Saturday, November 04, 2006

Henley-in-Arden and a Walk to Hatton Updated

The Elizabethan Guild Hall in Henley-in-Arden (current home of the public library)

This morning, Will had a cross country meet at Henley-in-Arden High School. Henley-in-Arden is a picturesque village about seven miles northwest of Stratford-on-Avon; as the name implies, it was once in the middle of the historic Forest of Arden. Henley is noted for possessing one of the few surviving market crosses (15th century), although only the shaft of the cross remains. The village also has a fine Norman church (St. John the Baptist) and, next door, an Elizabethan guild hall, which now houses the public library. The Guild Hall is owned by the local court leet, a medieval institution presided over by the lord of the manor. In 1990, the American lumber magnate Joseph Hardy, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, purchased the title of lord of the manor of Henley.

In the afternoon, Clara and I left the boys at home to instant message their friends and walked to Hatton for lunch at the Waterman and a brief walk along the Grand Union Canal. The pub was offering specials to celebrate National Sausage Week (October 30-November 5), and with my pint of Arkwright's I had a lovely plate of pork and ginger sausages with creamed potatoes and coconut milk gravy. On the walk home, I took this picture with Warwick, and the tower of St. Mary's church, in the distance. From this photograph, you can see, first of all, how green Warwickshire still is on the 4th of November, especially with the shoots of winter wheat in the fields. You can also see how long the shadows are, even at 2:30 in the afternooon. We walked due south from 11:30 am until 1:00 pm, and the low sun was directly in our eyes the entire time.

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