This is the tale of two churches, the first, pictured here: the little church of Colne St Dennis, on a cold spring afternoon. It is Norman in origin, though probably built on the site of an earlier Saxon church. It is hard to believe that this wonky little building has managed to stay upright for hundreds of years; the original central Norman tower, built 850 years ago, was topped in the 1400's by a castellated belfry - that's the little square bit on top, with the flagpole on.
If you look closely you can see the older, more crumbling stone of the original tower underneath, and the walls bowing beneath the extra weight - yet it was propped up with a buttress or two and despite the sagging stones, it still stands.
This little porch is also a later addition from the 1600's.
Inside, the older Norman entrance, with its patterned archway.
Despite its age, this church is still in regular use - oasis's and spare pots waiting for the next flower arranger.
The first recorded rector of this parish is the grandly named 'Henry de la More', 1272, several decades after the Battle of Hastings, ending with the more down-to-earth present day 'George Mitchell'.
The little human touches which remind us that this is still a much loved place - a worshipper's supply of mints awaiting them, in what must be their regular spot.
Looking down the aisle - the atmosphere saturated with the unmistakeable smell of English churches - damp stone mingled old, cold polished wood.
The pulpit, with a little heater to take the edge off the bitter cold winter mornings.
Leaving the church, and passing the usual poignant reminder of the great sacrifice made by countless tiny villages all over our country - often a whole generation of young men wiped out. We never, ever forget to stop and think of them. Listed here is a 'C.H.L Bubb', the same surname as the serving rector at the time (Lewis Bythesea Bubb) and probably his son. The Day family lost three members.
We carry on down the lane, stopping to look back.
Andy discovers an old clay pipe, hidden in the wall. A long time ago, someone stood here to have a smoke and look at this very scene, pretty much the same then as it is now. There are still hard, black charred remains in the barrel. Maybe they were related to one of the men listed in the roll of honour we had just read.
We walk across to nearby Coln St Rogers, to investigate the Saxon church, seen here nestling in the landscape, the tale of which continues here...