The Abingdon Blog

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

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Answers - from yesterdays quiz

The inscribed stones and cobbles, shown yesterday, mainly refer to aspects of Abingdon's past...

The Alleyway with the stones lead into Neave Mews - named after Airey Neave, the M.P for Abingdon until 1979. 'Public Servant Secret Agent' is a biography that tells 'The Elusive Life and Violent Death of Airey Neave'

March 30, 1979 was a sad day in British politics - the Irish National Liberation Army murdered Airey Neave in a car bomb attack inside the House of Commons parking lot and concluded one of the most remarkable political stories of the 20th century. During World War II, Neave escaped from Colditz and became an intelligence agent eventually serving at the Nuremberg Trials. He was also Margaret Thatcher's campaign manager when she became the first female leader of the Conservative Party.

Beer and Books. Could be taken 2 ways. The monks brewed beer and copied books or it may simply be a reference to the modern industries of brewing and printing. Morlands was probably still functioning when the development was conceived.

'A vicarage house with orchard+ garden mounted round with a stone wall... Refers to a house known as the Vicarage House which once stood on the corner of St Edmund's Lane and West St Helen Street NB St Helen's Church did not have a vicarage until 1874.

Why 'Today + Tomorrow'? Can't really explain the significance of this. Perhaps because other stones refer to the past and this one refers to the new road looking to the future.

'Twenty hides - a gift from Cissa - by gravel terrace three rivers meet - two swans rise'? This was the land Cissa granted to his nephew for the founding of the monastery. Abingdon sits on the a gravel terrace, and the three rivers that meet here are the Stert, Ock and Thames. There are 2 swans on the town's coat of arms granted in 1958. The Abbott may have been entitled to keep a pair of swans on the river - usually a royal prerogative.

'Faith + Industry' is the motto on the Abingdon Town Council coat of arms

Sister and brother, 7th century Saxons. Cilla said to have founded nunnery "Helenstowe" on/near site later occupied by St Helen's Church.


Blogger Martin G said...

I've just read a very good book called "Home Run" about evaders in WWII finding their way back home from occupied Europe. Airey Neave was instrumental in coordinating this from the UK and actually went on a couple of rescues himself.

13 February 2010 14:01  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very interesting - I've never even seen the path with these paving slabs, let alone known what they refered to. Thanks and can we have some more of the quizes?

15 February 2010 13:35  
Blogger mary said...

I want to know where is this public secret path?

15 February 2010 14:40  
Blogger Backstreeter said...

Start at West St Helen Street Car Park. Go along St Edmunds Lane and turn right into Winsmore Lane and the alleyway is directly on your right within a few yards.

16 February 2010 00:08  
Blogger Backstreeter said...

I hope too John will come up with another quiz fairly soon.

16 February 2010 00:10  

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