On our recent outing to Stonehenge and Lacock, we ended the day at a picturesque little village called Castle Combe. There are sometimes regrets that you have about trips, and in this case, we were so sorry that we ended up in the town around dusk, and thus missed some prime time to visit what proved to be a charming surprise. Perhaps if we had eaten a quicker lunch, perhaps if we had walked around Stonehenge just a wee bit faster, perhaps if we had spent less time chasing Harry Potter at Lacock Abbey, and perhaps if we had not stopped to take a photo at the town of Tiddleywink along the way, we would have had more time to enjoy Castle Combe--but how were we to know?
Entering the town I was reminded of what I had read. Castle Combe, only 12 miles from the city of Bath, is considered the southern most town of the Cotswolds Region.
Situated in the very center of town is the 14th century Market Cross with the old water pump beside it. It remains from the time when the privilege of holding a weekly fair was awarded. Imagine merchants coming in from all over the countryside for the big market day.
The church dates from the 12th century
and the graveyard beside it was particularly haunting that day with a sprinkle of snow and the setting sun.
Castle Combe was a center of the wool industry in medieval times
and in recent times has seen the arrival of a new industry--the film industry. Among the films shot here were Dr. Doolittle and most recently The Wolf Man.
The houses are typical Cotswold style, hundreds of years old, and spinsters and weavers would make the cottages their homes. The By Brooke supplied power to run the mills.
Truly a city lost in time, I was afraid we might not ever get back for a visit, but as we were leaving, we spotted the Manor House Hotel, and guess what spreads out behind it?
An incredible golf course! So, guess who is suddenly very interested in another weekend trip???
Maybe we will get back someday....?