|Silhouetted against the setting sun, the distance domes of the summer house|
By a curious piece of architectural trickery it looks like a square building with a domed roof at each corner so when we walked there the following morning it was a surprise to find an almost two dimensional structure; two domed corners buttressing the shallow building between and all surrounded by a stone wall which apparently marked out ye olde bowling alley.
The house is a quarter mile or so from the village with just a solid old church and a smattering of small properties nearby. Yet the spot reeks of the past; crumbled stone walls all about that must have marked out the boundaries of maybe the kitchen garden, a field or two, even some of the hall itself. A bit like wandering amid Roman ruins. Only the drone from the busy main road 50 yards away spoiled the atmosphere. The church was sadly locked but the graveyard still worth a visit, with its many elegantly worked slate gravestones that appear impermeable to the ravages of time and weather.
We followed the footpath into the main village, notable for its handsome 18th century stone bridge over the Trent and the long multiple arches that carry on from it to take the road over the flood plain.
|In daylight, the handsome yet oddly proportion building sits in isolation|
|Slate gravestones have lost none of their delicate tracery in 200 years|
|By Swarkestone lock is the remains of the old Derby Canal|
At Swarkestone itself the Derby & Sandiacre Canal once joined the T&M but it's long gone and only a stub used for mooring remains. There's a restoration plan but it looks like a tough haul.
From Swarkestone we had an easier run; just one more wide lock at Stenson (where we saw – and hard – a white (white! yuk) Lamorghini leave the pub car park) and then mooring at Willington ready for a bus trip to Derby next day.