Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Wednesday 10th January

So it was my birthday yesterday and we went out to lunch at Wombleton and on the way back we stopped off at Kirkdale, St.Gregory's Anglo-Saxon Minster.  It was a dark grey day, misty with a fine fretting rain coming down just right for old churches with their graveyards.  I have found no explanation for the megalithic stone just near the tower of the church, only that it might be a memorial stone from Saxon times given the message on the sun dial.

"Orm the son of Gamel acquired St. Gregory's church when it was completely ruined"

Landscape wise the church is hidden in a valley with a beck running by, the heavy presence of trees gives it a sombre dark feeling.  Found out by doodling on the internet that Philip Rahtz, archaeologist was buried here in 2011 and that he had excavated here in1996, but nothing to show on the net.
Lucy followed us around rather reluctantly, you will see her disappearing round the side of the church, so here is Lucy where she likes to be, comfortable on the sofa and not on adventures round churches.  Rather scruffy and in need of a haircut.


Churches have an enormous pull on my psyche, it is as if their history is  written in their stones, the building and rebuilding, the lives of all the farmers who have come to bury their families, written out in the landscape.  Perhaps Rahtz who had moved out to this part of  Yorkshire felt the same.  The darkness of the great firs and yews add a distinct 'feel' to the place, nature has taken over and a Phil Rickman story would not come amiss....














we did not cross but turned back.













http://www.ormerod.uk.net/Places/Kirkdale/placekirkdale.htm

https://northstoke.blogspot.co.uk/2016/08/kirkdale-stgregorys-church_2.html

10 comments:

  1. I love St Gregory's - I always take visitors there, it is one of my favourite places to visit. If you love such places, have you ever been over to Sedbergh and visited one of the first Quaker Meeting Houses - Briggflats-? One of my favourite poems is the poem of that name by Basil Bunting (he is buried in the churchyard there(.
    The Meeting House is so atmospheric. I go quite often as I often pass that way on my way to meet friends in Kirby Lonsdale.

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    1. No to Sedbergh Pat I shall look it up.

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  2. A belated Happy Birthday, Thelma.

    I love old church yard cemeteries. Ours are not as old as yours, but I do live around many from the 18th century when our country first began. The old churches still stand and look very similar to yours, which is not surprising as many of the first Christian inhabitants were either British or Germans.

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    1. And took their faiths with them, which were often at odds with their own country. Thank you for the birthday wishes.

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  3. There is a coziness to these photo in spite of the rain and grayness. It looks settled and weathered.

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    1. It should be of course at least a 1000 years history, no settlement nearby though, it belongs to a couple of parish villages miles away.

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  4. What an interesting looking church, round here they all tend to look much the same, flints and towers.
    The water in the ford looks rather busy! Good plan not to cross I think

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    1. That beck is dry in the summer, there is a small wooden bridge for walkers to cross over though. You can walk to Lastingham church cross country another famous early church.

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  5. Churches in New England [where I was raised] were often old--though not with the antiquity of those in your part of the world. I liked the loftiness of the interiors, the formal spaces. Always a plus if there was a churchyard burying ground. Lucy does look as though a damp outing was not to her liking. Our cats have sulked about the recent cold and damp--as though we could fix it by opening the door again half an hour later.

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    1. That is so sweet of animals going to another door thinking the weather will be different!

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