Saturday 27 May 2023


The mid-morning light streams in illuminating the gentle flecks of dust and remarkable wall paintings of St John the Baptist church Inglesham. We can see 
St Christopher as he was portrayed in the 1200’s and make out some of The Ten Commandments above the nave arch.


Box Pews, overseen by an equally grand pulpit, all faded and polished by time. Worship from wonderful Book of Common Prayer (1662) was given and received by all who sat in this wonderful church.


Sit, think, absorb the walls, roof and furniture of this special place now cared for by the Churches Conservation Trust and loved by many, judging from the visitor’s book by the door.


Miss not the Saxon stone Madonna and Child in the south wall.


All within striking distance of Lechlade and Faringdon.


Peaceful interior 

An excellent more measured story of this church by Churches Conservation Trust is here.

by John Piper who visited Inglesham in 1948

Friday 12 May 2023


A couple of miles south of us is the hamlet of Stoke Purton a few miles further is  Purton village. 


Seeking a new route for a Rosie walk we headed to Stoke Purton and walked along a No Through Road road. The OS map indicated something called a Salts Hole. We came upon it. There was a low gate in a thick hedge secured by a stout combination lock. About a hundred metres beyond stood a Victorian gothic hexagonal building with a stout door, elegant gabled roof.  Around this summerhouse-like building undergrowth, trees and bushes battled for supremacy.


This was Salts Hole, a Victorian spa, written about by Katharine M. Jordan in Seven Wiltshire Wells and their Folklore.


We saw the stone plaque over the door of what was the pump room.



For local people around here used saline water from the spring to cure many ills.


In 1850s its owner drained the area and fenced off the spring. People soon broke the railings anxious for the heating waters, for there was no Boots in Cricklade or Lloyds in Purton at that time.


In her text © Katharine M. Jordan (1998) she tells 

“It is curious, by the way, that the only structural part of the pump-house to have disappeared should be the doors. It is well-known in Wiltshire that they have no doors in Purton: so much so that, should you forget to close the door behind you, the cry goes up: ‘D’you come from Purton?’


I can testify to this having met two lovely local ladies in Purton village churchyard this morning; they corroborated the saying ‘D’you come from Purton?’. However curiously enough they had not heard of the Salts Hole a few miles away. 


Complete source for Jordan’s text:


I have ordered a copy of Folklore of Ancient Wiltshire, 1990

by Katharine M. Jordan and eagerly await more discoveries hereabouts.

Wednesday 3 May 2023


Built by the Knights Templars - All Saints Down Ampney

Almost asleep, in spite of being so close to the A419 Cirencester to Swindon superhighway, is Down Ampney Village. It is best known as the birthplace of composer Ralph Vaughan Williams. 


During WWII Down Ampney was home to the Royal Airforce 1944 until 1947. From here the 3rd Parachute Brigade were dropped in Normandy. And forces who flew from here were active in Arnhem and the Rhine Crossing. 

The same squadrons flew the wounded, tended by RAF nurses, home. The busy road, a straight line from the tarmac to where the wounded were taken became known as ‘hospital road’ by all stationed there. Now it is a lovely walk between to large fields of sheep and bears right to am RAF Memorial.


And close by is All Saints Church with its striking C14 spire. In this treasure ladened church, built by the Templers is a memorial window to the men and women of the Royal Air Force who took part in operations originating from RAF Down Ampney during WWII. A commemorative service is held each year.

More on RAF Down Ampney here