Muchelney was much in the news in winter 2013/14. ‘-ney’ or ‘-ey’ at the end of a place-name round here in the Somerset Levels, drained over centuries, means ‘island’. Muchelney became a ‘Great Island’ once more in the terrible floods suffered at that time by some farmers and other residents.
The weather was much better when Zoe and I decided to start our monthly walk from the Priest’s House (National Trust), Muchelney the other day, following the River Parrett for much of the circular walk, and returning via Thorney to the village, which showed signs of considerable refurbishment. Some houses seemed still unoccupied.
The Priest’s House. We didn’t visit, having neither the time nor our NT membership cards with us.
A bridge disappeared from a railway line disappeared
Dad, Mum and offspring
The feather blew off, to our satisfaction…
…and a second offspring rejoined the family
Our debate and conclusions as to what this was were far too ridiculous to be recorded here.
All along the River Parrett there were signs of water management, overwhelmed during the flooding.
I think was the first walk which Zoe and I have done where every single stile was a kind sub-gate, rather than one needing to be clambered over.
Just a few of the swans gracing a field nearby
Below the three outlets there were fish small…
… and large. Was the water particularly highly oxygenated?
Not easy to capture the martins after the flies which frequented the same spot.
Older water management device
More evidence of the old Yeovil branch line
Returning to Muchelney…
… we saw there were things to do and see there.
Just a field with some cattle to cross to return to our starting point. We reminded ourselves of another walk when we had hastily beaten a retreat over a five-barred-gate as some young bullocks were taking much too close an interest in us.
Is this too close? We walked on, to hear the thunder of 15 x 4 hooves behind us. Zoe said you just turn round and stare at them. I decided to rush at them rather.
It worked, and they turned back and aside, gambolling as much as young cattle can. But they also thought it was a great game and continued to stalk us.
I continued my method, Zoe hers.
We were pleased to get the other side of a gate,
and I was able to confront the bold leader of the gang, with whom, nevertheless, I felt I had established some kind of relationship. Is that an evil eye, or what?
The best view we could get of Muchelney Abbey’s ‘ground plan’ without going in.
Our starting point, the church of St Peter and St Paul.