Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Thimble Hall and All Saints' Parish Church, Youlgreave, Derbyshire

There is a small car park at the top of the hill as you enter the village of Youlgreave in Derbyshire and we decided to park there and walk down the hill into the centre as the road is quite narrow and traffic is sometimes heavy as drivers weave their way around parked cars and other obstructions.  Locals were waiting at bus stops along the way for the bus to Bakewell.  The people we passed had a ready smile and a 'Good Morning' for visitors.

We could see the tower of All Saints' Parish Church as we walked down into the village.  We did eventually walk as far as the church but first we had a smaller building to find.

 Opposite the old Co-operative Grocery shop which is now a Youth Hostel stands The Conduit or Water Fountain.

Almost hidden by the Conduit Head or water fountain was the building we were looking for....

Thimble Hall

Thimble Hall was built in the 18th Century.  It was a one up one down home with a ladder to the upper room.  It was thought that a family of eight lived there at one time.  It was last lived in as a family home in the 1930s and has been used since then as an Antiques shop, a Butcher's shop and also as a Cobbler's shop.  It is a Grade II listed building.

 Apparently, according to one source I read on line, Thimble Hall is in the Guinness Book of World Records as being the smallest detached house at 11ft 10ins by 10ft 3ins and 12ft 2ins high.  It was sold at auction in 1999 with a guide price of £15,000 but it sold for £39,500 apparently bought by an ice cream maker from Chesterfield.  Sadly it seems to stand empty at the moment although a lady was watering the plants on the side.

The Conduit Head is also a Grade II listed building made of  grit stone ashlar and erected in 1829 by the Youlgreave Friendly Society of Women.  Before this water reservoir was built families had to draw water from the nearby River Bradford.

From Thimble Hall and Conduit Head we walked along Church Street, past The Old Bakery, now a B&B establishment towards the church.

The Parish Church of All Saints' is, according to their guide book, one of the oldest and largest medieval churches in the Peak District.  We had visited the churchyard before, a few years ago, looking for some of Paul's ancestors but hadn't been inside.  Luckily we found the building open.

The interior is mostly Norman with the oldest parts in the nave dating from between 1150 and 1170. There is a Tudor roof and the usual Victorian restoration done between 1869 and 1871,  the stained glass in the east window dates from this time. The Gothic style chancel dates from the 14th century with 15th century additions. 

The glass in the east window was designed by Edward Burne Jones and made in the William Morris workshops.  The table tomb in the centre of the chancel is a memorial to Thomas Cockayne a member of a prominent local family of the time.

 He died in 1488 in a fight with Thomas Burdett of Pooley Park in Warwickshire  as they were one their way to Polesworth church.  The fight was apparently about a family marriage settlement.  It is quite a small effigy, even though he was a grown man,  done this way because he predeceased his father.

Above is the effigy from the 14th century which is thought to be of Sir John Rossington, he lies with his head on a pillow with a dog at his feet. He holds a heart in his hands.

Looking back from the chancel to the nave.

In the north aisle is a Jacobean memorial to Roger Rooe of nearby Alport who died in 1613 and also to his wife and their eight children.

The Norman font which belonged originally to Elton church and was moved to its present place in the 19th century.

Thought to be a 17th century burial slab this figure was moved inside the church for safe keeping.

 A little part of the village school at the edge of the churchyard.

We liked the look of this old shop front opposite the church.  The property is up for sale by auction, just like Thimble Hall was.  I wonder who will buy it and what they will do with the building perhaps a family home, an art and craft gallery or a tea shop?  Who knows.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

A Short but Lovely Walk

We went for a short walk around Westport Lake this morning.  There was a slightly cool breeze which was refreshing after such a warm night.

We decided to walk around the wildflower meadow before stopping for morning coffee at the visitor centre.

We spotted orchids in the grass and there were lots of bright blue damselflies flitting about but all too quick to capture with a camera.

The field was full of Yellow Rattle and Buttercups.
The bees loved the orchids. 

From the meadow we walked around the smaller lake where there were lots of young coots.

Many geese too including Greylags.  A Greylag here with a male Embden or Bremen goose.

Young long-tailed tits were fluttering around in the bushes trying to catch insects.
A Speckled Wood Butterfly - butterflies don't usually stay still long enough for me to focus on them with the camera let alone take a photo.

More orchids near the fence on the larger lake.

Leaves of a Lime Tree so pretty in the sunlight.

A friendly robin, mouth full of insects was presumably off to feed its young.

Lovely markings on this rock dove or feral pigeon which had its beady eye on me. 

Another beady eye can you see what it is?

 Joy of joys - a little bunny.  We rarely see them now so it was a delight that this one came out of its hiding place to sniff the air.

As well as orchids there were many beautiful foxgloves around the lake and in the woodlands too

Saturday, June 09, 2018

From the Garden

May has gently turned to June and the garden looks and feels different.  Everything is less blowzy and frothy, less full of exuberance and and is now more mellow, golden and green.  The birds are less frenetic in their feeding and flying around.  It seems that young have fledged and parents have more time to relax in the trees and hedges around the garden.  The blackbird has time to run through his full repertoire of melodious song in the late afternoon, joined occasionally by the robin, wood pigeons and the call of the herring gulls high above.

 We have ripe courgettes in the greenhouse

These three made a courgette bake for tea this evening.

 The first of this year's strawberries tasted so sweet and yet sharp at the same time.

 The plants are covered in berries as more and more ripen each day.

We have an elderflower bush which has pushed its way through the trees between us and next door.

The taste of Elderflower always seems to go well with gooseberries another fruit that is ripening in this warm sunshine.

I brought in just a few cut flowers from the Sweet Williams which grow in a pot by the back door.

You may remember my post about this plant the Sicilian Honey Garlic - here -  the little bell like flowers are now turning their faces upwards and making tight cone shapes which I assume will be full of seeds.  It has been a fascinating plant to watch over the last couple of months.

How does your garden grow at this time of year?

Sunday, June 03, 2018

In the Garden

The garden isn't looking too bad at the moment although in places the grass seems to be taking over a bit.  I've been busy removing the seed heads from the Aquilegias that have finished flowering but leaving others as the bees are still buzzing around and popping in and out of the little  bonnets.

Pink seems to be the dominant colour at the moment

Tamarisk Tree



 Valerian - the bees love this and sometimes to is covered with them.

Of course, there are other colours too.......

Flag Iris
 Yellow Rose

 Climbing Hydrangea

Blue Hardy Geranium 

 Perennial Cornflower


We were awakened early this morning around 4a.m. not by the dawn chorus although that was beginning but by four little fox cubs running round and round the paths in the garden, jumping and playing being watched over by father fox.  It was such a wonderful sight to see.