Wednesday 26 December 2018

Boxing Day

Any thoughts of going out on a short cruise were quickly dropped - a slow start meant that the cruising day was already not very long! Instead, we thought about visiting Hanbury Hall. However, conversation quickly turned to thinking about improving the television facility so that we can better access downloaded videos as well as access streaming services such as Netflix.

Andrew popped into town to seek some elements including a Roku streaming box, an HDMI switch and various leads. Strangely he was asked to look for sale bargain tinsel but, instead, found some very cheap led lights (enough to go right around the main cabin) as a few bargain baubles!

The rest of the morning was devoted to setting up the various devices and testing them out with different devices, phones, tablets and laptop. Before lunch time we had abandoned the idea of Hanbury Hall.

Lunch over we instead went for a walk along part of the Hadzor Circle footpath trail - in the end we heavily adapted the route in the guide leaflet.

We began by walking a short distance along the road to the footpath alongside a farm track slightly uphill towards Hadzor Hall. The track led to Home Farm which we could see close up as almost derelict, even the farm buildings appear to have been abandoned.

We continued to the ridge and came as close to the hall and former church as it is possible - now everything is very much private land and here is no access. However, we spotted a recreational ground and, on the other side, a small graveyard. Mike took photos of some of the memorials in order to see whether they have been uploaded to FindAGrave.

Although there was no sign to indicate what graveyard this is, we later discovered that it belongs to the nearby Catholic Church.

This church was built by a former owner of Hadzor Hall in 1877 who had recently, along with his wife, converted to Catholicism. (see)

From there we walked downhill along the narrow lane to come out at the roundabout underneath the motorway at the edge of town. We then crossed over to the canal towpath and re-traced the footpath we looked at yesterday. However as we looked more closely at various aspects of the track and bridges we could not reach an agreed firm conclusion about what we were seeing!

Later research took us to a very interesting record of the restoration works - see. The track, it seems, was created mainly to facilitate long term maintenance of the locks whilst the newly planted earthworks are noise bunds constructed from earth that had to be excavated in order to build the lock just below the motorway tunnel and also the new confluence of the canal and the River Salwarpe.

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