Friday, 29 July 2011

Wootton Wawen

The Ancient Britons first settled here, because they thought, in some sense, this was a sacred place. Today, Wootton Wawen still has its very own ambience. St Peter's Church here is the oldest in Warwickshire. A Saxon church was founded here in the 700s, when the place was named Wudu Tun, an estate in the woods, those 2 words forming "Wooton". Wawen comes from Wagen, the name of the last Saxon thane to rule the area before the Norman conquest. The first church was built of timber and thatch, and it was later rebuilt in stone.
The church is known as The Saxon Sanctuary.

The long grass in the churchyard adds to the charm of the place.

At first the visitor may think the grass has just been left untended. But inside the church, the visitor will find details of a scheme to encourage grasses and wild flowers, which is operating is in selected churchyards in Warwickshire. The grass is cut at particular times of year (haymaking) to help the flowers.

The tomb of Francis Smith, 1604.

Near to the church is Wootton Hall, built in 1637, and home to various Catholic families, principally the Carington family.

Hollyhocks growing outside people's homes.

The Bulls Head, at Wootton Wawen. 

The Stratford-on-Avon canal, built in 1813, runs through Wootten Wawen and there are moorings there, the Wootton Wawen Basin.
These ladies were on a "canal boat holiday" touring through Warwickshire, with the narrow boat as a floating hotel. Their boat had stopped overnight at moorings, and they had just visited the Saxon Church, and were now on their leisurely way through the Arden countryside in the direction of Stratford.

Wootton is situated on the bank of the River Alne. The Alne comes from a Celtic name Alwen, meaning bright or shining. The Ancient Britons believed that had some magical or religious meaning.

Here, the Alne flows over a weir at Wooton Wawen.