aldous huxley, and Elsa Schiaparelli, architecture, arts, Diana Mosley, Edith Sitwell, Faringdon Folly, Four and twenty blackbirds, George III, Gertrude Stein, Henry James Pye, HG Wells, Igor Stravinsky, John & Penelope Betjeman, Lord Berners, Nancy Mitford, Salvador Dali, Sergei Diaghilev
Sunday 4th August 2013
If you drive along the A420 from Oxford to Swindon, you’ll spot a hill on your right just before Faringdon. Its not the largest hill you’ll ever see, or the most prepossessing, but the turret that pokes out of the top of the Scots Pines gives a clue as to its interest.
The hill’s history massively pre-dates the turret, as it was fortified by supporters of Matilda sometime during the Anarchy (1135–1141) – her campaign to claim the throne from King Stephen – but was soon razed to the ground by once he’d won the war. Oliver Cromwell fortified it again in his unsuccessful campaign to defeat the Royalist garrison at Faringdon House, during the English Civil War.
It wasn’t until 1935 that the turret, or tower if you’d prefer was built, and that dear reader is where the fun really starts! Continue reading