Sunday 21st June
It’s Chipping Norton Town Festival. So off me and Gary went for a day out.
We met Robyn and her friend Lucie and the first thing we did was go down a trapdoor and some steep steps in our Post Office floor and looked around the unusual room that was there! All stone but some carvings of faces in the corners and some windows that looked out onto nothing! But they said that many many years ago they thought the road outside was much lower and you could probably have looked out across the fields! I think we have secret tunnels under our town too but I don’t really know much about them! Quite amazing really.
We spent the rest of the day wandering about, sitting on bales of straw listening to the bands playing (with Julie, Hannah, Robyn, friends). It turned out to be quite a warm sunny day so it was nice to just sit about. Saw a few more people that I hadn’t seen since my transplants and they asked me how I was getting on. My boss was manning the Co-op stall so I went over and said hello to him too. We went in to Bitter & Twisted, a pub in the centre of town, and had some lunch. That was really nice as always.
Later I saw my friend Sally and her husband Charlie and daughter Charley-Ann and some others and had a chat and a tonic water with them!
I did get a few sharp stabbing pains in my liver area during the day but I wasn’t going to let that spoil things for me.
A long day but it was fun.
PS – I decided to do a bit of research about my earlier comments on what is actually underneath Chipping Norton, so you don’t think I have completely gone mad!!
I found this – To the visitor passing through, Chipping Norton seems just like any other Cotswold town, honey coloured cottages and quaint back lanes with old buildings, but it holds a secret, it must be the most haunted corner of England.
Every May and October a shadowy figure roams the town after dark, called the Stowfair man by locals, he is said to make objects disappear, many locals swear they have experience of this.
On the High Street is the Crown & Cushion Hotel, where the Gunpowder plot was hatched, aided by Robert Catesby who used to own Chastleton House just outside the town. The ghosts of the conspirators huddled in a corner of the bar have been seen by more than one person.
Just down from the High Street is the Parish Church, from whose tower the local priest was hanged, and his ghost is still reputed to be walking about the town.
Mysterious tunnels are reputed to criss cross the town, used by ancient monks to visit Inns, out of sight of the God fearing citizens.
I also found this – Chipping Norton also had a notorious reputation on account of clerical and monastic sex crimes and allegations of witchcraft. For example, beneath the streets of the town were secret tunnels leading from the local monastery to the nunnery whereby monks and nuns enjoyed scandalous liaisons.
Oooh. Even more amazing than I first thought. But how true these two bits of information are I’m really not sure!
And I also found this – The Medieval undercroft under the Post Office. You never imagine what is below you whilst waiting in the queue to buy stamps. It is thought the upper side of the High Street may have been up to 8 feet lower than it is today. Apart from St Mary’s Church this 14th century undercroft is one of the earliest structures still surviving in the town.