After we left the Knot Garden at the Old Manor (see my last post) we walked down to the Summer House and then down the path towards the River Dove.
It was such a warm and sunny day. Although there isn't a cafe on site the volunteer on duty told us that picnicking was allowed in the grounds.
It was cool in the Summer House and the view out of the door was lovely. We sat for a short while and then went down the steps to the path.
The banks on the way down were covered in blue bells some of the flowers were just opening and little patches of blue gave some idea of how beautiful the paths would look in the next week or two.
At the river's edge we could see a small hydro-electric station harnessing the power of the water.
was time to leave the Old Manor and its grounds and head to the nearby
church of St Mary and St Barlok. St Barlok was an Irish Bishop and Patron Saint of Cork in the 7th century. John Fitzherbert, 3rd Lord of Norbury returned from Ireland in 1174 and dedicated the new church to the saint.
As we walked around the Old Manor we'd seen a young violinist having her photograph taken in various parts of
the house and garden and when we reached the church she was inside. The
photos would have been incredible as the sun shone through the large
windows onto her flame red hair as she sat on the chancel steps. It was lovely to hear snatches of music as we walked around.
I didn't take too many photos in the church as there were quite a few visitors, plus the violinist and her photographer and a cleaning lady who was trying to work around us all. The chancel is 46 feet long and dates from c 1295. The nave is 49 feet long and with the side chapels and tower dates from the 15th century. Below are a few more of the features I noticed, some with explanations from the little guide book I purchased.
The Great East Window - is described as a 'Lantern in Stone' as the light pours through. The glass isn't original and since 1770 has been restored several times by different people and sometimes not very well. The last restoration was in 1983.
Above and below in the chancel are eight medieval Grissaille glass windows installed in 1306. These with the great East window create the 'Lantern in Stone' effect described in the guide book and seems more glass than wall.
These windows with the sun streaming through were so wonderful to see.
Above is the effigy of Sir Henry Fitzherbert, 4th or 6th Lord of Norbury (the guide book says 6th Lord but the little label says 4th) which ever one he is he lies close to the south-west chapel, clad in full chain mail, legs crossed, sword in its sheath in his hand. This is the Sir Henry whom I mentioned in my last post as being the builder of 'that part of the medieval manor house which still stands'. The effigy used to lay in the chancel and was moved in 1892 to its present position during restoration work.
In the chancel are two fine tombs made by 15th century sculptors of Chellaston Alabaster. They were moved into the chancel in 1836 and were restored in the 1960s and 1970s.
Above is Nicholas Fitzherbert, 11th Lord of Norbury who died in 1473. He is depicted wearing full plate armour, his head resting on his helmet. He wears a collar of suns and roses with a lion pendant which show his allegiance to the Yorkist King Edward IV.
The double tomb shows Ralph Fitzherbert, 12th Lord of Norbury and his wife Elizabeth Marshall of Upton in Leicestershire. Apparently because of the depiction of the clothes worn by the couple there is a cast of their figures in the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Like his father he wears a collar of suns and roses around his neck but his pendant is a boar, the cognisance of Richard, Duke of Gloucester later Richard III.
It was hard to get a good photograph of the boar pendant but I think you can just about make out what it is. Ralph Fitzherbert died in 1483 just two years before Richard III.
Sir Ralph's feet rest on a lion and next to it sits the little figure of a Bedesman who carries a rosary.
The font dates from the 12th Century
A double Piscina
Of course there are many other brass and stone memorials to various incumbents and members of the Fitzherbert family. Also of interest is the connection of Norbury Village with Mary Anne Evans who was of course the writer George Eliot. Her grandparents George and Mary Evans are buried in the churchyard and her father Robert sang in the choir at the church before moving to Warwickshire. It is thought that George Eliot based the character of Adam Bede on her father.