Sunday, 31 August 2014

Cotswolds, Gardens, Houses and a bit of detective work

After our whirlwind trip to London, we have been spending a quiet few days in Shipston-on-Stour getting to know 2nd and 3rd cousins better.

I had been waiting to hear about a job I had applied for…but as yet, nada. Very frustrating. However, life goes on and so did our week. We didn’t actually do very much at all which was a welcome change. As the Bank Holiday long weekend approached though there were a few trips.

We had a lovely stroll around the gardens at Hidcote and then up to the top of Dover’s Hill to admire the view one afternoon.

On the Sunday of the long weekend we all piled in the car and went off to Blenheim Palace and spent the day with more 2nd and 3rd cousins. There is a lot to see there, inside and outside to fill the day. There was also a Classic Car show on in the grounds which was like a magnet for small boys…and not so small boys.

We picnicked on the lawn where generations of the Duke of Marlborough’s family will have wandered, and where Winston Churchill may have played with his brother as a child.

Afterward we headed to Woodstock the small town next to the palace in search of somewhere for dinner. There was a music festival on, so many eateries were not serving food, since so much was on offer in the Square. But we found a charming Italian restaurant which could accommodate all nine of us and had menu options for children and vegetarians too.

Back in the 19th century there was a workhouse in the Woodstock area which may be the one where some of our family lived after the death of their husband & father in the 1840’s. But that story, is for another day.

Some family tree-ing has been done through the week, too much for some people though. It has to be said that some of us are detectives, and others are sponges who soak up all the information that has been found.

We’re off on another journey now. Two nights in Wolverhampton first (not sure why, I was going to do some researching but it doesn’t seem conducive to that on first impressions) and then off to Suffolk for a couple of weeks – hopefully to hunt down some jobs.

Before we left tho, we went and took photos of the house on the property where Nana was born. We had always assumed it was nearer the church at Old Milverton. But some of the detective work this week proved that theory wrong. It was actually at Blackdown. The coachman’s cottage where they lived (because great granddad was the coachman) doesn’t seem to be there now, but the house is pretty impressive.

 I just need to track down which house, in the same road, was the one where great grandma was in service before her marriage. I think it could have been very close by.

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