Tag Archives: Poet Laureate

Somersby, Bag Enderby and Beyond

Early Years of Alfred Lord Tennyson, Lincolnshire Wolds

As far as I can recall from this distance in time, Robert Burns and Sir Walter Scott were the backbone of my early poetical education, Lord Alfred Tennyson played a very minor role in the form of The Charge of The Light Brigade but Scots Wha Hae, To A Moose, Tam O ‘Shanter and Lochinvar where written into the psyche by those who wrote the educational syllabus.

It was only later that the appreciation for Mariana, In Memoriam, Maud and The Lady of Shalott to mention just a few was developed.

There have been countless words written on Tennyson’s early years, his relationship with his father and The Lincolnshire Wolds he grew up in.

I have no desire to add to the tally, only to say if the opportunity presents itself it is well worth a visit to Somersby, Bag Enderby and beyond, I am sure you will find The Lincolnshire Wolds a delight.

I hope you enjoy the photographs below which may inspire you to visit.

St Margaret's Church, SomersbySt Margaret’s Church, Somersby, Lincolnshire, England

George Clayton Tennyson, Alfred’s Father was rector of the parish,
from 1802 until his death in 1831
He lies at rest in the churchyard.

The Grave of Alfred's Father the Rev George Clayton TennysonThee Grave of Alfred’s Father the Rev George Clayton Tennyson,

The eldest son who went into the Church and the second son who inherited the title.
St Margaret’s Church, Somersby, Lincolnshire.
Born in 1781. Died on 18 March 1831 at the age of 52

The Old Rectory, SomerbyThe Birth Place of A Poet Laureate, Somerby Rectory, The Lincolnshire Wold
The Grange, Somersby,The House Next Door. The Grange, Somersby, Lincolnshire.

Build for the Burton Family,
Sits next door to Somerby Rectory and opposite the Church St Margaret’s

St Margarets, Bag EnderbySt Margaret’s Church, Bag Enderby, Lincolnshire

Lies a 15 minute walk to the east of Somersby
Alfred’s Father was also rector here from 1806 until his death in 1831

Harrington HallHarrington Hall, Harrington, East Lindsey, Lincolnshire,

Harrington Hall, a 50 minute walk to the south east of Somersby.
It appears in Tennyson’s poems over the years along with its rose garden,
the Church of St Marys next door with its cross legged knight
and Rosa Baring a resident of Harrington Hall

“Yonder in that chapel, slowly sinking now into the ground,
Lies the warrior, my forefather, with his feet upon the hound.”

From Locksley Hall Sixty Years After by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

St Marys Church, HarringtonSt Mary’s Church, Harrington, Lincolnshire

“She came to the village church,
And sat by a pillar alone;
An angel watching an urn
Wept over her, carved in stone;
And once, but once, she lifted her eyes,
And suddenly, sweetly, strangely blush’d
To find they were met by my own;
And suddenly, sweetly, my heart beat stronger
And thicker, until I heard no longer
The snowy-banded, dilettante,
Delicate-handed priest intone;
And thought, is it pride, and mused and sigh’d
‘No surely, now it cannot be pride.’”

From Maud by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

Gunby HallGunby Hull, Spilsby, Lincolnshire, Engalnd

Gunby Hall is a 4 hours 30 minute walk south east of Somerby
on the way to the seaside town of Skegness, it is today under the care
of The Nation Trust. In Tennyson’s day the owners were still the Massingberd Family,
Tennyson described it as “A haunt of ancient Peace”


Web Links:

Tennyson’s Birthplace 

Gunby Hall

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