Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Butterbur and churches

Butterbur  - Alien plant perhaps, strange flower that appears at this time of the year without the leaves showing first, a bit like the coltsfoot, which I hardly ever see nowadays.  Called butterbur because you wrapped your butter in its great leaves at one time. Gerard says that it was also used as a cure for the 'mistiness' of the eyes, and one of its local names is to do with mushrooms, which is not surprising. You can find more (better) photos here.

Yesterday I spent some time on reading up on the churches round here, trying to make sense of the Saxon and Viking input.  The first thing that struck me was how the churches had been 'patched' up over time, a bit like a quilt.  The stone masons would look for stone to hand and that is how we find old gravestones in the walls, though presumably later stone masons  had lost their respect for the dead of yesteryear.

Kirkdale, or St.Gregory's church, must have been an important church, a Saxon minster, snug now in the landscape with woods around it and the sound of a river in the background, and the gravestones parading their dead.

Sinnington church was another, with fragments of Saxon stone embedded in the Norman doorway now 'bricked up'.  These intricate carved cabled stones, were given a place in later rebuilding.

Our church has two  early gravestones situated in the porch, with a couple of interesting stones, one Norman.

Both cross shafts
Hopefully we shall go to Levisham church soon, there is a grave cover in the porch there, and it looks an interesting drive and walk.


  1. I have visited Sinnington church and also St Gregory's. they are both beautiful.
    I love your new header.

  2. It is slightly fuzzy due to it being enlarged I think. The internet plays up here mostly in the morning, not sure why probably a faulty line.