Day 219 of 366: The Old School House

Chipping Campden, the start of the Cotswold Way, is one of the loveliest towns in the Cotswold area. The town is full of interesting architectural details, one of which is locally known as The Punk Stone. It is a small gargoyle-like statue making rather a rude gesture with one hand and picking his nose with the other. We found a picture of it in the Cotswold Way guidebook, so we went looking for it in St James Church, where it was supposed to be according to the book. Ater a while of searching we almost gave up. Then I made the last attempt and asked the priest. She was laughing and told me that it is a well known mistake in the guidebooks, and the stone is in the high street.

I didn’t want to give up, so we drove to Chipping Campden before leaving for home next morning. More fruitless searching and more disappointment. So we headed for the last hope – the local tourist information centre. However it was closed. Too early in the morning. Just as we gave up and turned around to leave, a lovely elderly lady turned up and started to open the door. How lucky! She also turned out to be just the right person to ask. We not only found out where exactly the stone was, but she also told us a little bit about it. It was made by a local stonemason Ian Ashurst in 1977. He felt that he just wanted to do something for himself. Something that he liked as opposed to keeping other people happy. He then put it outside his home, the Old School House for other people to enjoy or wonder about.

We still almost missed it even though we knew where it was. It is much smaller than we expected and it is just at the bottom of the doorstep, a lot of it overgrown with weeds. What a journey of discovery! Though I took a picture of it, I couldn’t see a way of doing it justice, so I decided to choose the detail of the door for my photo of the day. I will have to go back there and try again. Well, I can think of much worse places to re-visit.


The Old School House