Monthly Archives: May 2013

In The Footsteps of The Good Doctor

Langton by Spilsby Lincolnshire Wolds.

Langton by Spilsby Lincolnshire Wold

“Early in 1764 Dr Samuel Johnson paid a visit to the Langton Family, at their seat of Langton, in Lincolnshire, where he passed some time, much to his satisfaction.”

Quoted from The Life Of Samuel Johnson by James Boswell

Although Langton Hall in Langton by Spilsby in Lincolnshire no longer stands the church of St Peter and St Paul and its environs are a delight to explore and if you feel energetic you can emulate the good doctor and roll down the sheep walks.

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Dr Johnson is said to have visited The church of St Peter and St Paul while visiting his good friend Bennet Langton a founder member of the literary club.

The present church was erected by Bennett’s grandfather George in 1725, when the great man of letters visited the roof would have been covered in lead unlike today, it is said that the lead was removed to be turned into bulletts for use in the Napoleonic Wars.

“War involves in its progress such a train of unforeseen circumstances that no human wisdom can calculate the end; it has but one thing certain, and that is to increase taxes.”

Thomas Paine

St Peter and St Paul Church

The setting and the exterior of the church building is extremely charming but it is when you enter that you experience the full impact and appreciate why it has gained its reputation with the great and good.

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Wicken Cambridgeshire

Wicken is a village situated north of Cambridge south of Ely sitting between Stretham in the west, Fordham in the east and Newmarket in the south east. Its is know for its sausages and Wicken Fen which is managed by the National Trust, (the fen not the sausages).

Wicken-1 - St Laurance Church

St Laurence Church

The church of St Laurence is on the outskirts of the village to the west and is the last resting place of Henry Cromwell and his wife.

Wicken-3 - St Laurance Church

St Laurence Church

Henry was the fourth son of Oliver Cromwell, he retired first to Chippenham where his father in law was a MP on the restoration of Charles II. In his final years he acquired Spinney Abbey on the outside of Wicken.

Wicken-2 - St Laurance Church

St Laurence Church

There is a legend that says Charles Stuart visited Henry while horse racing at Newmarket but most historians say this is most unlikely. Henry Cromwell died in 1674 and there is a commeration slab in the church which belies the powerful man resting below.

Views Near Wicken Cambridgeshire England


 

Wood Walton Cambridgeshire

Glorious Isolation-St Andrews Church Wood Walton

Wood Walton-3 St Andrews Church

St Andrews Church sits in glorious isolation over looking the main east coast railway line before it makes its way on to Peterborough and the frozen north beyond.

It is located about a mile outside the current village and access is first along a road going only to a small number of homesteads and then what only can be described as a field track through a five bar gate down to the church.

Wood Walton-2 St Andrews Church

We have paid this church a visit on two seperate occasions, the first was on a sunny afternoon and to compliment its isolation we found the doors firmly locked and not a soul to be found.

The second visit found the builders hard at work carrying out restoration work and excessive repairs where damaged had been sustained due to thieves in the night indiscimitly filling there pockets and transit van, apparently nowhere was sacred as the broke into the vault below in the hope of finding lead from a previous century. The workman were friendly and more than happy to let us look around but it was sad to see it in such circumstances.

Wood Walton-1 St Andrews Church


 

Willoughby Lincolnshire: The Pocahontas Connection

The year was 1607, Mary Queen of Scotts only son was king of England,  Scotland and Ireland and on the north bank of The Haven Boston Lincolnshire  the Scrooby Separatists later to be known as The Pilgrim Fathers made their  first attempt to escape and seek religious freedom.

Also the first English settlement in the New World in Jamestown Virginia  North America had just been established. Among the hundred and five men who  set sail from London a year earlier was a Lincolnshire son named John Smith  of Willoughby, he was responsible for establishing trading links with the  American Indians.

It was during this time that he was captured by a group of Indians who  murdered some of his companions and threatened to execute him but according  to the story John Smith told he was rescued from this fate by the  intervention of the eleven year old Pocahontas who pleaded for his life.

John Smith became president of Virginia in 1608 returning to England in  1609.

In 1614 Pocahontas married John Rolfe of Heacham Norfolk.

