We took our leave of Bath this morning under an overcast sky. The road west gave us a knew vantage of the historic city.
And it gave us an opportunity to check out some more of the buildings. Is that 1845?
Our goal today was to find the farmlands of Henry Foster, Earl of Gisborn, (The Seduction of an Earl) and the Glouchester/Oxfordshire setting for parts of The Caress of a Commander. Once we found Tadpole Bridge, we knew we were on our way to success!
The stone bridge is just one lane wide and even smaller than we expected. It crosses the River Isis (Thames) next to The Trout, a pub and country inn that’s been there for over 400 years.
Once you cross the bridge, you’re into the fictional Gisborn lands. The well-tended farm fields extend from the river north on both sides.
Continue north and you’ll discover the village of Bampton, a charming town with narrow streets and buildings made of Portsmouth stone. This is where Lady Gisborn and Lady Barbara go shopping in The Caress of a Commander.
East of Bampton (and just over the current shire border) is the village of Broadwell. Lady Barbara’s fictional ramshackle cottage is long gone, but other, more sturdy stone buildings remain, including the church. William Slater spots the spire of this church during his search for Barbara.
Our one failure occurred in our search for The Five Bells, the tavern at which William asks after his long-lost love. We couldn’t find it. Broadwell isn’t that large, and we drove through going both directions, but had no luck. We did find The Five Alls over in nearby Filkins, though (probably named for the same five church bells).
We continued on our way to Wattlington, where we’re spending two nights for our forays into Oxford, passing some beautiful lands along the way.
Our accommodations are at a lively country hotel called The Lambert Hotel, and our room is huge! Given the bar area next to the check-in desk, we expect to get some writing done this evening. Ta-ta for now!