Dwight Peck's personal Web site

Late summer 2003 -- A few weeks in Devon and Cornwall



Devon and Cornwall, here we come!

But first, four days near Oxford to visit at least one new student there.

You may not find this terribly rewarding unless you're included here, so this is a good time for casual and random browsers to turn back before they get too caught up in the sweep and majesty of the proceedings and can't let go.

Oxford's very nice, with all those 13th century spires and the bustling High Street and all, but much better to install ourselves peacefully in North Moreton and commute into town daily. The North Moreton House, a 16th century B+B, is a fairly inexpensive and very charming place to stay, with very kind hosts, minutes from Dipcote on the Thames rail line into Oxford.

You can avoid all those Brits who persist in driving on the wrong side of the road just by taking the train into the city for the cost of half a sausage.

North Moreton House, a recommendable B+B in a quaint and very rural village just west of Wallingford, with a pub just up the street. That pub's under renovation just now, alas, but no worries, there's another in SOUTH Moreton.

This is North Moreton House with the village church just behind it.

Us

The North Moreton Church, and its graveyard curiously sparsely inhabited. Almost as if, as in Switzerland, they're digging them up every 25 years and tossing them into the lake.

The main street of North Moreton.

We're still looking for the North Moreton pub. We'll try South Moreton next.

This is the excellent church in Ewelme, just east of Wallingford, and this is . . .

. . . Kristin showing off her comfortable pink shoes in the Ewelme cemetery. There's a story about those shoes, but it will not be told until 25 years after the passing of all participants.

The cloisters of Ewelme church

An excellent sarcophagus in the Ewelme church, one of a kind probably

It's a 15th century gimmick, in its own way -- oh, those De la Poles, always going for the big laugh. The lady neatly carved on the top in the conventional dead manner, i.e. praying and sleeping at the same time, all dressed in sober and comfortable nightwear, is Alice Chaucer (the poet's granddaughter), wife first of Thomas Montagu, the 4th Earl of Salisbury, who was killed at the battle of Orléans in 1428, and then the widow of William de la Pole, the Duke of Suffolk who was killed in 1450.

Alice died in 1475 and here she is -- all cute and pious up there on top and (look at the sculpted figure at the bottom) all nasty and skeletal underneath. Memento mori, dude.

Hope you're feeling better than you look, Alice.

Abingdon, south of Oxford. On the way into the university town on the mighty Cherwell to visit a brand new student at Somerville College and do a little champagne with Sir Michael Scholar, the President of St John's College, and Angela, let's save on the train fare and walk it on in along the Thames.

The Thameside path, and a cute little boat-thing. Readers who vividly recall Conrad's description, at the beginning of Heart of Darkness, of the Thames stretching out to the four corners of the world will find this placid scene reassuring.

The locks on the Thames at Sandford, about halfway along our little walk into Oxford. A nice family chugging along the river in their cute little boat, also reassuring

We've just been four days near Oxford, seeing the sights and making sure that a new student at Somerville is settling in nicely, driving on the wrong side of the road and rekindling our passion for basic pub food. Now we're going down to the north Devon coast for some serious walking. You can see it here if you stay back a bit and don't block others' view.

Devon and Cornwall, October 2003

Summer 2002


Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 22 November 2003, revised 20 September 2008, 11 May 2013.


Devon and Cornwall, 2009


Devon and Cornwall, 2006


Devon and Cornwall, 2004


Devon and Cornwall, 2003