Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Brinklow (exploring another medieval village)



Buddy and I set out first thing on Tuesday morning to get to Grimes Bridge just north of Brinklow.  Soon after we left we spotted a mink swimming along with us but couldn’t get a picture although Buddy was very interested.

Sophie said he is so thin that he looks like two dogs stuck together
We are now travelling along the North Oxford canal down to Braunston in Northamptonshire.  Most of you will be pleased that there are no records of milestones along this canal nor are there any stanking plank shelters!  Before we set out we had one last look round Hawkesbury Junction and I found out some more information on the old engine house there.

The old steam engine house on the left alongside the Coventry canal

The steam engine was called ‘Lady Godiva’ and was a Newcomen-type atmospheric steam engine; it is now in Dartmouth museum.   Amazingly, it was used for nearly 100 years at the Griff colliery (near Nuneaton) before being installed in 1821 to pump water from a well into the canal - can't imagine engines lasting that long these days.

We passed Coventry Cruising Club which is based through the narrow bridge on the left.  This used to be the entrance to the Wyken Colliery Arm.

The entrance to the old Wyken Colliery Arm
We moored up just before Grimes bridge and I sent Karen the postcode so she knew where to come back to after work.

Buddy saying, "We've moored up so come and feed me"
In the afternoon we went for a circular walk taking in the village of Upper Smite which was abandoned in 1150.  Like most of the medieval villages we have come across it is just a few mounds and some old fish ponds; more of interest to archaeologists if they were allowed to dig there.

The lumps and bumps of a medieval village
We walked through a farmyard where the cows took a keen interest in Buddy.

Cows looking intently at Buddy
This is looking across a newly ploughed field to Coventry in the distance – a real grey day as you can see.

Amazed the field could be ploughed as it has been so wet this winter
As we got back to the canal we could see three modes of transport: the M6, the West Coast mainline and the Coventry canal.

M6 crossing the West Coast mainline and the North Oxford canal

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