Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Guy's Cliff or Gibbeclive Mill

Guy's Cliff, near Warwick and more or less in the heart of England, started off as a hermitage, a place where an unknown person gave spiritual guidance to Guy of Warwick in about 929 AD.  Guy went off to fight in the Crusades but legend has it that he returned to spend some years in a cave at Guy's Cliff.  Later, in 1423, a chapel was established on the site.

After the Dissolution of the Monasteries by Henry VIII, the land fell into private hands and a substantial house was built.  The house, land, and mill were sold in 1701.

The mill, originally called Gibbeclive Mill, was owned by the Abbey in Kennilworth in the 12th century until the Dissolution of the Monesteries. It stands on the River Avon. It remained a working mill until 1938, then in 1952 it was converted into a restaurant known as the Saxon Mill.  In fact it had been known as the Saxon Mill for years before that.  Recently the restaurant has had a glass floor installed so that the water can be seen rushing by below.  Little did I know that the card I picked up could turn out to be a forerunner of an ad!

The reverse of the card is unfortunately marked where someone has glued it into a scrap book, but the postmark is very clear showing it was posted from Stratford on Avon at 1:30 pm on 28 July 1915.  The section for the message confirms that the card was published after 1907 and is headed:
This space may now be used for communication between all foreign countries within the Postal Union.
The publisher was Boots Cash Chemists, in their "Real Photograph" Series.  The history of Boots could very easily take up a whole book. Suffice it to say, they no longer produce postcards but the company is a leading retailer and dispensing chemist in the UK.

G is for Guy's Cliffe.  A post for ABC Wednesday.

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  1. My bias, but I always love the historical posts like this one.
    I also like the language differences - dispensing chemist, which I would call a pharmacist.

    On behalf of the ABC Wednesday team, thank you! - Ramblin' with Roger

  2. Fascinating post! I love the idea of the glass floor though I suppose it could be quite dizzying ;-)

  3. Fascinating! These little places can be under our noses all over England and we don't know till we start getting curious. My son was at Warwick university, so I've been close to this spot and never knew about it!

    We have a saying in our house; 'Boots used to be a chemist!' LOL! In the same vein as 'Smiths used to be a newsagent'. These shops still retain the core of their origins, but have both become homogenous High St 'usual suspects'. Very sad.

    I do know that Boots used to run a lending library at one time. Perhaps we should salute them for keeping up with the times and diversifying.

  4. How fascinating ... I love little histories like this, and that building is intriguing - you can see the layers of different uses. I think it would make a fantastic setting for a story ;)

    Not sure about the glass floor in the restaurant - I think it would make me nervous, and all that rushing water would have me in the bathroom all evening!!

  5. Sheila: Thanks for visiting Greensboro Daily Photo. I LOVE, LOVE postcards so your blog is a great find for me. You may be interested in knowing that in our state (North Carolina, USA), the main campus of our state university (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) has an online digital archive collection of postcards, searchable by location or subject. It is tremendous! They even print the sayings on the back of the card!!!

    Greensboro Daily Photo

  6. @Roger, you've made me think about language.:) I suspect we use chemist and pharmacist almost interchangeably - the "dispensing" is normally left out in everyday use. Again, in everyday use we'd probably say chemist rather than pharmacist just because it's easier. I'm glad you like the historical posts because my preferences lie that way too.

    @jabblog, you wouldn't catch me standing on it!

    @jay, I'd forgotten about the Boots lending library. They've had a hand in so much over time.

    @ellsea, it would make a great story, how true!

    @Jan, thank you so much for that link - I'll go exploring right away!

  7. I love the idea of a glass floor over running water. Interesting post/card! Thank you!

  8. A fascinating story. I love anything that relates to the history of caves so I'm trying to find out more about the cave Guy lived in.


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