10.3.10

A little Norman church



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.


We enter.


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...

15 comments:

ADonald466 said...

Fabulous photos - I love your eye for detail! And an interesting story about the losses in the war. There is a place near here called Sorrowless Fields - supposedly because they were the only family not to lose men at the Battle of Flodden.

rossichka said...

Dear Gretel, I just want to tell you that your recent posts are extremely interesting - they took me to new, different worlds! I'm very busy with my work, but I'll comment them sooner or later! Have a nice day!!

carletta said...

Hi Gretel-What magic to find the pipe! That is one of the things I love about England: every corner seems to hold a little magic piece of the past....I LOVE you art and your felt figures are truly art, not craft...
Carletta

Southern Lady said...

Love the pictures, especially the one with the mints on the pew.
Carla

Soozcat said...

It's a little odd and more than a little amazing to behold a structure that is older than the history of one's entire nation. (And still in use, yet!)

I know it's all a question of perspective... someone I know has a friend from Canberra, Australia, which despite being founded in 1913 really only took off being built after World War II. Her friend marvels at a restaurant here in the western U.S. which has been in continuous operation for the last 60 years, as few buildings in Canberra are that old.

edytheanne said...

Thanks for posting this little piece. I'm here in rainy Florida and feel as if I went for a walk along with you.

Jill said...

thanks for sharing your walk and this delightful little Church

Yarrow said...

This was a great post and I adore the pictures of the Church, especially the wonky tower :)

Hope you are well and work is good. x

Jessie said...

We're so lucky to live in a country with all these wonderful places aren't we? Thanks so much for a lovely post :o)xx

My Bella Bleu said...

Amazing. What wonderful photographs & information. It really does look like a beautiful place.

Jee said...

What luck to find the pipe hidden away like that - I've recently discovered that my great-great grandparents were clay pipe makers so it struck a chord. I love these cotswold churches, they're so peaceful. Do you know the one at Compton Abdale, quite near to these? My husband has family associations there, it's a favourite with us.

Pearl said...

Thanks for sharing your wonderful photos. I felt like a took a mini-trip.
Hugs,

Jenea said...

Very beautiful travel around Cherch!

Aputsiaq said...

What a wonderful blog! I just love it!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful photographs which make me feel really guilty for not having visited, especially as Lewis Bythesea Bubb was my great grandfather. One small correction however, the wooden plaque “on leaving the church” lists those who served in the Great War but were spared. CHL Bubb was indeed LB Bubb’s son (and my grandfather). He died in 1979 and is buried in Quenington Cemetery. One other name on the plaque intrigues me, that is S. Armstrong. LB Bubbs wife was a Maud Mary Armstrong from the North of England. She had a brother called Sidney. Were they one and the same?
Regards Charles (charlesferrand@hotmailico.uk)