“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.
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.”
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.
Normally I would dismiss any suggestion or even the slightest hint of Nostalgia as it is tends to coat the past in a warm pinkish glow, it strengthens the view that childhood was the best years of our lives and neglects to remember the scraped knees and elbows, not to mention the internal injuries we all sustain in the course of reaching our angst teenage years.
Now what has caused all this you may ask, it is the fact that I have been reading Boswell’s Edinburgh Journal, although it was written during the Scottish enlightenment, the names and places are so recognizable that it brings back faint memories of a past life. I may hasten to add to those who have read the Great Biographers Journal that it is only the place and not the life style that is familiar but I am sure that goes without saying, if we compare today with our past we soon discover that there is an enormous chasm and what we remember are shadows and ghosts of a different age.
Although the past cannot be recreated, it is still a pleasant place to spend quality time in the minds eye and consequently I have added to the reading list, Robert Louis Stevenson’s Edinburgh Picturesque Notes to eventually add to the crammed full bookshelves.
View From Talla Reservoir, Tweedsmuir The Scottish Borders, Scotland