Tuesday, 24 May 2016

The Changing Seasons In St Ives, Cambridgeshire

Myself and my husband took over as Wardens of Roseberry Tourist Park in Willingham near Cambridge earlier this year and one of my jobs is to manage the tourist information hut we have on site.  This is giving us the opportunity to visit local places of interest to broaden our knowledge of the area.  One of the first places we decided to visit was St Ives which sits on the bank of the Great River Ouse.  We have since visited on a couple of other occasions to experience it at various times of the year.

The town is mentioned in the famous Doomsday Book, which was requested by William the Conqueror in 1086 to detail who owned what land and what it was worth in his kingdom.  It was a bitterly cold day when we visited in early March and not long after taking the following photos it snowed.

Here we are looking down the Great River Ouse on its journey towards Huntingdon, from the St Ives Bridge, with the modern water frontage properties.  In the centre of the shot you can just make out the spire of the All Saints Parish Church , a church has been on this site since AD970.


Across the river from the town can be seen the Dolphin Hotel, which has a lovely seating area to enjoy a drink or a meal over looking the river.  There has been a pub standing on this site with the name Dolphin for over 400 years.


Here we are looking back towards the old part of the water front, know as the Old River Port.



At the centre of the bridge on the right hand side as you look back towards the Old Town Harbour can be seen the unusual location of a Chapel, one of only four examples in Britain.  After the dissolution of the Monasteries in 1537 the Prior was given the chapel to live in.  Since then its uses have included a private house, doctors surgery and a pub called Little Hell.



Here we are looking down the Great River Ouse which eventually meanders towards Earith and joins the River Delph.



Beware when walking along the bridge, because despite its narrowness, you will need to dive into the passing points as large delivery vehicles still use the bridge, although it is one way traffic only.  The steeple you can see to the right of the shot is The Free Church (United Reformed Church) built in 1865.


If you look up while standing on the corner of The Quay you will see a lovely painting depicting the hustle and bustle and colours of the once thriving busy port of old.


After walking along the bridge, take time to stand back and admire the bridge in its entirety, it is an elegant structure.



The brown brick facade of one of the buildings long The Quay is all that remains of the Magpie and Stump Public House with records of its Landlords dating back to 1851.


Watch out for the Gulls wanting to photo bomb your shots.


One spectacle to watch out for are the flocks of gulls, swans and ducks when they are fed, it very quickly turns into a feeding frenzy.



We had another trip to St Ives this time on a much warmer, brighter day mid May.  Again we spent much of our time down by the river, although we did have a quick walk along Market Hill.  To the left of the picture you can see The Free Church (United Reformed Church).  In the centre of the road in front of the parking spaces is the War Memorial.  On a Monday, St Ives is renowned for its market held along Market Hill with varied market stalls.


As the weather was much warmer and drier, we decided to have a short walk along the river bank from the Dolphin Hotel carpark, on the opposite side of the river to St Ives.  If you carry on along this path you can eventually walk to Huntingdon, which we will do on another day.


It must be quite something to have a river like this at the bottom of your garden, as long as you are high enough from the river level not to get flooded.  Which unfortunately has happened here back in 1947, 1998 and 2003, since then extensive flood protection works has been carried out to hopefully stop this repeating.


Here you can see All Saints Parish Church poking out above the trees of Holt Island.  In 1913 the towns outdoor swimming pool was dug here and remained open until 1949.  It is now used for canoeing by the Scouts and is within the grounds of the Holt Island Nature Reserve.



Just cruising down the river on a sunny afternoon.


At this point along the river is where we will have to turn round and continue the walk another day.


The meadow that we are along side of is full of yellow buttercups it looks so pretty.


After heading back to the Dolphin Hotel and over the bridge, it is time to stop at The River Tea Rooms for a cup of tea.


This Cormorant was keeping a watchful eye over the river from his high vantage point.


On our way back to the car we came to part of the river where it splits off from the main river and runs between All Saints Parish Church and Holt Island Nature Reserve.

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