A few days in Abingdon

Or to be correct, I should say Abingdon-On-Thames, historically the county town of Berkshire but now part of the ceremonial county of Oxfordshire, and home to the MG sports car from 1929 to 1932.

One of the original MGs

The town council in Abingdon has, in our opinion, made the very sensible decision to welcome boaters to their town. It permits 3 days mooring without charge, There’s lots of it, and it’s all within an easy and pleasant stroll into town.

The walk into town, looking towards Abingdon Bridge

So of course we stopped, strolled, shopped, ate out, visited places and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and because we explored, we proportionally spent far more than if we had only stayed the one night. So thankyou Abingdon, we felt welcome, and will come back. The river below the lock is wide, with a firm bank. the meadow has between path and river has been mown to make mooring easy, trouble is it also appeals to the geese.

Abingdon is a old town, there’s a Jurassic Ichthyosar skelington in the museum, but it was also full of school children so we couldn’t see clearly, and Eric was more impressed that it was home to the Old Speckled Hen, (the beer is actually named after the MG) and although neither is made in Abingdon anymore, the Morland Brewery played a prominent role in the towns history. The museum is housed in the old county hall which is famous for the Abingdon bun throwing event which sees the local dignitaries stand on the roof and throw celebratory buns down to the crowds gathered in the square below. It only happens on high days and holidays such as royal jubilees. So a pity we wont be around on June 5th this year.


The town is fully dressed for the up coming jubilee, including the royal mail box

And the streets are hung with bunting

Looking up Ock street towards St Helens

And although of a different age and intention to the beauty of Oxford, walking around Abingdon, was just as lovely an experience. We followed Ock Street up to the St Helens church which, because of increasing need, it simply added an extra aisle making it unusually wider than it is long.

Just one of the doors

We did get to go inside St Helens church, but the actual abbey at Abingdon which dates back to Saxon times and had a turbulent history, was dismembered by Henry VIII. Various buildings were repurposed throughout the town but the ruins in the Abbey gardens are actually a Victorian folly

Trendell’s Folly in the Abbey Gardens

And some times geese are cute.