My father was first to answer both questions; we have to admit that we were expecting his phone call all day and rather surprised it took until the evening:
- The niches in the wall are bee boles. These were made to shelter beehives in the days when they were made of straw. If you look on the web you will see they can be found the length and breadth of the country.
- The semi-circular windows are known as lunette windows and are of no significance other than architecturally.
Other interesting answers included my son Steve's suggestion that the windows are semi circular to save using lintels or to maximise the amount of light for the area of window as the sun rises and sets in an arch.
We were still not able to move on Saturday so decided to walk to the outskirts of Nottingham following the route we would have taken by boat. We will probably come back in the summer as we want to go to York and Ripon and the only way to get to them by narrow boat is to go through Nottingham.
Buddy was rather sceptical of these stone animals and took a long time to accept they weren’t real
We reached the end of the Trent & Mersey canal where it joins the River Derwent and the River Trent (downstream straight on and upstream right).
You can just make out the four waterways on this shot. Closest is the end of the Trent & Mersey, canal left is the River Derwent, right is upstream River Trent and ahead is downstream River Trent to Nottingham.
Shortly afterwards we went under the M1.
Next we came to an area called Trent Lock; this is a confluence of five waterways as can be seen by this sign post.
All five can be made out here. On the left under the bridge is the start of the Erewash canal. Next on the left is the Cranfleet canal going into Nottingham. Then there is the River Trent under the white footbridge and to the right is the River Soar running in front of the cooling towers. We both found it really eerie seeing the rivers without any boat movement.
This is the start of the Erewash canal; we will come back and cruise that in the summer.
This is looking back up the River Trent where we had walked from.
And, finally a panoramic shot that shows the five waterways.