"A small place..." Brinklow by leics
Brinklow Travel Guide: 2 reviews and 9 photos
Brinklow is in north-east Warwickshire, a village set on the Roman Fosse Way which still largely exists and runs, as the Romans built it, from Lincoln (Lindum Colonia) to Exeter (Isca Dumnoniorum) . It's a wonderful road to drive, still arrow-straight in many parts and with little traffic, taking you through some lovely rural areas of England
Brinklow is fairly near the point where the Roman Fosse Way crossed the one of the major Roman roads to the north...Watling Street, now the A5, which ran (and (and runs) from Richborough (Rutupiae) in Kent through London (Londinium) on to Wroxeter (Viroconium). This major crossing point occurs at what is now the hamlet of High Cross but, in Roman times, was known as Venonis. Weirdly, no-one has found evidence of the Roman settlement which must have existed at such a major junction, although there are one or two Romano-British villas dotted about the surrounding area.
But back to Brinklow. I've driven through it many, many times over the years and have always been struck by how attractive its old heart is...there is much modern building to the north, but the Fosse passes through the original settlement and then turns southwards. so I thought I'd stop and take some photos on a sunny November late afternoon, when the autumnal colours were still pretty.
The Fosse Way road through Brinklow is remarkably wide, always a sign that a settlement once held a market charter (markets involved livestock, hence the need for lots of space). Brinklow's charter was granted in 1218 although, as far as I am aware, no market is now held in the village.
The street is now lined with houses showing the variety of architectural styles over the centuries, ranging from thatched 17th century cottages to typical 18th-century Georgian square-built-with-sash-windows to 19th-century Victorian brick terraces...and very little, thankfully, from the mid to late 20th century.
It's worth parking for a while (easily done) just to have a wander up and down the main street enjoying the architecture.
Having almost certainly existed from prehistory, Brinklow was also a Norman settlement and, like all such in England, had its own motte-and-bailey castle. These (over a thousand are know) were speedily erected as the Normans spread their control across the country but their original wooden constructions were only replaced by stone in a very few cases. Most motte-and-bailey castles, like Brinklow's, remain as earthworks only.
But, in the case of Brinklow, the earthwork (behind the church) is pretty stunning...a truly huge mound, which you can imagine topped with a tall wooden 'keep' and surrounded by strong timber fencing. There is also a prehistoric element to what is known locally as 'the Tump': it is very probable that part of the site includes a prehistoric barrow (burial mound) one of a line of such barrows which run diagonally across Warwickshire from NE to SW.
The Nromans were great church-builders too, and St John the Baptist dates from that time. The existing tower (see photo) dates from the 1300s, as does the south porch (originally thatched). I didn't manage to visit the ichurch this time, but will try to do so in future...there are some surviving fragments of Medieval glass in the windows t be found, as well as the fascinating historical bits-and-pieces all ancient English churches contain.
Brinklow is surrounded by (very) gently rolling rural countryside and has a thriving narrowboat hire/marina just outside the village on the Oxford Canal. There are, of course, several pubs which serve food.... :-)
So....if you happen to be passing by or through, Brinklow might well be worth a stop and an hour or so of your time.
- Pros:Variety of architecture
- Cons:None that I came across
- In a nutshell:Worth a stop if you're nearby or passing through
This is the ancient Norman church of the village, standing on its hill and visible from a long way away (from even... more travel advice
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