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.