Wednesday, 14 January 2009

The Gloucestershire Way

Yesterday, I set out to fulfil a New Year's Resolution: to walk the Gloucestershire Way. I shall leave the more remote bits till later in the year. It was easiest to start near home, from Crickley Hill.

The photograph was taken looking back North-Westwards at the Hill, across the A417. It must be the most hazardous crossing on all the 100-mile route: three lanes of traffic without any central reservation. But walk for five minutes up and away from the road and - noise apart - you are in the most glorious landscape: on a day like yesterday especially.

You couldn't find a better example of Cotswold walling than here at Coberley, supporting the garden of the former Rectory, a couple of miles down the Gloucestershire Way from Crickley Hill.

The church is certainly in need of a signpost: you can't see it at all from the village road. You approach it through a gate in a house wall, leading to a garden path. It's what Pevsner calls "the shadow of an outer courtyard of Coberley Court (demolished 1790)." The church contains some handsome 14th Century memorials, but was more or less entirely rebuilt 500 years later. Apart from its situation, it's not one of my favourite buildings though it feels much loved and cared for.

Pevsner seems to have missed the rather mysterious face in the farmhouse wall high above the entrance to the church from the road.

No comments: