coventry, George William, did when he was 78. It was of potential use later in WWII as an observation tower for spying enemy planes. No enemy planes were ever noted although the crash of a UK training crew was responded to by the two men on duty.
Leaving Broadway Tower, G and I spied another kind of sheep at a sandwich, gift, coffee store. Of course, we stopped for a cuppa!
Onward we went across green pastureland, and followed closely our directions to “continue on the right hand boundary for approx 500m to an old Ordnance Survey trig pillar on your left; after another 50m take the path on your right.”
Soon we were walking by the one time residence of Graham Green as we followed the road to downtown Chipping Campden. Along the way, we past streets lined with Cotswold limestone cottages. Fanciful names like Woolstore, Marsh Cottage, Berryhill House, and Izods Cottage appeared on dwellings.
Chipping Campden came into being when a town charter was granted in 1175 by King Henry II. Having a charter, meant the town could have a weekly market and a yearly fair. Chipping Campden flourished, first with it wool trade, and later with the silk industry.
The Church of St. James is one example of the Cotswold Wool Churches--structures financed by wealthy wool merchants. It had the requisite cemetery on the outside and the required stained glass on the inside.
We found our B and B in a new section of town. Built in the 1960's, the present owners had taken the attic and made two large sleeping rooms. After last night's cramped quarters, we found no objection to larger accommodations. Human nature is a bit fickle! We absolutely loved Dove Cottage from the low ceilings with exposed beams to the “let me squish around you” feel of the bedroom to the upstairs bathing room, but we sure were delighted with our much larger accommodation!