OXFORD (The city of the Dreaming Spires) and the COTSWOLDS

WOW - a quote from the guide at the Staffordshire Hoard exhibition and our first port of call. Researching and conserving the Staffordshire Hoard is vital to unlocking its'secrets and shedding a light on the Dark Ages. It totals 5094 kilos of gold,1441 kilos of silver and 3500 cloisonne garnets. There is nothing comparable in terms of content and quality in the UK or mainland Europe. It is remarkable for being almost exclusively war-gear. The artefacts have tentatively been dated to the 6th or 7th centuries, placing the origin of the items in the time of the kingdom of Mercia.

Broughton Castle is a medieval manor house, later transferred into a Tudor mansion surrounded by a wide moat and parkland. A Parliamentary rallying place in the 17th century, besieged by the Royalists in the Civil War. William of Wykeham, Bishop of Winchester and Chancellor of England, bought the house in 1377, since when it has been in the continuous ownership of the same family. It first passed to William's great-nephew and his granddaughter married Sir William Fiennes in 1448.

A perfect day ended at Wroxton House Hotel, our home for the next three days.