St Helenas's Church Willoughby LincolnshireSt Helenas’s Church Willoughby Lincolnshire

John was born in Willoughby Lincolnshire in 1579. He was Baptised in St  Helenas’s Church on the 9th January 1580.

He died in London in 1631.

The Stained Glass Windows from left to right: The Western Window, The John Smith Window and The Eastern Window

The Stained Glass Windows from left to right: The Western Window, The John Smith Window and The Eastern Window

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Detail taken for the three stained glass windows St Helenas’s Church Willoughby Lincolnshire Commemorating John Smith’s Life and Times


The Pilgrim Fathers Monument, Fishtoft, Boston, Lincolnshire

Boston Lincolnshire as far as I can remember has always been a challenge to navigate, it seems to be constantly full of cars making their way either into Tennyson country, The Lincolnshire Wolds or the seaside resort of Skegness. Our destination is not so far afield but is the village of Fishtoft on the outskirts of the town then from there onto the banks of The Haven.

The River Witham arrives in Boston Lincolnshire where it flows into The Haven which is a tidal inlet of The Wash.

It is on the north bank of The Haven that you will find a monument to The Pilgrim Fathers, it was here in 1607 that the Scrooby Separatists later to be known as The Pilgrim Fathers made their first attempt to escape and seek religious freedom abroad as they had been refused leave to legitimately emigrate. They planned to sail to Holland but the captain betrayed them and they were return to Boston.

Pilgrim Fathers Monument  The Haven Lincolnshire

The Pilgrim Fathers Monument, Fishtoft, Boston, Lincolnshire, England.

Near this place in September 1607

those later known as the

Pilgrim Fathers

were thwarted in their first attempt to sail

to find religious freedom across the seas.

Erected 1957

Parish Church of St Guthlac Fishtoft Lincolnshire

Parish Church of St Guthlac Fishtoft Lincolnshire


 

Sempringham Lincolnshire

St Andrews Church and The monument to Gwenllian of Wales both sit isolated at the end of a narrow track.

Sempringham St Andrews Parish Church and Sempringham Abbey Church

St Andrews Parish Church and Sempringham Abbey Church

The current church of St Andrews sits to the north of the site where St Mary’s Priory once stood and where Gwenllian of Wales was held captive after being abducted by King Edward I in 1283 until her death .

The priory of St Mary’s was founded by St Gilbert around 1139 and was an order of both Gilbertian monks and nuns, it was destroyed in 1158. The present church once was larger than it is today due to the fact that in 1788 the Norman chancel and transept were taken down because it had become dilapidated.St Andrews Church and The monument to Gwenllian of Wales both sit isolated at the end of a narrow track.

The monument you pass on the way to the church commemorates Gwenllian of Wales, daughter of Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, the last true Prince of Wales.

Gwenllian of Wales

Monument Commemorates Gwenllian of Wales

Gwenllian was abducted by King Edward I in 1283 after the defeat of her father, because she was a threat to King Edward’s hold on power in Wales, rather than kill the infant Gwenllian was taken to Sempringham Priory and kept a captive in order that she remained childless. She spent the rest of her life at St Mary’s Priory Sempringham in Lincolnshire as a nun of The Gilbertian order where she died at 54 in 1337.


 

St Lawrence Church Snarford Lincolnshire

St Lawrence Church

The small Medieval church of St Lawrence sits to all appearances in the middle of nowhere in the Lincolnshire countryside, it is a classic case for the metaphor, never judge a book by its cover.

Sir Thomas St Paul and Wife
Sir Thomas St Paul and Wife.

Sir Thomas was born in 1582 he was an MP, and twice served as Sheriff of Lincolnshire. His wife Lady Faith had connections to many of the most powerful families in the county.

The Son and Daughter in Law
The Son and Daughter in law.

Sir George St Paul and his wife Frances who was the daughter of Sir Christopher Wray, The Lord Chief Justice to Elizabeth I, Sir George was the builder of Snarford Hall and was described by Lord Burghley as “one of the best men in the country”.

Lord Rich, 1st Earl of Warwick
Lord Rich, 1st Earl of Warwick

He divorced his 1st wife on November 1605 and married the widow of Sir George St Paul, Frances Wray on 14 December 1616.

Lord Rich was described as being of a foul and vindictive disposition and of nasty temper.