Gotham & Thrumpton -
On a fairly miserable day, a good group of us made our way to Gotham in Nottinghamshire, for a six mile walk led by Michael Throup.
It was a walk that was full of surprises, and, despite the weather, it was thoroughly enjoyed by all.
Gotham is renowned for its legends, the most famous one being the “Mad (or Wise) Men of Gotham”. To prevent a road being built through the village (for which they would be responsible for the upkeep) in the twelfth century, the locals feigned madness, and King John accordingly avoided the area. One of the tricks they played was to fence in a bush in order to keep the nesting cuckoo captive. It worked… giving rise to a local saying that “There are more fools passing through Gotham than actually live there”.
(Click on the forward/backward arrows to scroll through the photos -
Well, the first surprise was that the village provides somewhere for you to sit to put your boots on on a rainy day!
This is actually the site of the village pump, and on the inside of the roof you can read about the various legends surrounding the community.
The adjacent church of St Lawrence dates back to the fourteenth century, and is a Grade I listed building.
The next real surprise was that the area is far hillier than you would think.
Leaving the village, we climbed up to a ridge, where we walked past…
… the site of the village’s original water supply, the Weldon Spring. Until 1862, the villagers all had to do the same walk if they wanted fresh water.
Perhaps this is where the “Wise Men of Gotham” were seen trying to drown an eel -
From the ridge, we entered woodland, and were struck by yet another surprise.
There in the middle of the woods, the trees were all decorated for Christmas. Another Gotham tradition? Or perhaps the Wise Men of the village are still around.
(Thanks to Sue Bates for this photo.)
After a break for lunch (the rain had stopped a little), we made our way into Thrumpton.
This is the gatehouse to Thrumpton Hall, and the adjacent cottages date back to the 1700s.
An unusual memorial to the First World War, the figure of a single recumbant serviceman. Plaques behind the statue record the deaths of three village men, and their regimental crests.
The war memorial is on the wall of All Saints Church, parts of which date back to the thirteenth century.
Next to the church, there is a modern village hall, which has a lovely painted sign above the door. It depicts the church, the gatehouse, a village scene and a pastoral scene.
But now it was time to head back over the ridge and make our return to Gotham.
No more surprises….