"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

NORFOLK Part 2 - Holt and Weybourne Church and Priory

On Friday we had planned to visit the Norfolk Wildlife Trust Reserve at Cley in the morning and then go on a boat trip to Blakeney Point in the hope of seeing seals in the afternoon but we abandoned these plans when we woke up to an enveloping mist - well really fog!. Although, had I known that even worse weather was on the way for Saturday and Sunday, I would have persuaded everyone to go to Cley - fog or no fog!!!

We drove down the coast to Cromer - again the strange experience of all the villages looking familiar even though I'd never been before :) If possible it was even foggier in Cromer so hoping it was just a sea mist we drove inland to Holt - a market town with lots of interesting little independent shops. Sadly, it was just as misty there!

Emily particularly enjoyed this shop!

and David and I spent most of our time in this one. David was happy having found a book on Gothic Norfolk (full of myths and legends). I picked up a pair of books in a case full of engravings by Thomas Bewick but replaced it rather rapidly when I was told the asking price - £100!

On the journey we had passed many interesting looking churches - all seemed open. I finally managed to persuade Brian to return to Weybourne so David and I could have a look at the church and priory there.

You can see from this photo of the church (and later ones of the Priory) just how misty it was.

I found one clump of primroses in the churchyard and snowdrops were still flowering.

Weybourne Priory was founded around 1200 - 1216 (the Augustinian Order was introduced into England during the 11th century and many religious houses were founded in the following 100 years).

The mist swirling round the ruins was really rather atmospheric and my imagination ran riot with thoughts of monks in hooded cowls wandering around.

The parish church of All Saints has chancel and nave dating mainly to the 13th and 14th centuries. The porch (which has flushwork - flint and brick - decoration) was completed around 1500.

The pulpit is Jacobean

Sorry about the flash bouncing off the glass - the frame contains a photo of the Seal of Weybourne Priory of early 13th century design.

Carving on the pulpit - sorry about this being in the wrong place. Blogger has a mind of its own this evening and seems to be putting photos out of order! Plus I've had several attempts at typing text which appears in a different place when I check the preview!! So apologies in advance if this post is all over the place and the text and photos fail to make sense!!

I only scan read the guide book whilst in the church (conscious of Brian and Emily waiting in the car!!) and it was only later that I realised I had missed one of the highlights - two 15th century poppy-heads (these are small circular wooden face engravings) - doh!!

Spotted a huge flock of Greenfinches in the garden back at the cottage and Jackdaws were constantly "chacking" from the roof top. Great to hear the Tawny Owl again during the evening too.


Dartford Warbler said...

The fog looks so chilly but it must have added to the atmosphere. What lovely villages to explore.

Tricia said...

We really are held hostage by the weather!! But despite the mist some interesting sights...

And so cheery to see the primroses.

£100?? no wonder you put the book back rather rapidly...lol

I've not been to Holt (only heard about it) but next time I'm up that way, I shall try to visit - it looks rather interesting!

Ragged Robin said...

Dartford Warbler - We drove through some lovely villages during the holiday - all worth exploring :)

Tricia - Holt is a very pretty little market town - well worth a visit (though shops rather expensive :)!! )

It was a pain about the weather but its the chance you take in this country!! :) In some ways I wish I had listened to everyone and booked it in May!

Em Parkinson said...

It's so difficult to find a real bargain these days. Everyone is far too aware of what things MIGHT be worth!

Ragged Robin said...

Em Parkinson - you are so right! I used to be able to pick up Collins New Naturalists at various places at a very reasonable price. Not any more :(

ShySongbird said...

Hi Caroline :-) What a shame the weather interfered with your plans. I can quite see that you were expecting the weather to be better in March than December. However, you still made the most of your break. I usually avoid shops (hate shopping!) but bookshops and what I call knick knack shops are a different matter :-) I would have been so tempted by the books too but definitely not at that price! I do have a book of Bewick's bird engravings....but it was £12.99 :-)

As soon as I saw your atmospheric photos I could see the monks in their cowls and that was before I read your words which made me smile. I enjoyed all the interesting photos and it was lovely to see my favourite wildflower the Primrose :-)

Thank you so much for all your recent, helpful replies. I was thrilled at the Upton Warren suggestion! I looked into it and it would take a minimum of three and a quarter hours without a stop to get to Norfolk so would be no good at all in our circumstances but Upton Warren would be about an hour and twenty minutes which would be doable. It is now firmly on my list :-)

Ragged Robin said...

Shy Songbird Hi again Jan :) Your book on Bewick's bird engravings sounds tempting :) The one in the second hand bookshop was old and a first edition. Far too much money though :)

So glad you enjoyed the primrose photo :) I just knew that you would be imagining monks too :)

Glad the info was useful. Do hope you manage to get to Upton Warren and see Avocets - would love to know how you get on.

We thought about Norfolk for a day initially but as you say a long way. So I looked into a one night hotel stay but it was so expensive for the 4 of us and we realised then we could get a self catering cottage for 3 nights for the same price! Hence the longer stay.

Toffeeapple said...

Holt is one of my favourite places to go.

Ragged Robin said...

Toffeeapple - Its a beautiful town with such interesting shops :) Would love to return again one day!

Rohrerbot said...

Now I don't mind the mist because like you mention, it really makes the mind wander...monks, ghosts, ancient times. That actually looks like a fun walk.

But the sign saying "Spring is here" makes me wonder what their spring is REALLY like. Definitely not my idea:)

Ragged Robin said...

Rohrerbot - The mist really did help with the atmosphere and like you my imagination ran riot!!

The weather here is dreadfully cold with snow!! Just hoping Spring might finally arrive in April!

Ragged Robin said...

Rohrerbot - The mist really did help with the atmosphere and like you my imagination ran riot!!

The weather here is dreadfully cold with snow!! Just hoping Spring might finally arrive in April!