Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Kirkdale - St.Gregory's Church

the old building jostles with the new
Yesterday we went for a walk round the above church, it is a place of great peace and serenity, though there were two ladies cleaning out an outbuilding.  We chatted for a while and it emerged that Philip Rahtz the archaeologist had excavated there in 1996, apparently he had uncovered a large coffin, I think A/S, the main feature of interest though is the sun dial in the wall of the porch.  The information for the sun dial can be found here.

This walk took us round the back of the church, through the fields and down to a dried up beck called Hodge Beck, the church itself is situated at the end of Sleightholme Dale in the middle of Kirkdale Woods.  About a mile away there is a cave in which very old animal bones were found way into prehistory.  When you look at the woods that glower so darkly on either side of the church it reminds you of Tolkien's Mirkwood forest, there is dense blackness under the trees, evergreens destroy any living thing under them.

from the west

Hodge Beck

It could belong to prehistory this stone

Walking back the church buried in trees

"St Gregory Minster, Kirkdale was rebuilt around 1054 because the original church of 654 AD was destroyed by the raiding Danes. Therefore it is a pre-Norman conquest Saxon church"   Taken from Doc Brown, and there seems some lovely spring walks round there as well

We then went on to Nunnington Hall for a cup of tea, we never go in, Lucy is with us and paying quite a lot to walk round these large houses is not on our list of interests.... But these graceful English houses reflect a way of life long gone - thank goodness!  We need their history to remind us what life could be like if you were poor.

Willows drooping have to be the most classy trees out
Tea garden, the tree in front in the unmown lawn is a mulberry I think


  1. What a tremendous history for this little church. I don't blame you revisiting it. I guess it has always been a church in the woods, hidden away - although that was no safety net against raiding Vikings I guess.

    How amazing to think that rhinos and hippos and elephants once roamed this area in earlier times.

    1. It seems a very long cave, the person who found it of course thought the Great Flood had washed the animals in but learnt better later. There is some talk of it being a Saxon minster church but I don't think it can be confirmed, there is even an old presumably prehistoric stone outside as well.

  2. Beautiful photos. Yes it does make me think of Mirkwood Forest!

    1. Well at least the trees do not move Jan;)but the beck has emptied over the summer.