Saturday, 12 May 2012

Lunch on the Tump...

As today had no rain forecast and a good deal of sunshine we decided to head back into Brinklow by bike to have a better look around the village. We set of in a chilly wind at about 10.30 but as we were cycling we soon warmed up. The old legs not burning as much as before which is an encouraging sign and we were in the village within minutes. Good old invention, the bike - bought for next to nowt, virtually maintenance free and no running costs. Ok our average speed is still pitifully low but I am confident it will increase and my average tank of diesel only returned an average speed of 17 mph when I was working in Bournemouth. 

A pretty little rural village Brinklow, according to John at the Lime Farm, nothing like it used to be but sadly the same is to be seen in most small communities. It still has a bit of a highstreet with a couple of shops, takeaway, small primary school and clutch of pubs which is more than can be said for a lot of places baring in mind that its population is only just over 1000 people.

Again being close to a canal  (having formerly had its own arm) it has more than its share of history. It has a beautiful 13th century church lots of old houses including one faced in Staffordshire blue bricks. These have been used entirely for decoration and status, not their strength as they are in several railway bridges. Brinklow also boasts one of the largest  Norman motte and baileys.

Blue Brick House

On the Tump for lunch
From the local history group - Brinklow's most notable topographical feature is the imposing grassy mound behind the church, known locally as the Tump, or the Big Hill.  Built on a natural rise, and offering a striking view of the surrounding countryside, the hill and its nearby earthworks represent one of the best preserved motte-and-bailey castle sites in the country.  However, the name of Brinklow itself suggests a much older settled community, or at least a site that was important to people long before the Norman Conquest.

The name is thought to originate from two Old English elements: the personal name Brynca, and the word hlaw, meaning "hill" in the sense of tumulus or burial mound.  This ancient derivation implies that there was almost certainly a man-made "tump" here long before the Normans exploited the site to build their castle.
Brinklow Tump may well have had some significance to the ancient Coritani people, whose capital was Leicester, but who, it is thought, may well have strayed in small isolated settlements southwards.  It is one of a line of such tumuli and earthworks that run diagonally across Warwickshire from north-east to south-east, and which are roughly parallel to the Fosse Way; this last may be by accident or design, but many have suggested that such "ley lines" are either the remnants of ancient and lost trackways, or that they echo pagan belief in the harnessing of natural earth-energy forces along such man made connections. One such trackway is "Tutbury Lane", an old green path which runs from the River Avon to Brinklow Heath.

Vid from my phone so hope it works!

As the weather was still good we decided to push ourselves further out into the countryside before returning to Brinklow and back to LJ and it took a little longer cycling back from Brinklow than it had to get to it in the morning! Luckily we had saved some of the scones I had made a few days ago and it was a very 'wind in the willows' afternoon having afternoon tea on the fore deck. Time for a bit of toad from toad hall later - I've spotted another fallen tree and this time its not willow!


  1. Hi, that house looks great. any idea where I can find that brick? supplier name and color?

  2. Hi, I wonder if I might use your photo of the Blue brick house in my update of my book Brynca's Low from which your extract is taken. It's perfect for the house history of Carlton House. Need permission soon as it's going to press next week!

    1. Hi Diane, many thanks for contacting us and yes of course you can use the image.

      Kind regards
      Debbie and James