Thursday, June 23, 2011


After Sandford lock the river winds its way through the countryside for about an hour (or is it 45minutes) until the next lock at Abingdon. Before the bank rises up to the impressive Palladian villa at Nuneham House and Park (a fine example of a revival villa from the 1700s which is now a Brahma Kumaris retreat centre) there lies the Radley College boat houses.  A walk through the old village of Radley and over the railway line (which is on the mainline, Radley bagged the station after Abingdon said they wouldn’t have such a thing) will take one to the church.DSC09761

Radley church, St James the Great, was built in 1290 and still has the original wooden pillars:


A walk around the back of the church will allow one to  peer through the hedge at the Rectory.  Originally a hunting lodge it is seeped in history, and one certainly gets that impression when looking at it.  It has royal connections as Henry VII used to visit it (maybe he still does).


On the other side of the churchyard lies the Old School house:


The church yard has some interesting grave stones.  I often wonder, as I visit the graveyards, who the people were when they were alive, and how they died. Especially the younger ones.

I am often reminded as I walk around reading the gravestones of some lyrics by the Smiths. I was given the lyrics long before I heard the song:

“So we go inside and we gravel read the stones All those people, all those lives where are they now? With loves, and hates and passions just like mine. They were born and then they lived and then they died. It seems so unfair, I want to cry. “

The stones rarely give anything away. In this churchyard a stone does. A 28year old who drowned whilst bathing at Sandford Lock



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