Saturday, March 21, 2015

Catch up news

As I write this, I am listening to the magical sound of the curlews (here is the link) up on the moor, it is a sound that never fails to silence all the wayward thoughts that go through my mind, as I listen to that burbling note rising.  I very rarely see them but like magic their music is a part of the moors.  So yesterday, the day of the partial eclipse, we took our coffee up to Mirk Mire Moor, it looks as grim as it sounds, the brown heather stretches for miles, black grouse occasionally fly up or scuttle across a bare patch. Sky larks spiral up and there were even lapwings flying overhead.  But though cold, the sun was out, and so we waited for the eclipse, it took a long time, but I did manage to catch one photo of it. albeit not very good.  As we waited, a lady came up to exercise her greyhound, Penny, who when I asked came from the Tia Rescue home.  The road over the moor was supposedly closed, two cars came whilst we were there, it seems at this time of year Yorkshire roads get mended, for we came upon several lane closures. It meant that we did not go down to the beck, where the rowan trees gather at its edge, and in Autumn the 'magic' red mushrooms make their show.
In these first two photographs you can see how the light changes as the eclipse starts to happen, a soft amber glow, it colours the heather a rich brown, whereas the third photograph has the tonal value of a summer purple........

the greener tones of the valley

The cross roads stone

Endless heather with grouse butts in the far distance

The moon eating the sun through the clouds

This week has been very busy two hour visits to see the surveyor and solicitor, both very friendly, problems arose from the surveyor's report, and there has been a lot of mulling over the contents of his report.  But yesterday, after the moor visit we drove to the house, sitting outside it for two hours (or so it seemed) waiting for the owner to come.  He forgot! so eventually the agent came with the key for closer inspection.  Sitting there though on a sunny day, with the bird song in the church yard, and the peace and calm did allow us to experience the house in its simplicity.

Afterwards, hungry we made our way to Lastingham and the Blacksmith Arms for a late ploughman's lunch.  I have written before of the Viking engraved stones in the crypt of this church, founded by Saint Cedd (patron saint of Chelmsford as well) for the burial at the time of King Ethelwald..... link here

There is reason to believe that the original name for Lastingham was Læstingau. Læstingau first appears in history when King Ethelwald of Deira (651-c.655) founded a monastery for his own burial. Bede attributes the initiative to Ethelwald's chaplain Caelin, a brother of CeddChad and Cynibil. Bede records that Cedd and Cynibil consecrated the site, and that Cynibil built it of wood. Cedd ruled the monastery as the first abbot until his death, combining this position with that of missionary bishop to the East Saxons.

I have been reading John Marsden book on Northumbrye, which has been put down more often than read, for it is a list of genealogy of the kings of Bernicia and Deira, and can become totally confusing! Perhaps I shall return to it when we get back.

St Mary's Church

The crypt

It looks snakelike with the spots, so could be the 'Ragnarok' snake

Earlier photos

A couple of fun photos

Ram skull at the side of the road


The vicar must love moles, I see mole hills every time we come

And then of course a Happy Spring day to everyone, don't forget the clocks go forward on the 29th March.  Bitter cold wind here in Whitby though.


  1. Your move to Yorkshire is getting really exciting - I know you will love it up here.

    1. Being enamoured with history helps Pat, though there are still things that can go wrong with house sales.

  2. Nearly there Thelma. So exciting and the moors are breathtaking. There's no landscape better I think. x

  3. Maybe, LS is just reading the surveyor's report again, things will go quiet for a few weeks.

  4. Your photos of the stones in the crypt kept coming to mind. I realised today that one of them sports vine-like plants like the long carved stones at Britford (Salisbury). They must be very old. I do think it's strange how these bits and pieces of carving have managed to survive rather than all or nothing. But I'm glad they have. Also (from one heathen to another) I read that the vine motif could come from John 15:1-5 - no branch can bear fruit by itself, it must remain in the vine... Hope your headache is receding, Rh

  5. Thanks Rhiannon the headaches eventually disappear. Saxon stones are often found in the fabric of churches though, reused like the Roman tiles round here in Essex. Have you ever been to Abson church by Pucklechurch, rude male Saxon Sheela-n-gig, plus Saxon stones reused, and I am sure I found some at the Priddy church as well, which unsurprisingly is next to a barrow.