Friday 30th June, we knew a certain boat was due to arrive
... so we walked (George ran) up the meadows when we saw her coming out of the lock.
Abingdon was busy but we'd found a good slot for NPXL to pull into and as there was sufficient room for two ...
Nose to nose!
Saturday we needed to walk into town for a few supplies
... so walked the long way round for a bit more excercise
... through St Mary's Abbey gardens
... very pretty with wild flowers at this time of year
click to enlarge
The Old Abbey House built around 1780 and acquired by Abingdon Town Council in 1923. In 1847 it was first rented by and then purchased by James Smallbone, a wealth business man who became Abingdon's Mayor in 1793.
Beautiful leaded windows
T'was said Mayor who had the inscription carved above the main door"through this wide opening gate, none come too early none return too late” – an adaptation of some lines from a poem by Alexander Pope and which also were used at Montacute House in Somerset.
The 15th century gatehouse was the main entrance to the Abbey
The large central arch was for mounted travellers and wheeled traffic, and the small arch on the north side was for pedestrians. A porter’s lodge, built into the south side, found use in the nineteenth century as the town’s first police station. The lodge was removed in 1865 to provide a second pedestrian arch. At some point after the Dissolution the rooms above the gateway became the town prison, a use that continued until the Old Gaol took over this function in 1812. In 1826 this space was converted into a room for banquets and receptions, and is now a meeting room.
The Gateway is flanked by St Nicolas’ Church on the north and the former St John’s Hospital (now part of the Guildhall) on the south. The church was intended for Abbey tenants and servants. The hospital was an infirmary for the Abbey servants and also catered for sick and needy travellers.
The 12th century St Nicholas' Church is one of the few remaining buildings from the Benedictine Abbey of St Mary
Abingdon's baroque County Hall was built around 1680 in the style of Sir Christopher Wren. Today the cellars have an educational room and cafe. The ground floor would have held the local market and the first floor was known as the Sessions Hall because its primary function was a courtroom when required. This room now holds a permanent exhibition of historical artefacts including a feature on the MG car works which was located near the town. The attic also exhibits other town treasures and the building is topped by a lantern surrounded by a balustrade.
A 1920's style wedding
Alleyway leading to the town square ...
... where there were belly-dancers and morris dancers too
Looking back as we leave town to return to the boat
SR and NP on the bend of the river
... it's been a while since we were together
A perfect end to the day!
George in his usual place, then Liz and Jan nb Mystic (?), Sue and Vic wb NPXL and Mary and Brian dutch barge Kyrenia who winter moored at Hambleden Marina at the same time as us.
... after which the setting sun turned the trees into gold.
What more could anyone need!