"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

Monday, 2 November 2015

Brief Visit to Baddesley Clinton and St Michael's Church and Books

I had a few hours to spare last Thursday as I'd dropped E off in Solihull to meet a friend and I decided to return to Baddesley Clinton for a walk in the grounds and gardens looking for autumn colours and to check out those lovely robin metal sculptures again which some of you may remember from a recent post!

Unfortunately, the rain which was forecast to stop at 1.00 didn't :( so I decided instead to walk along the wooded path up to the Church of Saint Michael.

A few autumn colours on a gloomy, drizzly day.

St Michael's Church - looking very gloomy in the dull weather. I've never actually been in the church before although I have visited the churchyard several times. It is particularly lovely in the Spring with a carpet of bluebells and other Spring flowers such as Lady's Smock which attract Orange Tip butterflies.

A church has probably existed on the site since the 11th Century and possibly even prior to the Norman Conquest. The Nave of the present church dates back to the 13th Century and replaced an earlier wooden building. The church was originally dedicated to St James and it isn't known exactly when the dedication changed although it could have occurred following the 19th Century restoration. The reasons for the change are not known.

I didn't take too many photos in the church as it was dark inside. Most churches are happy for you to take flash photography and I couldn't see a sign asking you not to so I used the flash initially and then had a horrible thought that the church might come under the National Trust property of Baddesley Clinton and as many of you may know the National Trust doesn't allow flash photography anywhere! So it seemed wise not to use the flash again!

The East Window

The Altar Tomb contains the remains of Sir Edward Ferrers (1465-1535) and his wife Constance who was the daughter of Nicholas Brome (see below for more on Nicholas). The shields of arms show the alliances of the Ferrers family with the families of Brome, Hampden, Windsor and White.

The Font is of a simple early Norman design and the oak chest was once used to house money and parish records. Such chests tended to have 3 locks and the Rector and Church Wardens each had a key so the chest could only be opened when all 3 were present.

Part of the East Window shows Nicholas Brome kneeling in prayer. Nicholas was born around 1450 and his father John was Lord of the Manor at Baddesley Clinton.

Some of you may have read earlier posts on Baddesley Clinton and St Giles Packwood and may remember the story of Nicholas. He killed the man who murdered his father and then some years later he killed the Baddesley Clinton priest when he found him in the parlour "chockinge his wife under ye chinne"! For this crime he eventually received a papal pardon and also a pardon from King Henry VII. In penance he paid for work to be carried out in St Michael's (then St James's) church - the Nave was heightened, clerestory windows installed and the Tower was added along with new bells. He asked for his body to be buried vertically within the church so that people would walk on his head whenever they entered the building. There is a plaque marking the spot but I managed to forget to take a picture.

I had a look round the shop before I left - I didn't in the end buy a metal robin (they were £15 - more than I thought - so I am dropping out hints at home for birthday ideas) but I did buy this little book and am hoping to knit up some of the figures to put on the Christmas Tree.

Back at home - I am still picking Cosmos flowers from the garden

and I've finally more or less finished moving books downstairs to their new home.

Unfortunately, I have managed to run out of room and still have goodness only knows how many books left in storage boxes :( Most of the fiction paperbacks I'll take to the charity shop as I have really tried to prune down the fiction books I keep. In fact the four shelves of fiction books in the new book case have a double row of books on each shelf as it was the only way I could get them to fit in the space allocated! But I still have quite a lot of non-fiction/reference books I don't want to part with.


SeagullSuzie said...

That's a hefty price for those little Robins so I hope your hints take seed! Your book reminds me that this year at Greenway House they are doing a "hand-crafted knitted and crocheted Christmas puddings added to the traditional decorations" this year so we are going to visit.

Margaret Adamson said...

More pruning is NEEDED! The close ups of the autumn colour are lovely and the tain glass wondows are always a treat to seee in churches. They did have lovely flower arrangements in the church as well.

Ragged Robin said...

SeagullSuzie - Thanks Suzie. Sounds like a brilliant event at Greenway House (would love to visit there one day) - hope you can get some photos!! I've visited some of our local NT houses "decorated for Christmas" and they really do go to a lot of effort.

