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
Tuesday, 14 November 2017
A Trip to South Warwickshire - Part 1: Long Compton and the Church of St Peter and St Paul
On Sunday D and I drove down to South Warwickshire to visit the picturesque village of Long Compton with its amazing Lych Gate. The village is part of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and shows many features of the typical Cotswold village. It is very old having been established in early Saxon times and it appears in the Domesday Book.
Typical South Warwickshire countryside from the car window.
The Church of St Peter and St Paul
It is believed a church has existed on the site since the 5th century. St Augustine is understood to have visited Long Compton in 597 AD when the church was around 150 years old. According to legend he commanded that no ex-communicated person could attend mass and as he did so a man rose from the dead and left his grave and the churchyard!
The present day church, built of local stone, dates from the 13th century. The nave is the oldest part of the church and a chancel was added in the late 13th century followed by the North Aisle around 1300. The church was restored in 1862/63 by Woodyer and this included the addition of a tracery rood screed between the nave and chancel.
The wonderful lych gate is one of the main reasons for wanting to visit the village. - it dates back to 1600 and is constructed of timber, brick, stone and thatch. It is a Grade II Listed Building. It was originally at the end of a row of cottages but by the 1920's the rest of the cottages were derelict and were demolished leaving just the lych gate at the end. The upstairs room has been used as a cobblers, antique shop and later a museum of farm implements created by a George Latham. When he died in 1964 his wife gave the building to the church in his memory. Nowadays it is used by Compton District History Society to store maps and photos of the village and local area and is occasionally open to the public.
The old oak doors of the 14th century south porch are dated 1620.
The stone effigy of a woman dates from the 15th century although it is difficult to make out any details she is apparently wearing an ornate headdress and there is a dog at her feet. The effigy is possibly the cover of a tomb and was originally located in the North Aisle.
I managed to get D to come into the church for a short while to take these photos with the Canon Bridge Camera of stone corbels in the nave. These capital figures include a bishop's head with a horseshoe, pincers and a smith's hammer and a lady wearing a horned headdress together with a priest chalice and book.
I think the Font (and Pulpit) date back to the Woodyer Restoration
The North Aisle
Chancel and Rood Screen
Several reminders around the church that it was Remembrance Sunday.
Altar and East Window. The East window is modern glass set in a 14th century design and was made before the Victorians had become proficient in stained glass art.
Piscina dates from 1863
The Chancel carpet was made by local ladies in the 1960's.
Looking towards the Nave
This lovely noticeboard was covered in tapestries of local buildings.
Timothy insisted on having his photo taken to prove he had visited the lych gate!
While I was looking round the church D had a walk round the village - so a few of his photos to show you how picturesque it is.
The best book D ever found in our favourite second hand bookshop in Coleshill called "Books Revisited" was the Reader's Digest book on "Folklore, Myths and Legends of Britain" - this mentions the stories mentioned above concerning St Augustine and also suggests there were once many witches in the village "There are enough witches in Long Compton to draw a load of hay up Long Compton hill". In the 19th century a man murdered a village woman claiming he had killed her because she had bewitched him. About a mile away are the Rollright Stones with their many myths concerning witches.
In fact these Stones, my favourite Neolithic location, were our next port of call but I will write about that in Part 2 - I think there are enough photos for one post!!!
*D - photos taken by my son with the Canon Bridge SX50
Reference: Leaflet on the Lych Gate and various information boards around the church.
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.