Thursday, June 10, 2010

Castle Combe, a pretty English Village

I had a lovely time in Castle Combe recently, a pretty village some 12 miles out of Bath. We were very lucky on the day I chose to go with my camera - there are often a lot of tourists, but I think the extremely hot weather that day had kept people inside and in the shade!
The area is thought to have been inhabited for around 10,000 years and the river Bybrook which you can see in my photos is thought to have flowed through the same route for more than a million years. The village was established in the fifteenth century, expanding to its peak population in the middle 16th century when the woollen industry was most active. (Info from the Castle Combe Cookbook, which is so much more than a cookbook!)

The market cross provides the focal point of the village and has been in place since the fourteenth century when the privilege to hold a weekly market was first granted.
Here I am sitting in the Castle Inn restaurant - although we arrived quite late for lunch we were made to feel very welcome, nothing was too much trouble, and we had a gorgeous lunch. The Inn has all those lovely higgledy piggledy passages and beautiful features of panelling and timbered beams that you expect to find in a building of this age - it would make a wonderful setting for a novel! Castle Combe is often used for film and television locations - Doctor Doolittle and Poirot amongst others were filmed here.
We went for a walk around the village and stopped in at the church where I found an amazing medieval, faceless clock, beautiful stained glass windows, and bought a wonderful cookbook 'Food for Fetes and Festivals' with such tempting recipes as Ecclefechan Butter Tart, Lobster Royals with Oysters, and Chocolate and Orange pudding!
For more information on Castle Combe click here to see their website.


Laurel Ann said...

Charming Jane. That settles it. I am moving to England.

Jane Odiwe said...

Oh, that would be lovely - come soon!

Cranberry Morning said...

I''m pretty new to your blog and LOVE IT.
My daughter took me to England in 2003 for my first time there. Since then, I've been fortunate enough to see various parts of England (mostly Yorkshire, the Cotswolds, and Herefordshire) five additional times. I just love it and can't get enough of it. Your photos of Castle Combe just draw me back! I wish airline ticket prices were as congenial.

Jane Odiwe said...

Thank you Cranberry Morning, I'm thrilled that you are enjoying the blog!
If you get the chance to come again, you must visit Somersetshire, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, and of course, Hampshire where Jane Austen was born - these counties are truly beautiful. Bath is a great place to start, and then you are spoiled for choice by all the surrounding villages.

Alexa Adams said...

Hi Jane! I always love your photos. Someday I'll explore all the wonderful places you've shared on your blog. I can't wait! Thanks!

Jane Odiwe said...

Hello Alexa,

Thank you for stopping by! I hope you'll come to England one day to explore all the places you've read about!