“Inspircation” Day 5: Doors, doors, and more doors

chippingcampden_handdoorknocker3

The main goal for the “inspircation” today was to have a bit of a family reunion, as my mom wanted to meet up with her second-cousin. They have been corresponding for years, but this was the first time they had ever met in person.

We decided to meet up in the Cotswold town of Chipping Campden, near the old market hall on the high street. There we were, searching for a parking spot, when my mom suddenly screamed from the seat behind me, so loudly that I thought we were about to have a crash. Turns out, it was just that she had spotted her cousin standing on the sidewalk and it was a scream of delight.

In any case, a parking stall was quickly found and we clambered out of the car for much hugging! As for the town itself, it was very old and quaint, and swelling with history (I guess that’s not very unusual here). The old market hall dates back to 1627.

chippingcampden_oldmarketsquare

What I really loved about this town was the fact that it offered a plethora of doors. (I’m not sure if there is a collective noun for doors. But if not, I need to come up with one.)

Here are a few of the many doors (and/or their details) that I discovered and recorded . . .

chippingcampden_lowdoor chippingcampden_bowtiedoor chippingcampden_dragondoorknocker chippingcampden_handdoorknocker chippingcampden_letterboxchippingcampden_handle chippingcampden_orangedoor_lionknocker chippingcampden_oldschoolhousedoor

After lunch at a local cafe, we decided to drive up to Snowshill Manor and Garden. We followed my mom’s cousin in their car and, yes, we did get lost! But, for once, it wasn’t my fault . . . it was just that my mom’s cousin got turned around. I can’t begin to tell you how much better this made me feel about our own motor-related misadventures these past few days.

Snowshill Manor is a very peculiar place. It is now in the hands of the National Trust, but was previously owned by an eccentric named Charles Wade who had a penchant for collecting . . . well, EVERYTHING. I couldn’t sort out a rhyme or reason for anything in his collection. In one room there would be suits of samurai armour and weaponry and, in the next, spinning wheels, only to be followed by a chamber of old carriages. In fact, Mr. Wade never lived in the manor; he restored it for the purpose for housing his massive collection (some 25,000 items). Mr. Wade himself lived in the adjacent priest’s house (it is also crammed with all manner of curios).

Of course, you’re not allowed to touch anything, but at one point, Marcie started fiddling with something (I can’t every remember what it was or if I knew what it was to begin with) and the attendant nearly had a heart attack!

One thing you could touch was a replica knight’s helmet, so I tried it on for kicks. It weighed over six pounds! (Though apparently, the real helmet that it is based on would have be even heavier).

snowshill_helmet02 snowshill_helmet01

Afterwards, we headed out to the garden and orchards for a quick peek, then headed back to our B&B in Ilmington, to eat in the village pub’s garden and listen to the nearby cows moo. Tomorrow, we’re off to Exeter, in our quest to find the street in nearby Devonport where my grandfather was born.

snowshill_secretgardendoor

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