Saturday, 2 February 2013

From Potterne, via Sleight, then Back to the "White Bear" for Lunch.

On Friday morning we caught the early bus to the "Porch House," a splendid 15th century building in Potterne, a village four miles from Devizes.   The timber framed house was built around 1480, and has a roof of stone and slate.  The single storied central great hall is flanked by a gabled, two storied cross wing, with a two storied porch.  The house is in private hands, and now stands beside the busy main road from Devizes to Salisbury.   We turned left into Coxhill Lane, and walked  on track to the top of "One Tree Hill" with its wonderful views over the Vale of Pewsey.  The day was fresh with little sunshine, but at least it wasn't raining!   We headed back to Devizes for lunch via the hamlet of Sleight, which lies at the foot of Etchilhampton Hill.

Only six of us ventured out in the semi gloom, and above to the right are the walkers, with Etchilhampton Hill in the background.  As the  ground is so waterlogged and muddy at the moment, it is difficult to find easy walks, where we avoid becoming covered in mud!

The leaden sky above the lane leading into "Drew's Pond" Nature Reserve, looked as if a cloudburst was imminent, but fortunately it stayed dry.  The field ditches were filled to overflowing with water, and at one point we met an elderly man, who was doing his best to clear blocked culverts and drains.

We had lunch in "The White Bear," a pub that has existed as an ale house since 1673, and one of the oldest pubs in Devizes.   It was originally built early in the 17th century, and is a three gabled Tudor building, with colourful 300 year old paintings on a beam above the bar, which can be seen in the above photo.  I enjoyed a ham and salad filled bageuette, washed down with half a pint of cider.   Ahhh,  very tasty!

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