Sunday, 15 March 2015
When in South Oxfordshire …
Recognized as one of the most beautiful stretches of the Thames, the Goring Gap is the setting for classic books The Wind in the Willows, Watership Down and Three Men in a Boat. Views of Goring Lock, the weirs, and the rural landscape, especially as seen from the bridge, are some of the most photographed and painted scenes in England.
Yewhenge is an accurate, third-size replica of Stonehenge growing at
Waterperry Gardens, near Thame. The yew trees were planted early in the new millennium to the exact same geographical co-ordinates as the historic ancient monument. Open all year.
The Victorian Maharajah's Well is at Stoke Row, five miles west of Henley on Thames. Built in 1864, it is the depth of two Nelson's columns and topped by a golden elephant. It was a gift from the Indian Maharajah of Benares. Open all year.
Part of a 6.5 acre nature reserve, Ewelme Watercress Beds extend the entire length of the village. Although watercress is no longer grown commercially, the beds are a reminder of times where it thrived and supplied London's Covent Garden.
The Ornate 15th century Rycroft Chapel near Thame has exquisitely carved and painted woodwork, a musicians' gallery dating from 1610, and Baroque reredos dated 1682. The young Princess Elizabeth was detained here during the reign of her sister Mary, and she returned many times once she became queen. Open at weekends only.
King Alfred's Saxon fortifications still surround the town of Wallingford. They are the largest and best-surviving example of their kind in England.
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Picture Credit: "Goring Gap_01" by Motmit (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons; "Maharajah's Well, Stoke Row" by Graham Horn via Wikimedia Commons