Today the clocks were changed in England, and for the little church I love up in Binsey (Thornbury actually, but that’s another story), it means that Evensong service at 3:30PM has started again. It’s been months since the clock fell back in October and the last Evensong of the season was held, so I’ve been looking forward to walking up along the Thames, past Port Meadow, past Binsey, and up to St. Margaret’s Church in Binsey for the service.
It’s a lovely walk. I left the house and walked across Botley road to join the Thames Path as it leads up to Port Meadow. Yesterday there was a cold Arctic wind, but today it felt like spring, even with the heavy clouds in the sky. Here are a few pictures of the walk along the towpath to Port Meadow:
After passing Port Meadow, I followed the road to Binsey:
Which has delightful rustic cottages and houses, and a pub called The Perch:
Then I arrived at St Margaret’s Chruch, and visited St. Margaret’s Well, the healing well that was a pilgrimage site for hundreds of years. The site was primarily a healing well, but it was also known for its fertility. I read that King Henry the VIII and Catherine of Aragon visited this well in hopes of concieving a male heir, (hmmm, well we know how that turned out don’t we?). The well also shows up in Alice in Wonderland as the “Treacle Well” discussed at the Mad Tea Party. The real-life Alice had a governess who lived in the house next to the church, and Lewis Carroll incorporated the story of the Treacle Well into his book to amuse Alice.
Modern-day pilgrims still visit the site, some leave “offerings” which can be seen tied to the tree beside the well:
Or laid around the well:
Here are a few photos of the church:
After the service, I walked back home and took a few more photos: