Tag Archives: Village Sign

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


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.’


Heacham Norfolk: The Pocahontas Connection

John Rolfe of Heacham Hall Heacham Norfolk sailed to America to seek his fortune not long after Captain John Smith of Willoughby in Lincolnshire set sail to North America as one of the early American settlers in 1607.

St Marys Church

St Marys Church, Heacham, Norfolk, England

 

John Rolfe is best know for introducing Tobacco into Virginia he and his other Norfolk companions anchored in Chesapeake Bay and named their settlement Jamestown. It was during this time that John Rolfe meet Pocahontas the daughter of Chief Powhatan of the Algonquinn Red Indians.

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Pocahontas Memorial

 

In April 1612 when Pocahontas was about 15 years old she was lured on board a vessel and taken to Jamestown as hostage, In around 1613 she converted to Christianity under the instruction of Rev Alexander Whitaker born in Cambridge, who had settled in North America in 1611, it said that it was during these instructions that John Rolfe and Princess Pocahontas meet feel in love and married in 1614.

The Pocahontas Connection

Heacham Village Sign


 

Tydd St Giles Cambridgeshire

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The separate Bell Tower of St Giles originally was part of the main building but it tumbled to the ground in the 18th century.

There has been two reasons given for this catastrophe, the first being that of strong winds combined with poor foundations. The second explanation which has such a gothic charm it makes you wish that it was true.

It is said that the peel and clammer of the bells so irritated Lucifer himself that he toppled the tower to the ground.

All credit must be given to Sir Gilbert Scott who undertook the rebuilding of the tower on it present site in 1880s, for his courage in putting right what Old Nick had destroyed.

Tydd St Giles Village Sign


 

Potto Brown, Houghton Mill and A Friendly Cat, Houghton Cambridgeshire

Potto Brown was Born in Houghton Cambridgeshire in 1797 he took over the running of Houghton Mill on his father’s retirement in 1822.

He was responsible for building the mill and contributing to the cost of building the Free Church in nearby St Ives. He build the small chapel in Houghton where his grave can been seen to this day, he died in 1871 and was laid to rest beside his mother and his two previous wives.

Potto Brown

While taking the air‚ as they say in Jane Austen novels, around Houghton Mill on The River Great Ouse, Huntingdonshire,

Chasing Shadows

Chasing Shadows

This splendid sleek gentleman made friends with the camera and I on a crisp bright January morning making chasing shadows irresistible.

Village Sign Houghton and Wyton


Edwin Muir. Swaffham Prior, Cambridgeshire.

Born in Orkney in 1887.

Socialist, Critic, Contributor to The New Age Magazine, Translator, one of Scotland’s best poets and perhaps a counter balance to Hugh MacDiarmid vision of Scotland and poetic language?

Laid to rest in Swaffham Prior churchyard Cambridgeshire along with his beloved wife Willa Anderson who was an author in her own right.

Edwin Muir's Cottage Swaffham Prior

In 1919 he married Willa Anderson and said not long after that “my marriage was the most fortunate event in my life”. They collaborated on English translations of such writers as Franz Kafka, Gerhart Hauptmann, Sholem Asch, Heinrich Mann, and Hermann Broch.

Ewin Muir' Last Resting Place

We were a tribe, a family, a people.

Wallace and Bruce guard now a painted field,

And all may read the folio of our fable,

Peruse the sword, the sceptre and the shield.

A simple sky roofed in that rustic day,

The busy corn-fields and the haunted holms,

The green road winding up the ferny brae.

But Knox and Melville clapped their preaching palms

And bundled all the harvesters away,

Hoodicrow Peden in the blighted corn

Hacked with his rusty beak the starving haulms.

Out of that desolation we were born.

Edwin Muir From Scotland 1941.

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Elstow Bedfordshire

I do not know what I expected but it was not what we found. I was disappointed to find that Elstow the birth place of John Bunyan had been swallowed up by a sprawling Bedford and surrounded by its busy road networks and bypass leading you on to the M1 motorway and Milton Keynes.

John Buynan Birthplace Elstow Village Sign Bedfordshire

The Abbey Church of St Helena and St Mary is all that is left of a larger monastic church begun in 1078 it is situated just of the Village green where John played in his youth, he was christened here in 1628 and his parents and sister are buried in the graveyard.

As photo opportunities go it was a little disappointing, The Moot House on the village green which houses a museum on 17th century life did have a certain charm but I found it almost to pristine and clinical. The only redeeming feature was the village sign.

Perhaps this is all a little harsh but it was not helped by the fact that both the village school and the Swan public house had seen better days and we’re boarded up. There was a plaque on the high street marking the spot were John Buynan once lived on his return from the civil war but even this lacked any romance and very little inspiration.

Therefore it has to be concluded that it is the man, his teachings and his writings that are the enduring factor and leave the more lasting impression.