A record of wildlife in my garden and various trips to the Warwickshire countryside and occasionally further afield.
"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
Thursday, 17 September 2015
Heritage Festival, St Mary and St Margarets and another Wildlife Friendly Churchyard
D and I went along to Castle Bromwich Heritage Festival last Saturday afternoon.
Just a few photos from the event - I think this may be the same Organ Grinder who appears at New Hall Mill Open Days?
Ouch! - looks exceedingly painful!!
No sign of the Green Man this year :( but I did see this picture in the tea room showing him by an Oak Tree at the start (or end) of the Solihull Green Man Trail.
Fungi growing in the churchyard. Chicken of the Woods?? Am absolutely hopeless at Fungi id so if anyone knows what this is please leave a comment.
St Mary and St Margaret's Church was open - not too many photos partly because I did a post on this church last year and also "Queen Victoria" was holding a story telling session in the Chancel so I couldn't get to that area to take photos. The church has a family connection - my parents were married there.
References to a place of worship on this site date back to a charter of 1165. Documents refer to a chapel dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary at Castle Bromwich. The chapel was the private place of worship for the lords of Castle Bromwich Manor and subject to the parish church at Aston. Evidence suggests that this Chapel is now the site of the present Chancel and the high altar has been in its present position for around 800 years.
During the 15th century a timber-framed church was constructed at the end of the Norman stone chancel. The medieval roof is still in place - I posted a photo in my post last year when we had a tour of the tower and you can see the huge oak beams being held together by wooden pegs.
In 1657 Orlando Bridgeman bought Castle Bromwich Hall and the manorial estates for his son Sir John I. Sir John's son, Sir John Bridgeman II succeeded to the estate in 1710 and proceeded to extend the hall and lay out the Gardens. The church was also extended and unusually instead of demolishing the old timber and stone church the new church was built around the old one with most of the original woodwork being enclosed in brick, lath and plaster. St Mary and St Margaret is the only known example of an encased church or a "church within a church". The work was completed in 1731. Charles Edward Bateman, an architect and advocate of the Arts and Crafts Movement, who lived in Castle Bromwich was the person who first discovered that the Parish Church had been built around the previous Medieval church.
The church became the parish church in 1878.
The stained glass is either Victorian or modern.
The font dates back to 1731 and is made of Italian marble.
Here you can see some of the original church behind the plaster.
Possible appearance of the church before it was encased in the present building.
19th century graffiti!
Before we left I went and had a look round the Graveyard which in the last few years has been the subject of a community project to clear the very overgrown churchyard and research the lives of those who have been buried there. They have produced an interesting booklet entitled "Stories Behind the Headstones".
It was good to learn that the renovation of the churchyard is being undertaken with wildlife in mind and Warwickshire Wildlife Trust are advising the volunteers and wherever possible native plants are being used. I noticed a lot of pollinator friendly plants and some of you may remember the flower border full of alliums and bees at this churchyard that I wrote about during the Wildlife Trust's #30 Days Wild project.
There are still a few plants flowering and plenty of seedheads.
Visible from the furthest part of the churchyard is what remains of the mound that locally is known as "Pimple Hill", the remains of a 12th century motte and bailey construction built as a defence to guard the important crossing of the River Tame. Sadly, much of the site was destroyed in the 1970's during the construction of a road and what remains now lies stranded between the M6 and the Collector Road. An extensive archaeological dig by Birmingham Museum took place before the road was built and evidence was found of a timber structure on the mound and a Roman settlement.
Welcome to my blog. I have been interested in natural history from an early age and we have tried to create a garden attractive to wildlife. I also enjoy reading, photography, collecting fossils, visiting historic buildings and gardens and supporting Aston Villa. Please feel free to leave a comment and, if you would like to email me, my email address is ciraggedrobinsATgmail.com - remember to replace AT with @. Thank you for visiting.