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
Saturday, 15 February 2020
A Wander Around Temple Balsall
Family chauffeuring one afternoon last week meant I had an hour to spare so I drove the few miles to Temple Balsall. I do love this area of Warwickshire - it has a real sense of history and tranquility.
I won't go into the history of the area too much this time as I have written about it so many times in the past but it was once the preceptory or headquarters of the Knights Templar in Warwickshire. When the order was suppressed the lands were transferred to the Knights of St John (the hospitallers).
Unfortunately for me it was school run time (there is a primary school on the site) so rather than visiting the church first I parked some distance away to look for snowdrops in the cemetery.
Snowdrops on the lane grass verge.
The Natural Burial Ground - some of you may recall me visiting the wonderful wild flower meadow here last summer - with the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust reserve of Temple Balsall in the background.
Snowdrops and crocuses
There is a peaceful area to sit at the far end of the cemetery. From here I could have walked down to the Bread Walk and then up to the church.
But for some reason I decided to move the car to the car park by the primary school. The car park I usually use now has a barrier at the entrance which didn't seem to want to open! So I decided to park in a bigger car park a bit further up the lane which I have never used before.
The walk to the church passed this rather lovely pool.
The Bread Walk with almshouses founded by Lady Katherine Leveson.
The church of St Mary. According to the church guidebook the church was built by the Knights Hospitallers but interestingly the latest Pevsner Warwickshire book suggests that "on historical evidence it has been argued it was built for the Hospitallers around 1320 or later. Stylistically, though, it seems much more likely to belong to the late 13th century and the Templars". Fascinating!
The Templar or Old Hall formed the Preceptory of the Knights Templars. The original timber framed building was built in the 13th century but was restored (like the church) by Sir Gilbert Scott in the 19th century.
I am always fascinated by gargoyles, grotesques and corbel tables as I always wonder how many of the faces were based on real people. Here is a selection.
The churchyard was covered with snowdrops and
a few primroses, aconites and a daffodil in flower.
Another view of the pool as I walked back to the car.
It would have been nice to go this weekend as I understand (unless it has been cancelled!) that Sunday is Snowdrop Sunday but to be honest the weather forecast is not looking good!
All photos taken by me with the Panasonic Lumix FZ330 bridge camera
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.