On Tuesday morning we had a relatively early start, left our mooring opposite the Fleur de Lys, dropped down through the nearby lock and took on water. Off we went again and made our way to Wootton Wawen, passing nothing on the move until we reached Preston Bagot where it all became very lively with oncoming boats, helping us drop through the final three locks of the day. This part of the trip involved passing over the first of three aqueducts on the Stratford canal. This first aqueduct is only about the length of a boat and is next to Bucket Lock cottage.
It was a case of “pick your spot” when we reached the basin at Wootton so we chose to tie on the very end, just after the first bridge.
Wootton Wawen is one of those little places out of the way that nobody really knows about and in fairness, there doesn’t appear to be a lot there at first glance. We took a bit of time to explore and visited the local church which dates back to Saxon times. Just think about that for a moment – people have been gathering there to pray for a thousand years or so!
The village boasts a couple of churches, a couple of pubs and a trailer park.
That seems a little unfair when written like that but thanks to Bill Allen, a Wolverhampton motor trader who bought the local stately home, Wootton Hall in the 1950’s and basically saved it from ruination, the village has been revitalised. Mr Allen visited the US in the early 1960’s and decided that there could be a future in providing mobile home accommodation.
The grounds of Wootton Hall is now home to a number of static caravans, a bowling green, a social club and more importantly, a Post Office and general store. There is another general store on the main road so all in all, the village is well provided for.
When we were last here, we visited the local farm shopping centre and bumped into ex Atomic Kitten, Kerry Katona. No human celebs were around when we arrived this time but we did see a scarlet tiger moth which isn’t normally native to this part of the country.
We had a nose around the antique shops, had tea in the Cowshed café and shopped in the farm shop itself.
Naturally enough, we had to investigate the Saxon church and it was superb as it has a very informative display of the local history. Our walking took us to the Bulls Head where we had lunch and we also supported both of the shops along the way.