Sunday, 27 February 2011

The village of Bibury


The Gloucestershire village of Bibury was described by William Morris as the most beautiful in England. Apart from the arterial road going through it, it will have changed little since he handed down that opinion. Although it does attract visitors, there are not any shops to speak of, so the traffic is not as heavy as it might otherwise be. The river runs along the side of the road, it is often full of trout, some hiding in the duckweed. I have seen it so dense with fish one could almost walk across the river using them as stepping stones. There is a fish farm at one end of the village. You pay entry to look at the fish, you pay to feed the fish, or to catch them, you can buy a recipe and buy filleted fish. A neat piece of exploitation of both visitors and of fish.

The early visitors can find the mist still on the river and stroll alone along the 300 year old weaver's cottages of Arlington Row. At the oppisite end of the village from the Fish Farm walk by the school into St Mary's churchyard, through it, past the barrel shaped tombs, you can enter the grounds of the Bibury Court Hotel. Walk along the water edge and encounter great peace, the bank of the river low to the water, the willows shading it along to the weir.

The last photograph that I took of my father was of him sitting in this chair with the sunshine striking him.

The church dates back to Saxon times; it has been remodeled and remodeled with 'wool' money and across from the hotel, there are often sheep grazing, still providing an income if not the riches that fueled the beauty of the church.

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