Margaret Adamson - Thanks Margaret and lol re: the pruning (my husband would definitely agree with you!) :) The church was rather lovely in its simplicity I thought and it was easier to get photos of flowers in windows without using camera flash!!

amanda peters said...

We're you the only one in the Church, I would have found it a little spooky in there on my own... Especially on such a " dank" day. The weather here has been nice when I'm at work and rain, fog or mist when I'm at home! The fog was bad yesterday, talked to my mum who lives in North Yorkshire, she was sat out in the garden reading in wonderful sunshine and couldn't get over how warm it was!! We're I couldn't see the bottom of the garden !
Loving the new book cases, it's nice to have them all in the same place, I bought a larger caSe which is now full, but not quite as many as you:)
Amanda xx

David Turner said...

The book cases are looking good and we would also barely get a tiny fraction of our vast collection of books on those new shelves. Indeed sometimes I think we bought another house simply so we could find ourselves some extra storage!

Lovely tour of the autumn woods with all the beautiful golden colours, berries, nuts and fungi to enjoy, whilst the little church looks and sounds like an interesting place :-)

Hope you are well and best wishes to all :-)

Ragged Robin said...

Amanda Peters - Thanks Amanda. Yes, I was the only one in the church! I don't usually find churches spooky although churchyards at times can be! Sorry to hear the weather hasn't been good on your days off - must be so frustrating. From what I've read on blogs weather can be foggy in one area and bright sunshine a few miles away as you and your mum experienced! Yesterday was very misty here all day.

Do feel happier now many books are in one place rather than stacked high on 3 separate bookcases - also its easier to refer to them now they are downstairs.

Hope you can get out soon! Best wishes Caroline.

David Turner - Thanks very much David. Glad I am not alone in having a lot of books!! I could easily fill another bookcase the size of the one in the photo. I might have to make tough decisions about some of those remaining. I am trying to be firm with myself over fiction paperbacks because I still have a lot in storage boxes that I know I won't read again. It wouldn't be as bad if it were just books but I still have to find somewhere to put things like 40 years of nature diaries, folders full of wildlife records, holiday files stuffed with OS Map and guidebooks, photos, rocks and fossils - the list is endless :( I did a few years back get rid of years worth of old BBC Wildlife and Birdwatching Mags etc. Like you I could do with another house or at least a room I could use as a study!!! :)

Hope you are well and over the dreaded lurgy and that progress is occurring on the cottage (you have been so patient!). Best wishes to you all Caroline

Deb said...

Shame about the price of the Robins, they are nice though. The bookcase looks great and I love the Cosmos flowers, such a pretty colour. :-)

Ragged Robin said...

Deb - Thanks Deb glad you like the bookcase :) We first started to grow Cosmos a few years back and now I wouldn't be without them - they flower for months and insects love them :) Am still dropping out hints to family about the Robins but I don't think they will get me one due to price!

Peter Keene said...

Hi Caroline I'm here again I know you'll think I'm awful I talked my wife into donating her collection of books to a local hospice where I have carvings within a panel I then bought her a Kindle to my disadvantage as I now end up paying for the new books for the kindle.
Lovely blog why did he want people to walk on his head as they entered the church found this amusing.

Ragged Robin said...

Peter Keene - Thanks so much for your comment Peter - lovely to hear from you again. I am so glad you enjoyed the blog. After he had committed the two murders Nicholas Brome became very concerned about his soul and paid penance in various ways - timewise at various churches and also by donating money. I think he decided this penance should continue after his death which is why he wanted people walking over him. I picked up two little booklets in the church - one includes a poem of his life and cartoons and the other has a quiz following clues to lead you to his tomb. (Both probably meant for children but I too found them fun! :) )

Your wife's donation has certainly gone to a very good cause. Must admit I am very sentimental about my books but the fiction books I am parting with I have been taking to a second hand charity bookshop in nearby Coleshill which raises funds for the Mary Ann Evans hospice. Although whenever I go and leave a few dozen books I manage to come away with a few more!! I have a Kindle too and only buy fiction for that now. I have a lot of nature writing on there too although have to admit I would prefer proper books for these! Its very tempting and easy to buy books for the Kindle - OH once decided I should get rid of my complete collection of Thomas Hardy which I never got over!! and it was the first thing I bought for my Kindle. They are a good idea though and certainly save space!