Thursday, March 24, 2016

In Alstonefield

Yesterday we went for a walk along the trail in the Manifold Valley and on our way home we visited the lovely village of Alstonefield.


We parked in a free car park on the outskirts of the village and above is the first thing we saw in the field over the stone wall.  I'd been hoping to see some lambs whilst we were out and about and sheep number 14 didn't disappoint with her three lovely little ones.


We were headed towards the church not knowing if it would be open or not but I wanted to see what it looked like.  Of course it was at the opposite end of the village from the car park but not too far to walk and there were some lovely buildings to see along the way.  It really is a beautiful, historic and well kept village.  There were groups of walkers sitting on the communal green areas just resting or eating sandwiches.

We wandered past the old post office now a private house.  I'm never happy about taking photos of people's homes without their knowledge but I thought as this had once been a very public building and was of historical interest that they perhaps wouldn't mind.


Over the door was a sign that the building had also been a shop.  It says...
J Hambleton,  Mercer and Grocer, Dealers in Coffee, Tea, Tobacco and Snuff.

I've recently been reading a book about the rise in popularity of coffee houses in the late 17th and 18th centuries and as well as coffee,  tobacco and snuff featured heavily in what was consumed in these places so I found this sign of great interest. 
 
 
This lovely stone house stands opposite the church and judging by its small windows and large chimneys it is quite an old building.  On a map I found on line it is labelled The Hall and dated 1587.
 

 St  Peter's is a twelfth century church which was altered and renovated in 1590 and again in 1870.

 Inside is warm, bright and clean with colourful kneelers attached to each of the carved box pews.

 The Norman Arch in the chancel was completed in 1100

 The low pews were built in the 17th century

 The carved two tier pulpit used to have three tiers

 I did take a photo of the bells in the tower but I'm afraid it didn't turn out so well.  I was interested because four of the bells came from the now demolished church of St John's in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent.  I often walk through the old churchyard and under the railway bridge on my way into the town.


Apparently the painted pew at the end of the aisle belonged to the Cotton Family of Beresford Hall.  One of the members of the Cotton family, namely Charles Cotton was the co-author with Isaac Walton of The Compleat Angler first published in 1653.

Another view of the old hall through the church doorway.
 
In the centre of the village is the George Inn.  Behind this inn there used to be a wool market and on Church Street was a button factory making silk covered buttons.

As we arrived in the village I saw some animals I had hoped to see and as we left we passed by a creature I certainly hadn't expected to see.
 
 All for now, I'll be back in a few days with more of our walk in the Manifold Valley.

34 comments:

  1. Great pictures of a beautiful place! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks Jan, glad you enjoyed them:)

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  2. It's a lovely old place, nice and quiet . I remember seeing the dinosaur in some one's post before !
    Great set of photos too..
    Amanda xx

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    1. I was thinking when I read your comment that it was perhaps Louise's blog where you'd seen the dinosaur but I didn't remember seeing it there but then Louise (below) confirmed it. Thanks for your lovely comments:)

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  3. Hehe, I think that would be one of my posts Amanda saw the dinosaur! I love it. I've never been inside the church at Alstonefield so it was interesting to see it here.

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    1. I wondered if it was your blog Amanda had seen the dinosaur on although I don't remember seeing it before. It is fun isn't it? Quite a surprise to see it there peering over the wall. I must go back and explore more as there are one or two things I missed this time - we were tired after our long walk so didn't walk round the entire village:)

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  4. I loved reading your account and meander through Alstonefield. Triplet lambs are special and what a proud ewe.

    Wishing you a happy Easter

    Helen

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    1. Thank you Helen, Happy Easter to you too:)

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  5. What a really lovely village! Glad you enjoyed your visit. It is very unusual to see the kneelers displayed like that in the church, I have never seen that before. Glad that the dinosaur didn't get you! xx

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    1. Ha - I am too as I couldn't have run very fast after the long walk. The kneelers were fascinating so many different designs and very colourful too:)

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  6. From lambs to dinosaurs. you've run the gamut in the animal kingdom. Always enjoy your church visits.

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    1. Ha, Ha - yes quite a jump from one to the other. The church was lovely, a plain and simple village church:)

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  7. Great photos. So clear.Which kind of camera do you use?Barbarax

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    1. Hi Barbara, the camera is a Fuji Finepix bridge camera, 14 megapixels and 30x zoom. I've had it a few years now and it has been a super camera but the on /of switch is getting a bit dodgy now, I'm thinking about a new one but can't decide what to buy:)

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  8. Lovely historical and interesting village. The little lambs and their mum make such a seasonal picture. I love the information on the house plaque but can't imagine who would get pleasure from taking snuff! Great post Rosie however the dinosaur looks quite out of place, although it is historical!

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    1. The dinosaur was a surprise so coudln't resist a photo of it. It is a lovely village and I was so pleased to see the lambs as I did want a seasonal photo for this week:)

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  9. It's great to see these old villages and their interesting nooks and crannies. Well done no. 14, so cute and just in time for a photo. :-)

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    1. I couldn't believe it when I saw she had three lambs as I saw two then the thrid ran up and started to suckle so I knew it was her lamb too:)

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  10. What a wonderful and interesting post. It brought back some memories too - I don't think I've been to that area for 40 years which is quite horrifying! Its a very pretty village and I loved seeing the church photos and reading all about its history. Great to see some lambs too :) Have a lovely Easter.

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    1. It is a lovely area for walking and some pretty and historic villages too. I was glad the church was open so we could look inside. Yes, it was great to see the lambs. Happy Easter to you too:)

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  11. You always find such wonderful places to visit. I should explore more. Now the weather has improved I vow to get out more often.

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    1. The weather is improving now and it is good to get out and about. Having said that the weather today looks as if it is going to be wet and windy so I'm glad we had a good day out earlier in the week:)

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  12. That photo of the sheep and lambs is almost too adorable. Happy Easter.
    Amalia
    xo

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    1. It is lovely isn't it? I was so pleased that they stood still for a few minutes so I could take it. Happy Easter to you too:)

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  13. This looks a very interesting village and church and lovely to wander around. It must be fascinating to live in a house that was different things in the past, like a shop and post office. If I lived there I would have to find out all about the history! The lambs are gorgeous. Happy Easter!

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    1. There is quite an active local history society in the village according to what I have found online so I expect the people who live there are part of that and interested in the building they live in - I hope so as like you, I would have to dig and delve to find out more. Happy Easter:)

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  14. I love the carving above what would be the shop. Long before painted signs! Xxx

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    1. It is wonderful isn't it? I'd love to find out how old it is and who J Hambleton was:)

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  15. Just sharing this visit gave a sense of peace. Thank you for another beautiful village walk. Happy Easter Rosie!

    Marie x

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    1. Thank you, Marie - glad you enjoyed the walk. Hope you have had a lovely Easter:)

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  16. Alstonefield looks a fascinating village to visit, loved looking at all your photos. xx

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    1. Thanks, Jan. It is a very pretty and interesting village:)

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  17. Another lovely post, Rosie. Thank you. I particularly like the photos you took inside the church, but then, I am a complete sucker for an old church. x

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    1. Thank you Mrs Tiggywinkle, I love to look inside churches too, it is always a pleasure when you find them opej and welcoming and so much local and social history there too:)

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