Thursday, July 16, 2015

England 2015: Day 7--Chedworth Roman Villa and Malmesbury Abbey

Here we are, Folks, at the end of the week in England, one of my 70th-birthday gifts to me, myself and I.  Hello.  Mission accomplished!

It was our last full day with Lisl and Michael and so happened to be on Sunday, Father's Day, 21 June.  So off we went, first to the Chedworth Roman Villa 50 miles away over back, windy roads.

  It's one of the largest Roman villas in England and from the early 2nd to 4th centuries.

But true to English form, we immediately went for coffee break when we arrived.
Since I don't like just plain coffe, I usually find something Ginger Beer!
And because the shop was nearby, yes, we bought a Beerus Britannicus to take home.

Then we were off to see the mosaics, still under excavation.
It's painstaking work to get it all back together as it once was.

Does it blow your mind that we're talking about close to 2000 years ago???

You know those Romans, of course, and their baths.
Almost everything we know today about water we learned from them.

This villa was discovered in 1864 and is believed to have been a farm
of a very wealthy Roman, founded in 120 AD.

It's still being excavated, as funds are available.
I think of Mom and how she would be beyond herself at such a place.
Among all the other things, she was an archeological nut!

Did you know that escargot snails were brought to England by the Romans?
They run wild and free at this Villa and are protected.
Look how big they are (and surely very tasty)!

As happens at such tourist attractions, there were shows and exhibitions.
What did the Romans do, of course, but fight the rest of the world.  HA!

And because it was Father's Day, the kids got to fight their dads.
How fun is that!

It worked up an appetite for a splendid picnic lunch, thanks to Lisl and Michael.
Talk about living the good life.

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 On our way to the Malmesbury Abbey, we drove 8 miles from Chedworth
to the Cirencester/Corinium Ampitheatre from the early 2nd century.
It's approximately 150 x 135 feet and probably held up to 8,000 people.
Don't you wonder what history those grassy mounds could tell!

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Malmesbury Abbey, from the 7th century, was dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul.
When we arrived, we saw hints of it from its back side along the weir.

 We then climbed steps over these inlaid history markers to the abbey....

 ...passing the world-famous Abby House Gardens along the way.
We stopped only long enough to get a good look at the naked wrestlers.
Apparently the present owners tend the 5-acre garden naked!

We continued to wind our way around the ancient ruins.

And just before getting to the entrance, we walked to the nearby Market Cross for tea break.
The English (and the Dutch, I might add) really do take these breaks seriously.

What a spectacular view on all sides of the abbey but especially at the front.

Surely every detail tells a story before you even enter.
Don't you love that it's dog-friendly!

When we entered, the late-afternoon service was already in session.
But the lady at the back told us to make ourselves at home, take photos..."no one will care."
Much of the abbey still survives, with this existing third of the nave still in active service.

This video doesn't do the sound justice but...
let's just say my deepest soul welled up with tears.

 As we left and rounded back to where we had first started,
I couldn't think of a better place to end the England 2015 trip.

It was the crowning touch to one of my best birthday gifts ever.

THANK YOU, Lisl and Michael, for knowing.  You know me...
sometimes better than I know myself?!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

And now, with grandson Nicholas arriving tomorrow from Atlanta for two whole weeks,
I'm ready to concentrate on yet another 70th-birthday gift to me, myself and I.
Life really doesn't get better than this.


  1. It's all completely delightful, Boots! And now you are done with the trip before Nicholas arrives tomorrow. How I look forward to your photos and tales of that!!

    1. It's an easy segue, Ruth, now that I can move my concentration to Nicholas. Oh, how wonderful to be totally free in my head now. THANK YOU. You will definitely see photos...on FB and then eventually on here. :)

  2. I loved my stay in Malmesbury and you have brought back happy memories for me :-)

    You really must go back and visit Abbey House Gardens, they are fabulous :-)

    A couple of links to blog posts of mine on the fascinating 'Wrestlers' sculpture:

    1. Thank you so much for those links, Cherry. We didn't have more than about 5 minutes in that spot, so, YES, we definitely need to go back. It will take several more lifetimes, you know, to see everything in your great country!

  3. I'm with's all wonderful and we can't wait for the next adventure with Nicholas!

    1. And it's all starting as we speak, Robin. I hope you're paying attention to FB in the meantime. :)

  4. That Roman Villa really blows my mind, what an amazing place. I always try 'to go back in time' and picture life there. Imagine them as the ' first immigrants. The fathers day special made me laugh, who does not want to beat up your dad, this is your change and get away with it (grin) we spotted one boy though who was crying, that was too much for him....
    The rest of the day was a treat, so many beautiful special things to see. The Vimeo of the church service is wonderful and I know that is very special to you. This was a very memorable trip, your birthday gift and an unexpected treat for me. Great pictures that will keep the memory alive. IHVJ, you did a great will getting it done before Nicholas arrived.

    1. You hit on all the things that were so special for me, too, that day, MLMA. These are memories we can have and hold for as long as possible...which is another reason why making these posts is so important to me. I should turn 70 more often. HA!

  5. You and Astrid are creating memories for this boy that he will remember his whole life. I can't imagine anything more wonderful. You two will be in heart forever.

    1. Of course, this was our trip to England, Susie, and not with Nicholas. He is now with us in the Netherlands and we are indeed creating memories for him...which hopefully he'll never forget!

  6. I am exhausted and you did it in 7 days...i'd need 7 weeks....I love this last trip...the roman ruins are something I had not known about but will add it to my must see list if I ever get to the UK.

    1. HA! It IS pretty exhausting when I go back and relive it all, Donna. It still amazes me how that Roman Empire permeated the known world back in its day. Very interesting to see how they lived...all those eons ago! I hope you can get there to see it one day!