"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, 4 May 2017

St Agnes, Moseley, a Birthday Meal and Recent Reading

Family chauffeuring in the Kings Heath/Moseley area of Birmingham a few weeks back meant I had an hour to spare so I went along to have a look at St Agnes Church which is part of the Moseley Conservation area.

The church was designed by William Davies in 1881 and the main part was built between 1883 and 1893 in the Gothic style. The tower, designed by architect C E Bateman, was added in 1932.

Unfortunately the door was well and truly locked - I wasn't surprised as I have stopped off at this church on a previous occasion when it was also closed.

Apart from a few memorial plaques near the church wall, there were no gravestones or tombs to look at and I can only assume the churchyard hasn't been used as a burial ground. It was quite "manicured" but there were plenty of trees and shrubs such as this lovely magnolia

and a few bluebells.

Nature always finds a way and there were a few dandelions

and ivy scrambling over a wall.

A Harlequin ladybird in the hedge which surrounds the churchyard.

It was E's birthday last weekend so we visited a new pub for lunch - the 12th century Saxon Mill at Warwick. It was a working mill until 1938 and became a restaurant/pub in 1952. We had a lovely meal there although it was exceedingly busy - I think half of Warwick were there! The car park was full and we had to park in a nearby layby.

Views of the River Avon from the pub garden. We saw a tree creeper foraging in a tree on the terrace and a grey wagtail on the river.

Views of the Avon from the restaurant.

Meals (vegetarian and non-veggie versions)

Horse Chestnuts are "candling"

Near to the pub lie the ruins of Guy Cliffe's house

It is a fascinating area - legend has it that the area of Guy's Cliffe was originally occupied by St Dubritius and later the famous Guy, Earl of Warwick who spent his final years in a cave near the river. The house was built in 1751 by a Samuel Greatheed. The house was used as a hospital during the Great War and a home for evacuated children in the Second World War. The house itself is now a partial ruin due to fire and neglect although you can attend an organised walk round the house and grounds which has been on my wish list of things to do for some time. The chapel of St Mary Magdalene has been used by freemasons since 1955. With all the history you won't be surprised to read that it is also haunted and I understand that you can attend overnight ghost hunts there too!

Unicorn birthday balloon

Photos of Saxon Mill taken either by D or me with the Canon Bridge SX50 HS.

Latest Reading

A few of the books I have read recently

This book on Gravestones, Tombs and Memorials is very interesting and stuffed full of facts about the history of burial, tombs and the meaning of gravestone symbols etc. Thanks again to Amanda from The Quiet Walker for inspiring me to look at this topic in more detail.

Another unputdownable Ruth Galloway book!

The same could be said of this Vera Stanhope novel by Ann Cleeves (I have just started the 4th in the series).

Juliet Greenwood is a new author for me - the book title came up in one of those recommended book lists you see on Amazon and I had also seen it on Rosie's Blog (Corners of my Mind). I really enjoyed this book especially reading about the suffragettes.

I love Little Toller Books (only wish I could afford to collect them all!) - this was no exception although probably best to read it in the Winter :)


Pam said...

The Saxon Mill looks like a gorgeous place to eat, great views! It always seems a little odd to see an older church without a graveyard!

Ragged Robin said...

Pam - Thanks Pam. It was a lovely change to go somewhere new for a meal :) I always rely on interesting things to look at in churchyards if church shut but it was all a bit too manicured for my liking!

Deborah RusticPumpkin said...

Few things are more lovely than Gothic style architecture in an English country spring. I love food that looks good enough to eat!

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

I haven't seen a grey wagail by the castle yet this spring, such lovely birds and you can get quite close to them

Rosie said...

What an interesting post. The church looks interesting with all those windows, shame it was closed, it would be interesting to see inside. I suppose by the time it was built most burials would have been in the local cemetaries. The Saxon Mill looks like a wonderful place to have a celebratory meal. No wonder it is so popular that parking is at a premium. Guy's Cliffe house sounds intriguing. So glad you are enjoying the Elly Griffiths and Ann Cleeves series of novels plus the Juliet Greenwood one, I think it is her third novel. 'Eden's Garden' and 'We that Serve' are both good too:)

Ragged Robin said...

Deborah RusticPumpkin - Thank you - it was lovely to see the blossom at the church. The meal was good specially the dessert :)

Simon Douglas Thompson - Thanks Simon - yes the can be fairly tame. Usually see them at another mill near us but haven't visited there yet this year.

Rosie - Thanks Rosie. Most churches round the Birmingham area and North Warwickshire seem to be closed - so sad although I understand the necessity. Yes, I think you are right about local cemeteries. I have wanted to go on a Guy's Cliffe tour for some years (not a ghost hunt though - too scary!) - I think it is the only way you can get to see the ruins. I will have a word with my son and see if he fancies going. Not really OH's cup of tea!! Thank you re: books - will check out the other Juliet Greenwood novels. I am also tempted to download the first Maisie Dobbs book!

Rosie said...

I haven't read the first few Maisie Dobbs books, I got a later one from the library and then read them in sequence from then on, each one seems to get better:)

Ragged Robin said...

Rosie - Thanks - have downloaded the first one - might read it next as I am reading Silent Voices at great pace!!! :) Some reviews seem to suggest that the Maisie books get better as series progresses. Like you I tend to read books in sequence :)