Thursday, May 5, 2016

Walking in the Cotswolds Part Three

(delayed a day for politics)

Great weather for walking.  We started out in Guiting Power, a village in which the name is not the only odd thing, and ended up in Winchcombe.  T shirt weather, and only a week or so after they had snow.

I am accused of walking with my eyes to the ground scanning for artifacts.  Guilty as charged but it also helps avoid turned ankles on rough ground.  And hey, sometimes you actually find things.

A geode!

Much of our day was spent walking through a big estate.  Quiet, not many other walkers about on a Wednesday.  Resting our feet we played around with the camera timer for a rare joint picture.

Spouse is being a good sport.

At one point I noticed on the edge of our Ordnance Survey map the notation "Roman Villa - Ruins".  Often this can indicate some structure no longer visible but this did warrant a brief side trip down another path.  I could sense that we were getting close.  But then we ran across a six foot high fence.  Rats.

The villa site was on the way to our next destination, Sudeley Castle.  A few hundred yards from our supposed villa I noted a bits of stout red tile structures in the dirt.  Oh, I know it is likely just some Victorian field drain bits but it is not too far off of what you would find as parts from a villa roof!

Sudeley Castle was fun, massive topiary gardens and a great deal of history stretched tightly over some fairly minimal ruins that were heavily rebuilt in the 1800s.  The Lady of the Manor was an eclectic collector and there were displays of all her "stuff".  Among which was a nice assortment of Roman stuff found at the two villas discovered on the estate.

Tantalizingly there was an info sheet from the local walking society showing how you could go and see a Roman mosaic still in situ at a villa site.  Yes, the very one we had come within a few hundreds yards of a couple of miles back.

I was so tempted to either head right back or to get up early in the morning for a quick jaunt. But reading up on it the Spoonley Wood Villa seemed like a bit of an archeological Frankenstein's Monster with Victorian meddling and sad deterioration.  With regrets I decided it did not warrant a couple more hours of walking.

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