Tag Archives: Church

Leighton Bromswold Huntingdonshire

The House That George Built

St Mary’s Church, Leighton Bromswold, Huntingdonshire.

St Mary’s Church in Leighton Bromswold Huntingdonshire, in 1626 it was in a deplorable state of decay when the poet George Herbert was inducted as Prebend.

He made it his mission to raise the funds and restore the church along with the help of his friend Nicholas Ferrar and his brother John of Little Gidding.

THE CROSS.
By George Herbert

What is this strange and uncouth thing?
To make me sigh, and seek, and faint, and die,
Until I had some place, where I might sing,
And serve thee; and not only I,
But all my wealth, and family might combine
To set thy honour up, as our design.

And then when after much delay,
Much wrestling, many a combat, this dear end,
So much desir’d, is giv’n, to take away
My power to serve thee; to unbend
All my abilities, my designs confound,
And lay my threat’nings bleeding on the ground.

One ague dwelleth in my bones,
Another in my soul (the memory
What I would do for thee, if once my groans
Could be allow’d for harmony):
I am in all a weak disabled thing,
Save in the sight thereof, where strength doth sting.

Besides, things sort not to my will,
Ev’n when my will doth study thy renown:
Thou turnest th’ edge of all things on me still,
Taking me up to throw me down:
So that, ev’n when my hopes seem to be sped,
I am to grief alive, to them as dead.

To have my aim, and yet to be
Farther from it than when I bent my bow;
To make my hopes my torture, and the fee
Of all my woes another woe,
Is in the midst of delicates to need,
And ev’n in Paradise to be a weed.

Ah my dear Father, ease my smart!
These contrarieties crush me: these cross actions
Do wind a rope about, and cut my heart:
And yet since these thy contradictions
Are properly a cross felt by thy Son,
With but four words, my words, Thy will be done.

We have visited Leighton Bromswold in Huntingdonshire on many occasions stopping to look around the outside of The Church of St Mary’s as we have never found it open.

Well today was different, as we went to drive past on our way to who knows where, to our pleasant surprise there was a notice announcing that the church was open, hastily parking the car we were able to fulfil a long time ambition and were not in the least disappointed.

St Mary's Church, Leighton Bromswold, Huntingdonshire.

The Inside of St Mary’s Church, Leighton Bromswold, Huntingdonshire.

With its Pulpit and Reading Desk of the same size

St Mary's Church, Leighton Bromswold, Huntingdonshire.

St Mary the Virgin Church, Leighton Bromswold, Huntingdonshire.

 Its tower dominating the countryside.

St Mary's Church, Leighton Bromswold, Huntingdonshire

St Mary’s Church, Leighton Bromswold, Huntingdonshire

 


 

Blo Norton, Norfolk

If I can beg forgiveness from anyone who is familiar with East Anglia and in particular with those who are conversant with the county of Norfolk, I have a confession to make, in that all the years that I headed the car between Thetford and Diss I had never encountered or heard of the village of Blo Norton until very recently.

It was after our visit to the Elveden in Suffolk that I came across the name of Blo Norton.

I wonder what deems a village to be of more interest than its neighbours, is it the manor house and its occupants old and new, the church with all its historic pedigree that was the centre of village life,its position in the landscape, I am sure it could be any of these if not all and Blo Norton is no exception.

It sit near the banks of the river Little Ouse which heads westerly joining The River Great Ouse at Brandon Creek, Blo Norton Hall was the home of Prince “Freddy” Frederick Duleep Singh for the last twenty years of his life, in the early twenty century Virgin Woolf made it her holiday home and then there is The Church of St Andrews the last resting place of Frederick Duleep Singh but perhaps what makes this place more interesting is its name.

St Andrews Church, Blo Norton, Norfolk

St Andrews Church

Prince “Freddy” Frederick Duleep Singh

Memorial Seat in St Andrews Grave Yard, Blo Norton, Norfolk, England,

Memorial Seat in St Andrews Grave Yard, Blo Norton, Norfolk, England,

Village Sign, Blo Norton, Norfolk

Village Sign, Blo Norton, Norfolk, England


Web Links

Blo Norton

The River Little Ouse

Blo Norton Hall

Frederick Duleep Singh


Coveney Cambridgeshire

Coveney sits 43 feet above sea level overlooking Ely Cathedral in the east. It was a small island in the fens a long time before The Earl of Bedford and Cornelius Vermuyden ever dreamt of  draining  the Cambridgeshire Fens.

Mansion Farm House

Mansion Farm House

If the name of Coveney evokes a land fit for Lucifer’s Angles think again, it derives  its name from “island in the bay” and was once the home of Aethelswyth, daughter of the Noble Saxon Oswi, who came here with her maidens to work on her embroidery and weaving in the early 11 century.

The Village Sign , Showing a image of Aethelswyth

The Village Sign , Showing a image of Aethelswyth

The Church of St Peter ad Vincula dates back to the 13th century and its tower can be seen sitting proud as you approach the village from Wardy Hill in the north west. There is a village pond where you can sit on a summers day and take in the extensive views across the fens to Ely. Beside the pond is situated the village lockup, this was used in a time gone bye to store the village bier that carried the coffins to the Church. Mansion Farm House  which is the oldest house in the village lies just north of the church and it is said to have been built around the same time, there was a National School for both boys  and girls, the property is now used as a Bed and Breakfast.

