A while ago I came across a blog link party featuring posts about doors from all over the world. At first I thought it was a rather nerdish subject but then I became intrigued and decided to see if I could write a suitable post. The trouble was the more I looked the more difficult it became to find suitable doors. Even if the rest of the building had award winning architecture the doors seemed to be standard issue.
Last weekend however my husband and I went on a mystery coach tour. At first I was slightly disappointed to find we were heading east towards London but then we crossed into Wiltshire. The landscape of Wiltshire is very ancient. Our morning coffee stop was in Avebury home to a mysterious stone circle and we also drove past Silbury hill a long barrow thought to date back to 3,700 B.C.
We then had a short sightseeing break in the small town of Marlborough and as I walked round I realised I would have the material for a doors post. Marlborough was mentioned in the Doomsday book of 1089. It is a small town of alleyways half timbered houses and coaching inns with a church on either end of the high street. It found fame as the site of a civil war battle of 1642 and then returned to being a stop on the main road between London and Bristol. A place to change your horses and eat a meal. Nowadays travellers often stop here on the way to Stonehenge which is only twenty miles away.
Many of the houses obviously date back to Tudor times or earlier but have been adapted to suit the needs of the modern inhabitants. I did not feel I was walking through an English heritage theme park. The houses looked lived in rather than picture postcard perfect.
These cottages still retain a lot of their original charm but real people who watch television live here.
I thought this narrow yellow house looked like an illustration from a story book and if you are wondering what sort of person might live here… We spotted this plaque on the corner house.
William Golding wrote “Lord of the flies” a book about anarchic school children. He grew up in Marlborough where his father was a local school master.
I found the sign Dean’s chauntrie (above) further down this terrace. I had to consult a medieval online dictionary but I discovered a chauntrie was a home for chaunter clerks, priests who were hired to chant prayers for rich people who were too lazy or busy to do so themselves.
This door was at the side of one of the High Street shops. The thickness of the wood and the style of the iron work betray its age.
I only spent about half an hour in Marlborough but I very much enjoyed looking at the architecture.
We had a surprise when we found our hotel for the night was the police federation headquarters in Leatherhead but that is another anecdote.