I had a day out with a friend yesterday and we visited the Staunton Harold Estate in Leicestershire. A lovely place with lots to do and see and plenty of walking nearby.
I also got my first view of The National Forest in the making - a concept to create woodland covering 200 square miles across Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Staffordshire linking Charnwood Forest in the East with Needwood Forest in the West. To date 7.8 million trees have been planted increasing woodland cover from 6 to 18%.
We had a look round the Ferrers Arts and Craft Centre first. I was particularly taken with one shop selling a variety of carvings of the Green Man. Unfortunately, there were well outside my budget!
These stone owls were cute too
After lunch of brocolli and stilton soup we walked to the parkland
Staunton Harold Hall - home to the Shirley Family for over 500 years but the estate (and hall) was sold in 1954
The Chapel of the Holy Trinity (National Trust) was luckily open.
It was founded in 1653 by Sir Robert Shirley, the 4th baronet who was a royalist and determined to build a church in the old tradition.
The epitaph above the West Door which reads
"In the year 1653
when all thinges Sacred were throughout ye nation
Either demolisht or profaned
Sir Robert Shirley Barronet,
Founded this church;
Whose singular praise it is,
to have done the best things in ye worst times,
hoped them in the most callamitous,
The righteous shall be had in everlasting remembrance."
Oliver Cromwell was not impressed and said that if Robert Shirley could afford to build such a church he could afford to build and equip a naval ship. When Shirley refused he was imprisoned in the Tower of London where he died aged 27.
I couldn't take many pictures inside the church as flash photography was not allowed and my camera is not good in poor light.
But here is a very poor picture (taken at 1/2.5 second!!!) of the very impressive ceiling representing the biblical story of creation from chaos.
And a few stained glass window pictures
A lovely day out in great company.