Thursday, 23 August 2007


0 Locks, 5½ Miles, 1 Tunnel. Now moored at Brinklow.
596 locks, 764 miles, 21 Tunnels, 37 swing bridges and 19 lift bridges since Nov 2006

It was very blustery and cool as we set off from Brownsover in the company n/b Kalimera.It was a slow and steady cruise with a few boats on the move. We had planned on stopping at the Barley Mow at Newbold for water but there was already a queue so we carried on as we are not desperate for water. Our arrival at Brinklow was nicely timed with 2 berths available for both boats.

After lunch we all went into Brinklow to explore the village more fully than on our first visit. We took the public footpath route across farm fields and came out by the Raven pub.

We walked up one side of the village to
St Johns parish church where we found a very unusual graveyard where the grave head stones had been made out of what appeared to be slate instead of the more usual stone, granite or marble. The inscriptions were still as clear as the day they were engraved in the late1700’s, early 1800’s. Some even looked 3 dimensional.

The most interesting tomb stone was of Thomas Bolton, a deaf and dumb woodcutter who died in 1779. His epitaph reads “He chiefly got his livelihood by faggoting and felling wood. Till death, the conqueror of all, gave the feller himself a fall”. Also engraved on the tombstone were his tools of trade.

The church itself dates back to the thirteenth century and it is 1 of only 3 churches in the country with a sloping floor which runs east to west. The bell tower contains 6 bells, 5 dating back to 1705 and 1 dated 1913 which is inscribed “My movrnful sovnd doth warning give that here men cannot always live” I will leave the interpretation of this to yourselves.

In the south wall is a small piece of marble donated by St Johns Baptist church in Canberra Australia as a friendship link in 1948.

From the church we walked down the other side of the village main street where we stopped at the local store run by a very friendly lady for an ice cream. On the way back to the boat we walked around the other end of the village up behind the church to a castle mound where Roman soldiers once stood 2000 years ago. It is locally known as “The Tump” and was a Norman Motte and Bailey castle. The view from the top was magnificent with Coventry in the hazy distance.

Before the Oxford canal was straightened it used to meander through Brinklow and it is said that the Navvies on their horse drawn boats would hear the morning and evening prayer bells in the same day as it took so long to pass through the village. It must have been a very circuitous route.

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