Friday, 20 April 2012

Severn walk (2)

A couple of months ago, I walked for the first time along the East bank of the Severn: this morning, I walked a new (to me) stretch of the West bank - Southwards from Westbury to Newnham - dodging the showers.

Looking downstream at the point where the path from Westbury church meets the riverbank, I took this photograph of Newnham. When you get there, it has a bit of the look of a seaside town: standing on its high bluff overlooking the river, it must certainly seem as cool, when the wind is anywhere near the East. Some fine architecture indicates the importance of the town in times past, though who wants to live in a beautiful house if it fronts onto a busy road? Nor does it make much difference that the more or less continuous traffic on the A48 runs predominantly Southwards - into Wales: you only pay the Severn bridge toll going East-West, so this Gloucester-Chepstow detour avoids it.

Both SS Peter & Paul, Westbury and St Peter's Newnham have quite good Kempe glass - the latter's being the more interesting: a splendid Anna, and a Tabitha. But Newnham's 12th Century font is the real star of the show - that and the beautiful Peace Garden at the Eastern extremity of the churchyard. You enter as through the portal of a Shinto shrine, the injunction to bow your head being a little unnecessary for me.

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