On Monday morning we made the short journey down river to Oundle, mooring beside the lovely buttercup meadow and the old Oundle bridge.
The town is built of stone, a harsher lighter coloured stone, than some of the places we have seen recently, to my mind not quite so pretty.
The church spire of St Peter’s towers over the town and can be seen for miles around. Against the clear blue sky with the sun shining brightly, it was quite awe inspiring.
Inside, the space has been cleared of the old Victorian pews and made into a light and very adaptable space for the many different activities held here over the church’s year. From weddings, funerals, concerts, children’s activities and musicals (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat a few weeks ago).
With a mixture of old stone flooring and new oak flooring very practical too. And they’ve plans to rearrange one of the chapels too, re-working the old pews into a screen creating a separate room, if I understand the plan drawings correctly.
A large part of the town is occupied by Oundle School. The School's buildings, dating from the seventeenth to the twenty-first century, are dispersed throughout the town, which is, to a large extent, its campus. As a result, pupils pass through the streets continually as they go to lessons, games or other activities, and are not isolated from the local community.
The School's history goes back to 1556 when Sir William Laxton, Master of the Worshipful Company of Grocers and Lord Mayor of London, endowed and re-founded the original Oundle Grammar School, of which he was a former pupil. In 1876, the Grocers' Company decided to divide the School into two parts: Laxton Grammar School, mainly for the inhabitants of the town, and Oundle School, mainly for pupils from further afield. However, to mark the new millennium, the Governing Body decided to reunite the two schools under the common name of Oundle School, with Laxton as a House for day pupils.
Catholic church and the town hall and museum
Impressive architecture in the main street and the bookshop.
On the way back to Tacet we noticed this inscription on the bridge:
IN THE YERE OF OVRE LORD 1570 THES ARCHS WER BORNE DOVN BY THE WATERS EXTREMYTIE
IN THE YERE OF OVRE LORD 1571 THEY WER BYLDED AGAYN WITH LYME AND STONNE
THANKS BE TO GOD