Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Braunston (a story of human remains)



On Monday morning Buddy and I had a walk around two of the abandoned villages in the area, Braunstonbury and Wolfhamcote.  This is where most of the houses were in Wolfhamcote before it was abandoned in the late 13th century.

The lumps and bumps of Braunstonbury

This is the road leading up to the church which is still standing but with boarded up windows and the churchyard overgrown and used as a sheep field.  I think I have mentioned it before when we were in the area but it tickles me that the church was restored (in the 1970s) by a group called the Friends of Friendless Churches.

Road leading to the church
Untended gravestones
The manor house, a cottage and a farmhouse are still in existence but I didn’t get a picture as my phone ran out of battery.  This is the only other building we could find.

Building not quite standing any longer

There are two dismantled railway lines that cross this area as well as old sections of the Oxford canal before it was straightened.  The railway lines were the Great Central Main line and the London and North Western Railway - they were closed to traffic around the 1960s.  It must be a great place for industrial historians to visit

An old section of the Oxford canal which was cut off during the canal straightening of the 1820s

I came across this (newspaper) cutting from 1952 that reported on people who had entered the crypt in the church and broke open a coffin of a woman who had died 112 years previously.  Quite gruesome as they scattered her bones and rotten flesh around the crypt.  The picture shows the discoverers trying to give some respect to the old girl by laying her bones on a sheet (it would be interesting to know how they happened to have a sheet to hand).  Apparently the crypt was bricked up after this fascinating event.

Fascinating reading if you zoom in

Braunstonbury covers a wide area but it is all ridges and hollows like Wolfhamcote and as my phone had died you won’t be bored by further pictures.

Later on in the day I heard a toot as a boat pulled alongside – it was Maffi on Milly B who we hadn’t seen since we were at Leicester at the end of last summer.  It was good to catch up and two hours passed in no time.  I suddenly remembered it was our bridge lesson night in Stratford and I had to eat and get to the shops then pick Karen up in record time.

On Tuesday Buddy and I were returning from one of our walks and as we wandered past the marina at Braunston I saw Timothy West and Prunella Scales on their boat, Peggy Thompson.  Amazing to think she is 83 and he is 81.

Prunella Scales and Timothy West negotiating their boat through Braunston marina


I forgot to mention an amusing exchange when we arrived in Braunston at the weekend.  We were walking back from the pub and Karen was ahead and I heard her talking to a passing boater.  When I caught up I learnt that he had asked her which direction to take at the junction to get to Rugby.  Karen would be the first to admit that she has a terrible sense of direction but she got this one right fortunately for the boater.


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