The Magna Carta Castle on the banks of our Canal

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The Castle on the banks of our Canal


Castle Coop is getting ready to celebrate the signing of the Magna Carta by Bad King John, 800 years ago in 1215. A great deal of partying is to take place over the bank holiday weekend at the castle to which our village owes its name.

Odiham which is our nearest village with shops is holding a festive weekend to mark the foundation stone of the modern democratic state. An awful lot of effort has gone into its organisation – it has even got its own web-site:


Obeying instructions

Flags over Odiham


The Agent & I have unearthed our flags from the garage ready to hang up tomorrow


& after de-cobwebbing them so they’ll look smart enough to celebrate “Magna Carta, Justice and Liberty“, I decided to ride my bike down the canal to pay a quick visit to King John’s castle before all the crowds arrive tomorrow.


The Castle:

King John's Castle

The castle’s not exactly a des res any longer :


King John's Castle 2

but they certainly believed in building good thick walls back in medieval times.

King John's Castle (wall cross section)

All action in 1215…


Apparently King John stayed in Odiham Castle on his way to sign the Magna Carta ‘under duress’ at Runneymede. He looks pretty benign in this official picture below but I bet he was in a filthy temper.

King John


800 years ago, the canal must have been heaving with King John’s entourage and tomorrow this spot will be swarming with merry-makers… just now however, there’s no-one about and it’s simply beautiful.

The Canal:

Cycling back home down the canal path,

canal path


I passed a swan family with 5 cygnets and loads of ducks and moorhens

Drakes on the canal

& then I saw a brown splodge among the grasses on the far bank

The far side of the Canal


which when I looked carefully, I saw was a deer with big eyes and tiny antlers. We both stayed still looking at each other for a long time.






yours thinking that although I’m sure the festive weekend will be amazing, I like our canal best just as it is right now this evening,


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