The Abingdon Blog

The Abingdon Blog is a photo record of events and places in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, started on January 1st 2006.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

John's Miscellany (answers)

Many Thanks to Anonymous for the comprehensive details given about the life of John Alder and the construction of the Abingdon A sculptures, more recently. This is what I have in addition from John (with a bit of help from Jackie)...
The Beaconsfield Working Mens Conservative Club occupied part of the premises of the Abingdon Mechanics Institute. The reliefs are the Earl of Beaconsfield, the Marquess of Salisbury and Sir Stafford Northcote. Club activities included reading (library of around 400 books), chess drafts and smoking! Opened May 1882 by John Tomkins, an Alderman at that time.

This sign was put up by a former owner of the building but we don't know why. Possibly to make people curious.
The Fortunate Cooper, John Alder, whose small pub The Mitre was on this site, won £20,000 in the State Lottery in 1767. That is worth approximately £2,100,000 using increases in the retail price index or £28,000,000 using average earnings according to ttp:// . I can't vouch for the tools accuracy.

See Anonymous' comments from yesterday for a fuller story.

These sculptures by Philip Bews and Diane Gorvin are in Neave Mews and are known as the "Abingdon A ".
This plaque represents a grant of land by Cissa c675 to nephew Hean to found a monastery.
While Hean founded the monastery, his sister Cilla founded a nunnery on or near the site of St Helen's church. See Anonymous' comments from yesterday for more details.
In East St Helen Street. this is generally explained as a reference to Richard Eli who repaired the drinking fountain in Ock Street but it has not been proved that he lived there. He died in 1732 so it is probably a memorial by a relative. See Preston, The Carswell(or Castlewell) Abingdon. Berks Archael. Journal, XLV (1941) Part I .


Anonymous Paul O said...

"Georgics V". The Georgics is a lengthy poem -- part agricultural manual and part meditation on man's realtions with the natural world -- by the Roman poet Virgil. The poem is divided into four books: Georgics I, II, III and IV. "Georgics V" seems to refer to a fifth book. This sign has always puzzled me.

20 January 2010 12:12  
Blogger Peter said...

Good Miscellany, let's have some more.

20 January 2010 13:54  

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