Wednesday, 13 April 2016

"Where the bright waters meet".

On Sunday we had a day down in Hampshire - it wasn't deliberate but Robyn's friends from Philadelphia were in London and they'd booked a trip around Highclere Castle - where 'Downton Abbey' was fimed.

I wasn't a fan myself but we gave them a lift there because there was no way they were going to get there by public transport on a Sunday!

It also meant I'd run out of excuses - now I had to take Robyn to St. Mary Bourne, which she'd wanted to see ever since she saw a programme about it a couple of years ago.

Imagine a small valley with a stream meandering over the water meadows.

Cool clear waters nestling amongst thatched cottages.

'The Bourne Rivulet' is a tributary of The River Test and was described by the writer Harry Plunket Greene as 'Where the bright waters meet'.

We had lunch at  Hurstbourne Tarrant, watching the crystal waters.... 

.......and the waiving water weed;

The Thatcher was working on this roof - or, at least, he would be on Monday;

While on the street there was a grand farmhouse with the date '1785' on the gatepost.

This is a seed store, raised up on stone 'Mushrooms' to try and avoid the damp and make it a bit harder for the rodents;

Then we followed the course of 'The Bourne' to St Mary's Bourne' and had a look at the churchyard with this ancient Yew tree;

And a few feet;

It has a lot of thatched cottages;

But it was very quiet - for a weekend. Most people in these villages are now very wealthy commuters but it seemed as though most of the houses were empty.

It was the day of the annual 'Duck race' and there were occasional toy ducks zooming down the river;

They were outnumbered by real ducks;

Then we passed through Hurstbourne Priors and stopped for a quick look at 'Steve's leaves';

It's a watercress farm, which Hampshire is famous for;

Shallow cement 'fields' echo with the trickle of the clear waters from 'The Bourne'. These days it's 'Vitacress', the biggest producer of watercress in Britain and owned by a multinational corporation.

We stopped at another town then headed back to Highclere Castle to meet our friends.

Actually, I needed a rest, I was exhausted by this time.

Apologies for the pictures, I was having camera trouble.

Neil Harris
(a don't stop till you drop production)
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