"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, 6 May 2021

Back to Herefordshire - Part 3: St Andrew's, Leysters


I'd hoped on Tuesday we could visit one of the local gardens but both B and E were quite happy just to spend the day at the caravan. So I decided to visit two local churches. One St Andrew's, Leysters, I was particularly keen to visit due to a Wordsworth connection.

The church was remote with lovely views and  was located some way down a country lane.  St Andrew's dates from the 12th century with later additions.  The West Tower with its pyramidal roof is probably 13th century as is the chancel with the nave being 14th century.

The peaceful churchyard was full of flowers both planted and wild flowers such as primroses, lesser celandine, wood anemones and violets.

There was an information board in the churchyard that the south gate leads to a field which has a motte and bailey and possibly signs of a deserted village (something to explore in the future). Also on the gate the initials AJW are carved which commemorate local farmer Anthony Wale. I found the initials (I think!) but to me they look like EJW!!!

A 12th century doorway in the south wall now bricked up.

A friend in Herefordshire told me about the church and the Wordsworth stone where William and Dorothy Wordsworth sat to admire the view in 1845.  According to church information it is by the East gate.  I thought at first this stone was it but now I believe it is a coffin stone which marked the place where hundreds of years ago coffins passed into the churchyard before being met by the vicar to accompany the courtege into church.  Apparently you have to walk across the field to a track to find the Poet's stone. Another excuse to visit again and it is only 20 minutes by car from the caravan.

There are two blocked windows in the North wall - the one with the wooden frame is 17th century and the other from the 12th century.

A rare sign these days!!!! Even if churches are open it is usually only for private prayer and not for church crawlers. This time I decided to go in and donned a mask and grabbed my hand sanitiser!!!

Norman south door

The tub font is Norman and came from Pudleston which we visited last Autumn.

Most of the furnishings come from a restoration in 1869/70.

14th century nave roof


East Window by Ward and Hughes 1890.

Somehow and don't ask me how I completely missed the William Morris window!  I can't even blame the family waiting nearby this time!

Modern engravings on a gravestone

View from the car park and "plants in walls"

In the churchyard I found 3 different kinds of cone to add to the "nature finds" box.  The pheasant's feather I found by the caravan.

I will leave the other church for another post but there will be less photos next time as it was locked!

I hope everyone is staying safe and well.

All photos taken by me with the Panasonic Lumix FZ330 bridge camera.