The sun shone as we pulled away from Willow Farm and headed north around Bath and Bristol heading for the main road across the Cotswolds. The plan was to cover ground today so we have a good drive to our lunch stop at Chastleton House near Chipping Norton. This route takes us along the top of the Cotswolds through some lovely little towns such as Tetbury, Stow on The Wold and Chipping Norton.

Chastleton House (NT) near Chipping Norton. A gem of a house preserved largely unchanged since the 1700s

Chastleton House was a revelation. I must have passed the turning to this house so many times in the 40 years I have travelling this road and I had no idea it was there! This fascinating house was buillt in the early 17th century by a wealthy wool merchant. However the family fell on hard times following the Civil War as result of backing the wrong side. They managed to hang on to the house but never had the money to update and improve it over the centuries and thus when the National Trust acquired in 1991 it had changed very little in over 400 years. The National Trust policy has been to conserve the house at it was at handover and no attenpt has been made to restore it beyond it what is necessary to protect the structure. We loved it and I would very much like to go back and look it again on a nice sunny day and get some better indoor photos. I have included some rather poor quality photos as I want to get across just how special this house is.

The screen at the lower end of the Great Hall at Chastleton House
The screen at the lower end of the Great Hall at Chastleton House
Despite big windows it was quite dim in the Long Gallery at Chasleton House and thus the photo is a but fuzzy. At 72 feet this is the longest surviving long gallery anywhere!
Despite big windows it was quite dim in the Long Gallery at Chasleton House and thus the photo is a bit fuzzy. At 72 feet this is the longest surviving long gallery anywhere!
The old kitchen at Chastleton House showing the "new" range installed in the 19th century. Photo is fuzzy as it is rather dark in the house.
The old kitchen at Chastleton House showing the “new” range installed in the 19th century. Photo is fuzzy as it is rather dark in the house.

After having a good look round at Chastleton and lunch on board Bertie we headed on for the short stretch through Chipping Norton to Ayno Wharf. An excellent Britstop car park right beside the Oxford Canal with water and all services available from the nearby wharf. There is a good pub right beside the wharf but we had all we needed on board (including some more sausages from last night’s Britstop!).

Ayno Wharf Britstop 174
Ayno Wharf Britstop 174
Mileage reading tonight: 121184 kms
Mileage reading at home: 119740 kms
Mileage today:  152kms
Mileage total: 1444 kms
Chasleston House and Ayno Wharf
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