Tag Archives: Charles I

Little Gidding Revisited

It is always a pleasure visiting Little Gidding and the temptation is to head the car from Great Gidding straight to the village, turning right at the red post box down the lane parking in the car park opposite Farrah House and the church of St John the Evangelist.

But on this visit inspiration called and we decided to carry on to Steeple Gidding .

St Andrews Church, Steeple GIdding

St Andrews Church, Stepple Gidding, Cambridgeshire

There is a lovely walk from Steeple Gidding that leads you to Little Gidding, it takes you past the Church of St Andrews, Steeple Gidding which is under the care of The Churches Conservation Trust, across the rolling hills of Cambridgeshire.

No I have not lost the plot for in this part of the county there are some hills of note, but then again some may argue it is because you are so near the border of Northamptonshire which accounts for undulations, but I digress, if you continue to put one foot in front of another you will finally arrive at a stile once climbed, it leads you through a field which I believe is called the King’s Field after Charles I and into the grassy lane passing Farrah House and onto the church of Little Gidding.

St John the Evangelist Church, Little Gidding, Cambridgeshire

St Andrews Church, Stepple Gidding, Cambridgeshire

 

 

Titchmarsh

The River Nene (Pronunciation is a mater of local preference) makes its way through the Northamptonshire countryside before entering Peterborough and then on in to the flatlands of The Fens, ending its journey at The Wash near Peter Scott’s lighthouse in Lincolnshire.

Sir Peter Scott Lighthouse, The East Bank of The River Nene, The Wash, Lincolnshire

Sir Peter Scott Lighthouse, The East Bank of The River Nene, The Wash, Lincolnshire

It boast its origins from three sources one of which is near the village of Nasbey where Charles I was defeated by Oliver Cromwell’s army in 1645.

It  passes on its west the village of Aldwincle the birth place of John Dryden and on the east Titchmarsh where John spent his formidable early years.

Church of St Mary The Virgin Titchmarsh Northamptonshire

Church of St Mary The Virgin Titchmarsh Northamptonshire

His Mother and Father are buried in the church of St Marys Titchmarsh and there is a memorial to John Dryden and his parents  in the north transept.

Memorial to John Dryden and his parents.

Memorial to John Dryden and his parents.

Titchmarsh has a long connection both with the Dryden’s and Pickering family’s. Colonel John Pickering  was a parliamentarian army officer who fought at the battle of Nasbey, baptized at Titchmarsh in 1615, he was the second son of Sir John Pickering and his wife, Susannah daughter of Sir Erasmus Dryden.

Their eldest son Gilbert Pickering was an MP in Oliver Cromwell’s parliament. At the end of 1657 he was appointed Lord Chamberlain to the Protector and he employed John Dryden who was his cousin as his secretary.

Sir Gilbert Pickering was given a pardon by Charles II just before his restoration and John Dryden was appointed poet Laureate in 1668.

Samuel Pepys visited Titchmarsh to attend the marriage of Gilbert’s daughter in 1688.

Church of St Mary The Virgin Titchmarsh Northamptonshire 1

Church of St Mary The Virgin Titchmarsh Northamptonshire

“Happy the Man, and happy he alone,

He, who can call to day his own:

He who, secure within, can say,

To morrow do thy worst, for I have liv’d to-day.

Be fair, or foul, or rain, or shine,

The joys I have possest, in spight of fate, are mine.

Not Heav’n it self upon the past has pow’r;

But what has been, has been, and I have had my hour.”

John Dryden


Little Gidding Cambridgeshire

 

Little Gidding has history running through its environs, it sits nestled down sleepy lanes in Huntingdonshire were an effort has to be made to seek out its secrets.

In 1625 Nicolas Ferrars, his mother and family moved from London to Little Gidding to live a more simpler life setting up a community of religious observance. They set too and restored the manor house and chapel on the site.

 

Charles I visited Little Gidding a number of times the last was in 2nd May 1646 when he sought refuge from Cromwell’s men after the battle of Naseby.

The Ferrars family lived on at Little Gidding until the mid-eighteen century but the practice of the religious community ended with the death of John, Nicolas Ferrars brother and his wife in 1657.

William Hopkinson a Stamford Solicitor bought the property in 1848 becoming Lord of the manor, he built the house (Ferrars House) which stands today and restored the chapel after years of neglect.

There has been a few prominent poets associated with Little Gidding, George Herbert who was a close friend of Nicolas Ferrars, Richard Crashaw styled “the divine″, was part of the Seventeenth-century Metaphysical School of poets and visited Little Gidding often and one of the greatest twentieth century poets T. S. Eliot who visited on the 25th May 1936 inspiring the final poem in the Four Quartets, Little Gidding.

We shall not cease from exploration

And the end of all our exploring

Will be to arrive where we started

And know the place for the first time.

T S Eliot. Four Quartets

from Little Gidding.