Thursday, 20 July 2017

Hatton Station (and a little bit of culture)



Our mooring at Hatton station – no boats in sight either way – just as we like it


It was forecast to be hot and muggy on Wednesday afternoon which meant we wouldn’t be doing a lot because of Buddy.  So, to make the most of being moored by a station, Buddy and I took the train to Warwick for the morning.  He was as excited as ever when we got to the station.  There are several reasons he gets excited: he knows we meet people from the train sometimes, especially Karen; he seems to really enjoy train journeys; trains have carpets which are great for rolling on and most of all trains have crumbs.

No carpet on this train but he’s found some crumbs!

We walked to the castle first but decided not to visit as it was full of school parties.  The best view of the castle is from the river Avon that runs through the town.  It is the same river Avon that we were on in May and June this year on the navigable section between Stratford and Tewkesbury.  There are ambitious plans afoot to continue the navigation up to Warwick and form a link with the Grand Union canal.

One of the pleasant things about Warwick is that there are lots of little green squares which are really peaceful.

Sitting in one of the green spaces

Although the town walls were removed long ago, the original three gates are still in place.  The east and west gates have early Victorian pillar boxes by them.  These are quite celebrated as they were made in the style of Doric columns.

One of the Doric styled Victorian pillar boxes


The east gate


West gate under repair – pillar box handy for leaning equipment against
The north gate has a church attached to it (apparently the gate was rebuilt in the early 1400s when the church was built)

Like many old towns, there is a mixture of old and contemporary housing.  The houses known as Leycester (old spelling of Leicester) Hospital date from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries and were originally halls for local guildsmen.  They were obtained by the Earl of Leicester in 1571 who endowed them as homes for retired servicemen and their wives and they are still used for the same purposes today.

The houses known as Leycester Hospital (apparently there was never anything medical or hospital-like here)


Some other old buildings

The streets are a mixture of narrow alleys and broad market squares

Feeling quite continental


On our way back to the station we passed an old gasworks built in 1822 that has now been converted to flats.  It was one of the first gasworks to be built in the world and the two octagonal towers housed the gasometers – the towers are original as they were built, with false windows, to hide the gasometers.

Gasworks opposite the original end of the Saltisford arm


The Saltisford arm is a branch off the Grand Union canal that used to run into Warwick - the first section is still in water and used for moorings and a boat yard.  One of our earlier blog entries covered the original route and some of the old structures that can still be found amongst the modern buildings.

The last thing we saw was a door from an original cell from the county gaol built in 1695.  This part of the wall still exists, hence this door, but the rest of the building has been long demolished.



Judith, my sister, and Nigel popped over to the boat during the afternoon so we had a catch up over tea and made plans for going camping in the Yorkshire Dales in August.

One of our tomato plants bearing fruit for our daily salads



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