The Hanwell Park Project


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So after a glorious summer, we were certainly grateful for the ample shade afforded by Hanwell's trees, autumn beckoned. One of the consequences of the hot dry weather was the low level of water in the Lake. It got to the point where I was unwilling to take the boat out as it really was just skimming the surface of the mud and we had already had one sinking. The bulk of the work at the start of the month, therefore, was concentrated on the second sluice, a five minute trundle with the wheelbarrow down from the parking area. All of the seasons bring their own attractions at Hanwell but I couldn't resist this rather clichéd shot of early morning rays of sun shown up by the early morning wisps of mist.

Yes, but is it art?

Initial clearance at the end of August left us well set up to make excellent progress in lifting scattered rubble - once it had all been drawn - to reveal a variety of underlying structures. It has sometimes proved difficult to identify which bits of rubble can be safely removed and one always has to be cautious about creating features by selective shifting of the stones. The best part of a morning was also spent removing the twisted remains of the sycamore root. With lots of careful lopping and some selective sawing we managed to remove it without damaging the underlying walling. Still no consensus as to what it all means and rather worryingly nothing much that looks like a sluice but it's early days yet.

September      September
The wall which seems to block the by-pass channel.                                                                                      The inside corner block of the same wall.

After a promising start to the month work was suspended in order for me to complete the renovation of our conservatory, given that it was there, in a way, when we moved in and the last major rebuild was 20 years or so ago it hasn't done badly. Not that anyone will be that interested but here is a photo with work nearly complete.

I like to think if they were building conservatories in the 17th. century they would have looked a bit like this.

One additional item in the calendar was a stand at one of the regular Saturday coffee mornings in St. Kenelms Church down at Enstone. Following notification through leaflets given out at Enstone show and an advert in the village newsletter we set up to do a kind of Antiques Roadshow with added mud hoping to see some interesting fragments of this and that brought in by people who had been eyeing up their vegetable patches and flower beds. Pretty well everything that was brought in, there were six collections in all, was logged, measured, weighed, recorded and photographed. It didn't quite work out quite as smoothly as we had hoped but even so it was a valuable exercise which we shall build on for the future. Many thanks to the two Peters and a Dave who came to help out.

September      September
The panel are poised ready to deliver judgements...                                                                              and here is a nice little collection of 17th. century pottery from the hamlet of Radford