The winter weather was decidely pleasant when I set out for the village of Bushley in Warwickshire, I had one CWGC grave to photograph so it was worth the walk to get there. However, this was really a test to see how well I could cope with an extended walk like this. Unfortunately I have been suffering with unspecific hip and back pain and that has really curtailed my meanderings in the countryside. The church of St Peter is just over 3km away via the Mythe Bridge, which is not really far until you factor in the return walk and the gallivanting I had planned for my return trip.
The route encompasses the magnificent Mythe Bridge that I had photographed last year,
crossing the River Severn
and then following the signs until you reach the village which is in Warwickshire as opposed to Gloucestershire.
The church is easy to find too, it is the highest point there.
The church of St Peter was rebuilt in 1843 by Canon Dowdeswell and consists of chancel, north and south transepts, nave and west tower and spire, it is a Grade II listed building and was designed by Dr Edward Blore & Sir Gilbert Scott.
The graveyard is in a reasonable condition and I spotted a number of 1700’s graves in it, which means that there was a church here for many years before the current building was erected.
My CWGC grave was easy to find, and I also found one private memorial.
The War Memorial is affixed to the outside wall of the church and covers both world wars.
I am always curious as to what these parish churches look like inside, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the church was unlocked.
The building inside is much smaller than it looks from the outside, but it is a very beautiful church on the inside.
There are a number of wall memorials to members of the Dowdeswell family and a few floor memorials but I could not get a clear image of those.
The Font may date from the late 12th century, while the organ was erected in 1908.
Time was trickling away and I needed to start making tracks out of here, I paused at the Nativity scene in front of the pulpit. Christmas was upon us, and it is a very special time in any church.
I returned to the churchyard and took more photographs.
As can be seen the churchyard is higher than the surrounding pavement, which ties into the fact that there are more people buried here than reflect in the 177 memorials in the churchyard with a total of 352 names.
The registers for the church go back to 1538, and the oldest date on a memorial is 1633.
The churchyard does have an extension next to it, although that is nowhere near full.
Then it was time to head back to the Mythe Bridge for my next bit of exploration.
On the right hand side of this image is the sealed off entrance to the tunnel that runs underneath this road.
It was part of the former Upton-upon-Severn to Tewkesbury line and I had been looking for the other end of the tunnel half heartedly for some time. I now had a better idea of where it was, I just had to find it. There is a footpath that runs along the bank of the Severn and by the looks of it I would be able to reach the general area without doing too much bundu-bashing.
The footpath was muddy and there was not much to see in the bush, hopefully at some point I would at least find a clue as to where the tunnel entrance was. Eventually I reached a crossroad with gates in 3 directions, the bush had thinned a bit but was still quite thick, but after checking the gps I was probably close to where I suspected the tunnel was. I walked around the one gate and voila… there it was.
It was bricked up and the entrance door had no visible hinges or lock so was probably fastened from the inside.
Sadly the local graffiti artists had expounded on his occupation, but I was kind of cheesed off that they had found this spot before I had, To see inside that tunnel I would need a long ladder and that would not fit in my slingbag.
There was an interesting little brick hut next to the tunnel with a pipe leading to the roof, but I have no way of knowing what it was in aid of, although I suspect it may have had something to do with signalling.
Then it was time to leave this remnant of the railways and head off towards town and lunch. I had achieved what I had set out to do and that was great. I could now plot that railway almost to Ashchurch Station, I just had to find one more illusive item.
I crossed to the bank of the Avon and took a quick pic of the King John’s Bridge which was commissioned by King John in the late 12th century.
and a strange dredger called Canopus.
and finally a gap in the former railway embankment that leads to the tunnel.
and then home was in sight.
It had been a long walk, and I am tired and sore. I am afraid I will have to stop taking these extended walks because recovering from them is long. Fortunately tomorrow is a bank holiday so I can take it easy, but I may just head out to….
DRW 2016-2017. Created 26/12/2016