An elegant sufficiency

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Discovering new places on our doorstep

Well, of course, they're not new places at all, but very old ones indeed. They were simply new to us. I suppose it often happens that, although we travel the world, we sometimes overlook places rather nearer to home, and a sunny Saturday and the Kempley Daffodil Weekend provided all the motivation we needed to get ourselves over to a corner of Gloucestershire we hadn't explored before.

This part of the county is reknowned for daffodils at this time of year, and they grow wild all over the place.

Local villages play host to visitors in turn over several weekends and this weekend, Kempley had pulled out all the stops to celebrate this lovely flower. The little Arts and Crafts Church of St Edwards was full of daffodils of every kind - stitched, painted, photographed and of course, the real thing.

Having enjoyed some locally made cake with our tea in the village hall, we set off along the Daffodil Way to St Mary's, a little gem of a church nearby.

Along the way, we passed a rather special tree.

St Mary's turned out to be a remarkable place indeed, being one of the finest examples of Norman architecture in Northern Europe. It was built at the start of the 12th Century and still has some amazing 12th and 13th century wall paintings and the original wood beams!

The wall paintings were breathtaking and looked wonderful in the warm Spring sunshine. For all of you who did "The Normans" at school, did you ever see a finer example of a Norman arch?

Can you imagine that those walls were painted in 1130? And here they still remain, tucked away in a corner of a small church in the English countryside.

What treasures we have here on our doorstep. How lucky we are to be able to enjoy them!

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  • Treasures indeed! The wall paitings are stunning.

    By Blogger Seahorse, at 1:07 pm  

  • What a wonderful find. I just love looking at very old things and imagine how many people through many generations have also been loking at them and enjoying what they see. tahnks for sharing.

    By Blogger Digitalgran, at 3:35 pm  

  • Hi Gill,
    There you go... you have the inspiration for your next series of work! No more excuses.
    I have a lovely machine embroidered picture on my wall, by Peggiy Field, inspired by one of the wall paintings in St Albans Abbey.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:09 am  

  • I do so envy you, being able to visit all those lovely historical places. I originated from Tunbridge Wells down in Kent and have lived in Australia since emigrating at the age of 13, back in the late 70's. Most of my holidays as a child, were spent in castles,stately homes and museums. I didn't really appreciate it back then, but I'm sooo glad of it now.

    By Blogger Helen, at 5:13 am  

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