Iris wanted a picture or two of nice old buildings, so here they are. As with everything else, I am having huge problems with both Google and photos right now, so I hope you appreciate the effort.
This is the hotel we stayed at, and it is in the best street (so the estate agents say) in Burford, in the heart of the Cotswolds. Of all the residents staying here, I reckon I was the youngest, and I am pretty sure I was the poorest as well.
This place used to be the home of The Lord Baron of the Exchequer during the reign of Elizabeth 1st. It is on Sheep Street, so named because the entire street was populated with rich people who made their fortunes from the wool trade since medieval times. Wool in those days, before cotton and synthetic fibres, was the equivalent of oil. Having flocks of sheep was like owning oil fields. You still need loads of money to live here, but the Chancellor of the Exchequer now lives in London, where today's money is made.
Turn around and look over the road and you will see the house which our friend lives in - albeit in a small flat in the attic. I didn't realise how close she was when I booked our rooms.
This used to be a coaching-inn that catered for the rich wool-traders, and the big green doors were the opening to the passage that lead to the stables. The stables are now luxury little houses as well.
That blue plaque on the wall commemorates the fact that this was where 'The Countryman' magazine was published from. Started in 1946 - just after WW2 - The Countryman typified and celebrated the pursuits of wealthy land-owners, of which this area has more than its fair share. This is prime fox-hunting country, as the pictures of hounds on the walls of our hotel illustrated.
The whole house is now owned and occupied by a somewhat eccentric couple (of men) who throw garden parties for the elite of the Conservative Party during the Summer. Our Prime Minister is a frequent visitor here, and his own house is just down the road, in the heart of his constituency.
There is another, smaller blue plaque underneath the real one, and it states, 'At this place on September 5th, 1782, nothing happened'. I told you they are somewhat eccentric.
Our friend's little apartment is high up amongst the roof-beams in this house. These beams were built in 1305. The Georgian facade was added as an 'improvement' 400 years later. Most of the buildings on this street appear to have been built around 1600, but actually date from much, much earlier.
I often think it would be wonderful to live in a place like this, but we would only end up as museum-pieces on show, like the entire population of the old part of Bibury. All those geriatric, retired residents at our hotel over the road were on a little tour of the Cotswolds...