June 4 – 1066 goes to Faringdon, Great Coxwell and Uffington

Agricultural Cathedral, Tom Brown's Museum and Uffington White Horse

Hi from 1066 – A Medieval Mosaic

A great day out geocaching from Burford. First, we went to Faringdon where we found three church micros and a Really Side Tracked. All Saints church was closed but the numbers were soon collected and the final found but we could not get the lid off it. We tried and tried and thought we might have to give up. We had a look in the car but there was nothing helpful there and finally, the lid moved and we were able to sign the small log. We made sure we didn’t close the container too tightly so that other people didn’t have the same problem. When we got to the puzzle at the Baptist church we were not sure what to do next but then I had an idea which worked. We used the same technique later on in the day.

On our way out of Faringdon, we drove up a hill and looked out over the plains. There was an earth cache here all about the geology of the area. On our way to Great Coxwell, we discovered a huge Tithe Barn. The geocache there is named ‘Agricultural Cathedral’ and it is aptly named. This barn is massive. It was built in 1292 and now run by National Trust. William Morris who was associated with the Arts and Crafts movement has carved his initials into several of the huge wooden pillars, so graffiti is not a new thing it seems.

St Giles Church at Great Coxwell has a lovely carved font cover and some lovely tapestry kneelers. St Marys at Little Coxwell was closed but we got caught in a cloud burst and had to shelter under the gate until it subsided. The cache required us to walk through a field with a horse in it which we were not going to do but we found the cache from a different direction.

When we arrived at St Mary’s church in Uffington they were having the first of their weekly Sunday afternoon teas for the summer. We got talking to a lady there about the Thatcher name. Denis Thatcher, Lady Thatcher’s husband is from here and there are monuments to many centuries of Thatchers there. ( I wonder if the Thatchers from Peel Forest originate here too?) There are plans for a monument for Denis and Lady Thatcher to be positioned here too but it is not there yet. As we were looking for the church micro we came across a lady walking a gorgeous Basset Hound. His ears were so long and his legs so short that his ears dragged along the ground as he walked. Very cute. Then we discovered a small museum which turned out to be the school featured in ‘Tom Brown’s Schooldays’

Then we discovered a small museum which turned out to be the school featured in ‘Tom Brown’s Schooldays‘. The author, Thomas Hughes who lived from 1822 to 1896 was born in the village but never went to school here, however, the first of his books published in 1857 was written about this school. It is a small one room classroom and the desks with their ink wells and the writing between the line brought back lots of memories and we don’t go back to Victorian days but only to the 1960’s. In Uffington, we also did a Village Sign cache and a Really Side Tracked which were both easily found once the muggles moved away.

At Baulking church we found a lovely little church with some wall paintings and some nice stained glass windows then we drove up the hill to see the Uffington White Horse. There is a whole series of caches up here but it was several miles long so we were only able to do two but we will come back some time to do the others. The views up there at the site of Uffington Castle in the early evening are wonderful. There is an earth-cache named ‘The Manger’ and at first, we were not sure what was being spoken of but when you get in the right position the land is amazing. It is the remnants of glacial action and there appear to be some sink holes. Dragon Hill is a natural chalk hill with an artificial flat-top which is situated on the scarp slope of White Horse Hill and clings the legend that it was on its summit that Saint George slew the dragon. A bare patch of chalk upon which no grass will grow is purported to be where the dragon’s blood spilt.

The evening finished with another church micro at Woolstone. The church was closed by this time but we had a lovely day.