"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

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

The Berkswell Cello and Garden Flowers

D and I made a brief visit to one of our favourite villages last Monday. First port of call was the Norman church of St John the Baptist in Berkswell.

The ancient oak church door has handmade nails and was made over 600 years ago.

I was keen to see the "Berkswell Cello" which has recently been returned to the church. It has an interesting history and was made by the cello maker John Barrett in 1720 at the Harp and Crown in London. The cello came into the possession of Berkswell church in 1794, A musicians' gallery had been built at the west end of the church in 1777 where a church band and quire sat. This gallery was removed in 1896 to make room for a new Willis organ. All the old church musical instruments, including the cello fell into disuse. Warwick Museum housed the cello and its oak case for part of the last century and then it was displayed in the Berkswell museum of local history. I do wish I had visited this museum when it was open as it sadly closed last year.

The cello was not in a good condition and had woodworm damage and missing parts. The Berkswell Museum Committee decided to have the cello restored to "display" standards" rather than to "play standards". Earlier this year the cello returned to Berkswell church and is housed in a special cabinet also containing a replica 18th century bow.

I didn't take too many photos in the church as I have done so many posts on the building in the past but this is the medieval sanctus bell which was hidden in the tower during the reformation and was only re-discovered in 2013.

A few tombs and gravestones from the churchyard.

So good to see that wild flowers are allowed to flourish in some parts of the churchyard.

Maud Watson, daughter of the local vicar and 1st Ladies' Single Champion at Wimbledon, is buried near the church. She played her sister in the final.

This is an unusual tomb - I've never seen one like this before and couldn't find any inscriptions on it.

In a previous post I showed some of the graffiti cut into the church walls - here are a few more examples.

I discovered this postcard in the village shop - it shows the centre section of the Berkswell 2000 Parish Map which was embroidered by the Berkswell Society to mark the millennium. Apparently the map is on display in the Reading Room so if I go to the next art exhibition there I will look out for it.

D and I then had a pub lunch at The Bear - Cheese and Red Onion chutney sandwich with salad and chips - oops no photo as I had left the camera in the boot :(

Just a few pictures from around the garden to finish off the post.

Clematis on the house wall is flowering well and

the Climbing Hydrangea will be in flower soon.

Green Alkanet is spreading round the garden. Fortunately B hasn't yet realised how invasive it can be! The bees adore it.

The pond with

Ragged Robin spreading in the bog garden. Sorry I couldn't get close enough for a better photo without trampling plants. Sadly, the Ladies Smock plants put in last year haven't re-appeared.

Azaleas and Rhododendron now in flower


I love this fuschia - the flowers are so delicate.

Mini wildflower meadow - still showing far too much couch grass :(

Lots of Yellow Rattle again this year which will be in flower soon

Ribwort Plantain

In the past we have sown only British wild flower seeds but last autumn B spread several packs of seeds containing flowers which are good for pollinators so it will be interesting to see what comes up!

A self-seeded broom in the front garden is full of flowers.

Somewhere in this ivy a wren has a nest - she is seen regularly taking in food.

Blue Tits are also feeding young in the nestbox in the Whitebeam - the nestbox camera has packed up so this year have no idea at all how many chicks there are.


Chris Rohrer said...

Beautiful walk. I like the bog garden a lot. Fascinating visit, as always to the gravestones! Hope you are having a great week! Chris

Ragged Robin said...

Chris Rohrer - Thanks so much Chris. Yes,having a good week thank you and I hope you are too :) Caroline

peppylady (Dora) said...

Hi I stop in from Cheri. To me it amazing how much your country is older then mine.
If you find the time stop in for a cup of coffee

Rosie said...

It's a gorgeous time of year in the garden and you have some lovely flowers and plants in yours. The story of the Cello is fascinating. I always feel sad when I hear of museums closing down, although it's good that the the cello was returned to the church and that the church is open so it can be seen. There are some very interesting stones in the churchyard:)

Ragged Robin said...

Pepperlady (Dora) Thanks so much for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. I will pop over and see yours later.

Rosie - Thanks so much Rosie. Yes, gardens are looking so lovely. The museum was only small and open occasionally (run by volunteers) - feel rather guilty at not visiting as I think it may have closed due to lack of support :(

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

The music school students here in Newark would be able to get it playable

Ragged Robin said...

Simon Douglas Thompson - haha! :) Send them down to Berkswell :)

Deborah RusticPumpkin said...

You have an amazing variety of beautiful plants in your garden ~ I'm way behind you with everything!

Ragged Robin said...

Deborah RusticPumpkin - Thank you. Amazing how plants vary in their flowering depending on location. Planting seedwise - haven't had chance to do much this year so no sweet peas or cosmos :( Unless I buy some young plants!!!

Caroline Gill said...

Another detailed and fascinating post. The unusual tomb reminded me a bit of Etruscan design e.g. here.

Ragged Robin said...

Caroline Gill - Thanks so much and special thanks for the link - yes you are right it does! I must have another look at my book on gravestones, tombs and monuments but unfortunately it was a kindle purchase and its not so easy to flip through a book on a kindle as it is a real one!!