IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

Whittington birthplace is ideal bolthole

01 February, 2019

• ANYONE with a penchant for English folk­­lore and an interest in medieval history should take a trip to the hamlet of Pauntley, Dick Whit­tingon’s old hometown in the Leadon valley.

It looks much the same as it probably did when a very young Dick Whittington bade a poignant farewell to his loved ones almost 700 years ago.

His old home may not have survived the ravages of time but a small part of its timbered structure is deemed to be extant in the charmingly rustic cottage built on its site.

Less than a stone’s throw away, the ancient church of St John the Evangelist has survived for almost a millennium.

This was the church Dick Whittington was baptised in and his forebears from a bygone era worshipped in.

Its interior trappings have been impeccably maintained. A faint musty odour and a silence, hauntingly elegiac, cast their melancholic spell over everything.

Our sojourn in the Dovecote, an exquisite stone cottage next to the church proved extremely beneficial to our daughter Aria, who has autism.

This bucolic country retreat nestling on the fringes of the Cotswolds is an ideal bolthole for people with autism who enjoy solitude and long walks in the countryside.

It is as close to Arcadia as one can imagine, with even a statue of Pan in the grounds nearby.

WALTER ROBERTS
Brecknock Road, N19

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