Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Napton (feeling sorry for myself)

I hope it’s not a sign of getting older but my cold is really hanging around.  Neither of us has caught a cold since living on the boat so I put it down to our family break over Christmas.  It keeps moving from throat to ears to chest and back again, but that’s enough of my ailments; however, it does mean not much has happened over the last couple of days.

Karen has got back into the swing of going to work and I’m back to being a boat husband.  Buddy and I have been out for walks as usual but nothing too strenuous.  As we are still moored below Napton hill I went to explore around the old clay pits and the brickworks.

Extremely clayey underfoot – hence a good location for the old brickworks

During the 19th and into the 20th century large parts of Napton hill were dug away to get the clay for making bricks and tiles.  The brickworks were built at the bottom of the hill by the South Oxford canal. Coal for the kilns was brought in by boat and the bricks and tiles taken by boat all over the country.

Looking down onto old clay pits - the brickworks stretched across the middle ground

We headed further up the hill and found the line of the tramway that used to bring trucks of clay down from the clay pits higher up the hill

Photo I found from the 1950s.  Copyright: Windows on Warwickshire

The position of these boulders on the hillside does not look natural to me but I have been unable to find any reference to them of the web.

On our way back down the hill we passed the pig field that all three of us stopped by on one of our walks at the weekend.  As soon as the pigs saw Buddy coming they squealed with delight and came charging over to the fence.  Buddy was just as excited so I let them all have a good sniff before getting back to the warmth of the boat.

Well, the ice has all gone this morning, so I think I’ll take a short cruise to fill up with water.  As nice and quiet as it is here, the towpath is really muddy and clayey so not much fun for Karen in the dark especially as we are moored quite a way from the car.  So that’s another reason to move and find a drier spot.

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