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Old floors and big garden

A day in the Costwolds and of course it was raining; but we headed out anyway to see something old.

The UK is stuffed with history, some of it dating back a couple of thousand years to when the Romans ignored immigration laws and took over most of the country. I wanted she who must be obeyed to see some of our older antiquities (given that she is married to one), so we went to Chedworth Roman Villa.

Given the weather conditions, this was a good choice. Their cafe served an excellent coffee, and the most interesting finds are under cover. We had an enthusiastic guide who reminded us that these ancient illegal immigrants brought us innovations such as under-floor heating, irrigation and bathing; all of which could be seen at Chedworth, along with some well-preserved mosaics.

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After an hour or so inside, we headed out to main site to discover that the rain had stopped; time to move on.

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Lawrence Johnston was a wealthy man who liked his garden. It was a big garden so Lawrence spent much of his life plundering flora from around the world and the result was Hidcote. Probably not the best time of year to view it; but we spent a pleasant couple of hours under a cloudy sky.

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This Post Has 8 Comments
  1. Very nice too, hope she enjoyed it. I used to live quite close to Hidcote and Chedworth was about 20 miles or so away. I like both locations, though they are best viewed on a sunny day.

  2. For those wondering – and this is just a guess – the photograph which apparently shows a walled-in “garden” of hand-carved, stone “mushrooms”, is actually showing a medieval floor. Beams would have been run across the stone plinths, carefully cut if necessary to ensure that the upper surface was both flat and smooth [sections carefully carved out as required], then planks would have been laid across the top.

    The reason for this – and this is quite a common site among buildings of this age in the UK – is damp. If wooden posts had been used to support the floor – and with run-off able to permeate the walls of the building and get beneath the flooring – then it would have simply rotted out the base of the posts, leading to embarrassing and/or painful collapses at unexpected moments…

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