Author Archives: Backstreeter

Old Abbey House – behind the boards


Old Abbey House is boarded up as redevelopment starts.

Daniel has been able to get a higher view over the fence showing the scaffolding.

He even has a view of the roof.

For the history of Old Abbey House there is the Abingdon Buildings and People site. A quick summary:

  • Old Abbey House probably built by wealthy businessman James Smallbone about 1780
  • Edwin Trendell, wine merchant, lived there from 1847 to 1900 and extended the house and developed the garden
  • The Rt Revd James Leslie Randall, Bishop of Reading, lived there until 1920
  • Abingdon Borough Council, Vale of White Horse District Council and Abingdon Town Council worked there from the 1920s until 2014
  • From 2021/2 it will become a hotel

For more of Daniel’s aerial shots you can visit his facebook page https://www.facebook.com/danielgloverdrone

Theme Day – May 2021 – Earth


The field between the Dunmore Road and Wootton Road, currently being developed for new houses, has been used for agriculture since at least 1880 and probably much further back.

The earth or soil here comprises a topsoil of clay with a subsoil of stiffer clay and bands of sand and gravel.

The British Geological Survey of the area indicates that beneath the soil is harder Amphill & Kimmeridge Clay from the Jurassic Period.

Since my last visit to the development, the speed limit on the Abingdon outer relief road has changed from 40 MPH to 30 MPH near where the new housing is to be.

The Wootton Road is closed both sides of the Wotton Road roundabout for a few weeks, although you can still go round the outer relief road.

For more pictures of Earth in all its meanings (from soil to the environment to the whole planet) visit City Daily Photo – Theme Day,

Flowers before Rain in St Ethelwold’s Garden

A week ago there was a notice on the gate of St Ethelwold’s Houses to say that the garden would be closed from Monday to Wednesday this week for the installation of an irrigation system. The notices have been taken down and I did not see any signs of irrigation work. Perhaps it went quicker than planned. Last night it rained a lot and flattened some plants. The tulips had already been shedding their bright petals in St Ethelwold’s garden.

These pictures were taken before the rain:




A new notice has appeared saying there will be a Gong Bath in the Sanctuary.