Thursday, 21 July 2016

Mother Dunch's Buttocks

Here we are at Days lock, from the Cotswolds to London this has always been our most favourite place on the royal river. It's the third time we have been stopped here this year. A peaceful mooring in splendid countryside, the picturesque Dorchester is just a half hour walk away through farmers fields with a couple of good pubs/hotels and a handy Co-Op to welcome you.

When you get fed up with relaxing by the waters edge a walk up the two hills that make up the Whittenham clumps is a most satisfying way to get some exercise while taking in the breathtaking views of the Thames valley and Oxfordshire.

I have been doing some research of the area(I  googled it).  In 1770's Whittenham clumps had been known by alternative names, one being 'Maidens Breasts' and my favourite 'Mother Dunch's Buttocks' which refers to the lady who owned Whittenham manor.

As up the hill with labr'ing steps we tread
Where the twin Clumps their sheltering branches spread
The summit gain'd, at ease reclining lay
and all around the wide spread scene survey
Point out each object and instructive tell
The various changes that the land befel.
Where the low bank the country wide surrounds
That ancient earthwork form'd old Murcia's bounds.
In misty distance see the barrow heave,
There lies forgotten lonely Culchelm's grave.
Around this hill the ruthless Danes intrenched,
and these fair plains with gory slaughter drench'd,
While at our feet where stands that stately tower
In days gone by, uprose the Roman power
And yonder, there where Thames smooth waters glide
In later days appeared monastic pride.
Within that field where lies the grazing herd
Huge walls were found, some coffins disinter'd
Such is the course of time, the wreck which fate
And awful doom award the earthly great.

Joeseph Tubbs  1844

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