The  Village Lockup and Seat Next to The Village Pound

The Village Lockup and Seat Next to The Village Pound

The celebrated, controversial, disputatious Dr. Conyers Middleton was rector of Coveney between 1725 and 1728, his first wife’s granddaughter was Elizabeth Montagu the British social reformer, who helped organize and lead the bluestocking Society, she was a frequent visitor to the Middletons in Cambridgeshire in younger days.

Views of The Church of St Peter ad Vincula

The Old National School House

The School House and The Old School


Related Web Links:

St Peter-ad-Vincula, Coveney

Cambridgeshire History Online Coveney

British History Online Coveney with Manea

Trinity College Chapel, Conyers Middleton

Elizabeth Montagu

The Old Scholl Bed and Breakfast


Stoke Doyle

If I were to mention the name Stoke Doyle I would imagine that you would be transported to The Republic of Ireland, perhaps to County Clare, Galway or Sligo.

It could even conjure up a fictional detective of Irish decent who is partial to a Jamison’s for breakfast, has a practice in handling sordid divorce cases in New York’s Irish quarter and whose immediate relations emigrated to America in the depression.

So do not be surprised when I tell you that Stoke Doyle is a picturesque village in East Northamptonshire.

It lies around two miles south east of Oundle, famous for its School and The Talbot Hotel built from the stones removed from Fotheringhay Castle where Mary Queen of Scots lost her head.

The River Nene runs to the east of the village which used to be on the edge of Rockingham forest before deforestation in 1638.

We have passed through this village more times than I care to remember having always failed to stop but today we headed the car down the lane opposite the village inn to the church of St Rumbald’s.

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St Rumbald’s Church, Stoke Doyle, East Northamptonshire, England

The church exterior has its own charm and has been described as having a plain classical structure, it is when you enter through the south door into the nave that you feel you have arrived at somewhere special, but it is only when you walk towards the chancel and look left that you are presented with the unexpected.

The mortuary chapel is gated and contains an elaborate marble monument to Sir Edward Ward, Knight, Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer reclining in judge’s robes, said to be by Rysbrack, adding to the  element of surprise.

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 The Mortuary Chapel, St Rumbald’s Church, Stoke Doyle, East Northamptonshire, England

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Memorial Collage, St Rumbald’s Church, Stoke Doyle, East Northamptonshire, England

On leaving the church it is your choice but before taking the main road to Oundle you could indulge in a small dram of Jamison’s at The Shuckburgh Arms, as long as you are not driving.


Aldwincle Northamptonshire Revisited

In a time gone by there were two Aldwincle Parishes, Aldwincle St Peters and Aldwincle All Saints they were joined together in November 1879.

Aldwincle Village Sign

Aldwincle Village Sign Northamptonshire

To all appearances it is St Peters that is now the center of village life as All Saints sits a world apart opposte Dryden house on the way to Thorpe Waterville across  Harper’s Brook and over the Nene river by Brancey Bridge.

All Saints Church Aldwincle Northamptonshire

John Dryden poet, playwright and critic was born in the house that sits in the shadow of church on the 9 August 1631. Dryden House Aldwincle Northamptonshire

Dryden House Aldwincle Northamptonshire

Son of Erasmas Dryden and Mary Pickering of Titchmarsh he was Christened in the Church of All Saints where his grandfather Henry Pickering was Rector were there is a tablet commemorating the event.

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Church Commemorative Tablet

All Saints Church is now in the care of The Church Conservation Trust as it is no longer needed for regular worship but remains as consecrated buildings and is of historical importance, it is a delight to walk round and has always been open when ever we have visited.

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All Saints Church Striking Interior

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All Saints Church Stained Glass Window

Samuel Johnson summed up the general attitude to John Dryden with his remark that

 “the veneration with which his name is pronounced by every cultivator of English literature,

 is paid to him as he refined the language, improved the sentiments,

and tuned the numbers of English poetry.”

and tuned the numbers of English poetry.”

And T. S. Eliot wrote that he was

‘the ancestor of nearly all that is best in the poetry of the eighteenth century’,

and that ‘we cannot fully enjoy or rightly estimate a hundred years of English poetry

unless we fully enjoy Dryden.’


Offord Cluny and D’Arch Cambridgeshire

Offord D’Archy and Offord Cluny makeup what is locally called The Offords.

Offord D'Arcy Village Sign

Offord D’Arcy Village Sign, Offord D’Arcy, Cambridgeshire, England

Although the two villages are only two miles apart they both have their own church and manor houses, the villages are fairly low lying and can be prone to flooding from The Great River Ouse, both are mentioned in the doomsday book.

Offord Cluny, Village Sign

Village Sign, Offord Cluny,, Cambridgeshire, England

The Offords sit between the eastern bank of The Great River Ouse and The Old North Road, Ermine Street before they make their way into Godmachester and Huntingdon beyond.

All Saints Church, Offord Cluny,

All Saints Church, Offord Cluny,, Cambridgeshire, England

St Peters church Offord D’Arcy has a 14th Century tower and spire it sits beside the manor house, to all appearance it is a peaceful situation until a fast train thunders past on it way to York and Edinburgh, in fact the main coast railway line runs very close to the west of the church tower.

St Peters Church, Offord D'Arcy

St Peters Church, Offord D’Arcy, Cambridgeshire, Engalnd


Wood Walton Cambridgeshire

Glorious Isolation St Andrews Church Wood Walton

St Andrews Church, Wood Walton,

St Andrews Church, Wood Walton, Cambridgeshire, Engalnd

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.

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.

St Andrews Church, Wood Walton,

St Andrews Church, Wood Walton, Cambridgeshire