"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, 10 December 2013

Garden Wildlife, An Interesting Church and Village and Lunch at a Historic Pub Overlooking a Battlefield

We're getting more birds visiting the feeders now its getting colder and the highlight this week has been a small flock of Redwings visiting the garden each day to bathe in the pond and feast on Rowan and Whitebeam berries. We don't usually get visits from this species until the weather is a lot colder or there's snow on the ground. I tried to get a photo without any success - they fly off at the slightest movement in the garden.

I did manage to get a photo of one of the frequent grey squirrel visitors though.

I've put the moth trap out quite a few times over the last few weeks only trapping a couple of Winter Moths (sadly no December Moths to be seen here) but there's a Winter Moth perched on the windows attracted by the light most evenings. Sorry rubbish photo but it is a pretty plain uninspiring moth!

It was my birthday last Sunday and plan A was to visit Upton House and then go for a pub lunch. As usual though we left far later than planned so ended up following Plan B which was a walk round the picturesque village of Tredington followed by the lunch. I drove through Tredington some months back when visiting Shipston-on-Stour with E and the village looked so lovely I was determined to return.

A few of the cottages and houses seen as we walked round the village.

Should I win the lottery in the foreseeable future I will definitely consider buying this cottage for sale as a weekend retreat :)

The River Stour runs through the village and the UK's second largest pike was caught here by a Geoff Crabtree - the pike weighed 451b 7ozs!

The parish church of St Gregory has a 210 foot tower and spire - the highest in Warwickshire. The oldest parts of the Church are Saxon dating back to 961

Valerian in flower by the churchyard

Many of the gravestones were covered in lichens - according to someone I spoke to later in the church there are quite a few rare lichens to be found in the churchyard.

The North door is fourteenth century and has lead bullets lodged in it dating back to the Civil War. A lady I spoke to inside the church told me that parliamentarian troops and horses had spent a night in the church on their way to the battle of Edgehill and the village had been divided over which side it supported with villagers on one side of the river supporting the King and those on the other side supporting parliamentarians.

A fifteenth century brass

Octagonal font - there are old staples on the steps said to guard against witches!

An ancient brass on the floor depicting Alice Barnes wearing a sixteenth century gown with puffed sleeves. She died in 1568 and the brass is a memorial to her and to her husband.

Seventeenth century pulpit installed in the church just before Oliver Cromwell became Protector.

We had lunch at the Castle Inn built on the summit of Edgehill, 700 feet above sea level, overlooking the battlefield of Edgehill where Englishman fought Englishman in the first major battle of the Civil War. There are superb views from the beer garden over several counties. The inn is also known as The Round Tower or Radway Tower and the octagonal tower built in 1742 marks the spot where it is believed King Charles I raised his standard on Sunday, 23rd October, 1642, prior to the battle.

The lunch was delicious with a starter of Brie and Cranberry Parcels

One of the main courses - I couldn't get a photo of the vegetarian option as the family were getting rather embarrassed at this stage with my constant photo taking in a crowded pub

Profiterole Cheesecake to finish the meal :) - I was determined to get a photo of this :)

As we drove through a village on the way home I spotted a "Sun Dog" in the sky. Sorry the photo doesn't really do it justice especially as it was taken from a moving car.

A beautiful sunset from the garden on reaching home


Wendy said...

A lovely post, Caroline. Happy (Belated) Birthday!
Tredington looks very pretty with those beautiful old buildings and the history of this area sounds fascinating, especially the church with its Civil War stories. I would like to see Edgehill, too, having read so much about the battle (and the Civil War) over the years.
The cheesecake looks delicious!
I'm still trying to take a good picture of Redwings (and Fieldfares) - they're just a bit too far away in the trees and hedges. Like you, I may have to wait for colder weather when they come down onto the grass.

Countryside Tales said...

Happy Birthday! (you kept that quiet). What a lovely day out. I love history and your history posts are always so interesting and informative. I love all the detail in them (particularly liked the staples to ward off witches and the lead shot around the door- a real link to the past).

V jealous about your redwings- we don't get them in the garden here but when I have seen them while out and about I have also found them impossible to photograph. They're like woodpeckers in their timidity aren't they?

PS: Glorious food- I'm glad I'm not the only one who takes pictures of our meals out for the blog and embarrasses the family! That pud in particular looked heavenly and it's made me hungry! :-)

Ragged Robin said...

Wendy Many thanks :) I am not 100% sure but I think the museum connected to the battlefield which was at Farnborough Hall may have closed. Apparently the best way to see the site is to take public footpaths round the village of Radway.

Still no luck here with Winter Thrush photos - they seem to have left the garden now they have scoffed all the berries!!!

Countryside Tales - Many thanks :) I'm so glad you enjoyed the church - unfortunately I only had about 10 minutes to look round as we'd booked a table for a certain time. I've bought the guide book and there's a lot I missed so I may try and go back in the Spring and explore the village and church more.

Yes, you're right about Redwings being as timid as woodpeckers. There are hundreds in the country hedgerows. Will try more photos when I next go to Marsh Lane if they are still around but so busy it might have to wait until after Cmas :(

The pudding was delicious. I think I only got away with taking the photos because it was my birthday - other times they would have a fit!!!!

Hope your migraine is a bit better today.

Toffeeapple said...

Super post Caroline. We have been through Edgehill and Shipston on Stour so many times but never seem to stop. I must try to remedy that when we are out and about next year.

SeagullSuzie said...

Happy birthday for last Sunday-sorry I'm a bit late with this reply-just catching up after a few days resting after a minor op, work and all the other things that get in the way of enjoyment...:)
Tredington looks lovely, so thanks for the tour and a view of you birthday meal-I especially like the fabulous looking cheesecake, and now feel quite hungry!
St Gregory is lovely and the images have come out really well.

Ragged Robin said...

Toffeeapple - Many thanks - I'm so glad you enjoyed the post. Well worth stopping off at either of those places - the whole area is lovely :)

SeagullSuzie Many thanks - please don't ever worry about the timing of your comment - its such a busy time of the year and everyone has so much to do. I do hope you have recovered from your minor op and feel better.

I'm so glad you enjoyed the post - the indoor church images came out a bit better than usual probably because the church was flooded with light :)

Pete Duxon said...

thank you for sharing. not been to that church.

am I allowed to eat that dinner? :D

Ragged Robin said...

Pete Duxon Thanks Pete. Can't believe I've found a church you haven't visited :) If you're in the area well worth a visit - the village is pretty too :) Then you could have lunch at The Castle and have a dinner like mine :)

Anonymous said...

I know this is very late but may I also wish you a very belated happy birthday, it certainly looks like you had a good day :-) Lovely images as always and seeing the battlefield of Edgehill brought back memories of myself and my sisters visit to the site when we were little (it was a very, very, very cold winters day if I remember rightly). The villages and churches of your part of the world are wonderfully picturesque :-)

PS. The sun dog was interesting to see :-)

Ragged Robin said...

David Turner - Thanks so much for your lovely comment and birthday good wishes David :)

So glad the photos brought back memories for you :)