25 July 2012

Stoneleigh Abbey Riverside

Stoneleigh Abbey, Warwickshire, is built close to the River Avon. When ownership passed in 1996 to a charitable trust, funding was secured from English Heritage and other bodies to undertake various restoration works, including of bridges, locks and weirs.

Beside the river is a pump house, circa 1813, and, next to this, a brick-built well-head. The former is in Gothic Revival style, expensively built in ashlar, with moulded rain hoods above the windows, and houses its original waterwheel and a three-throw pump, likely used to drive water up to the house. This too can hopefully be restored.

In the nearby woods is a small pet cemetery, in which is a monument that is surely the product of a guilty conscience. The inscription reads: "Monarch. A favourite setter. Who was shot by accident September XXV. Anno Domini MDCCCXXXIX [1839]."

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