Thursday, May 5, 2011

Fairstead Church, Terling

the entrance looking out to more yellow

that crop is as tall as me

Hens doing what they do best in an orchard scratching around

I have written about Fairstead church before, tucked away along a small country lane, this church, like so many is slowly dying over time.  The graveyard was neglected, with patches of cowslips already turning to seed.  We had come for a picnic lunch behind the church, and small bumble bees flew in and out of the masonry of the church, maybe they were masonry bees.
After lunch we took the public footpath at the side of the church, heading down into an oil rape seed field.  This crop is everywhere, the countryside a blanket yellow with trailing woods and lanes breaking up the colour.  It is dry, very dry, we haven't had rain for weeks, the ground in the fields have that parched cracked appearance, the land and crops are desperate for water.  It has brought on the wild flowers, but they are soon over.
We met a man on the path, he will, when the crop is off, look for traces of the Roman villa that must be around here somewhere.  The church has roman tile in its fabric of brick and flint.  It must obviously be an age old settlement here, there is a large farm next to the church, which would probably be the manor for round here, the villa could even be underneath it.


  1. what wonderful pictures! I love the hens I think chickens are wonderful birds and I don't mean to eat as i'm a veggie. :-)

  2. Loved your pictures, but not the rape seed plants, couple of years ago while visiting England discovered that I had an allergic reaction to them in bloom, much sneezing and wheezing! Lovely to look at difficult to walk around.

  3. Hi to you both, the yellow rapeseed oil does produce allergic responses, must be all that pollen floating around; it does have a flowery smell but no insects when we were there.
    Hens J are a favourite of mine and this small group were perfectly happy in the orchard.

  4. How sad that these little rural churches are just settling into neglect. I suppose this isn't one under the umbrella of Friends of Friendless Churches?

  5. No Jennie, looked the charity up, of the 39 churches it owns (20 in Wales), I think it looks to grants from English Heritage for repair work. The air of neglect was probably due that no one tidied the place up, dead flowers and the graveyard was unkempt. Not that I mind it means all the wildflowers survive for a while longer.


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