High Offley

Just a short trip today:  about two hours to just short of the Anchor Inn, by Anchor Bridge (42).  It was windy and the head wind made a real difference.  Normally, I pass moored boats at about 1,000 rpm (a pity so many don’t!), but needed 1,300 to maintain headway.

Yesterday, I navigated Woodseaves Cutting, which is somewhat forbidding, being narrow and dark.  There is a warning about rocks under water and urging a maximum speed of 2 mph.  This is sensible.  While passing another boat I definitely passed over something solid.

Here are some images from High Offley, which stands on a small hill, with long views.  The layout of the hamlet has changed little in over 13 decades.

High Offley OS 1879 1880 1889
High Offley, Staffordshire. Ordnance Survey. Surveyed 1879-1880, published 1889. Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland.

The public house is now residential – The Long House.  The school building remains, but is also residential.  The Manor House is up for sale.  Some of the outbuildings have been converted to residential.  I have not found anything online about the building, but it looks Jacobean to me.

St Mary the Virgin

Apparently, the main part of the church is 12th century, with some later additions.  The wooden roof supports are late medieval (15th and 16th century) perpendicular, as is the upper part of the tower.

These elaborate memorials must have cost a pretty penny, I thought.  In the 1891 census Valentine Whitby Vickers, J.P. resided at Offley Grove, a little way north of the map, with wife Ellen Gertrude Grant, 3 daughters, 3 sons, a housekeeper, nurse, kitchen maid, 2 housemaids, under nurse, gardener, butler, under groom and coachman.  Presumably, there was a groom not present?  When he died in 1899 Mr Vickers was worth more than £51,000!  That is about £5.5 million today.

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