"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, 28 July 2021

Herefordshire Again - Part 4: St Bartholomew's Docklow and St Andrew's, Bredenbury


Saturday was even hotter and I am afraid I just do not "do" hot weather. I hate anything above about 21/22 degrees centigrade!  B and E weren't bothered about going out but it seemed a waste of day to me to sit around reading all day and all evening so I decided to go and visit two local churches.

To be honest I was only gone for just over an hour - I would have loved to visit a few more churches but, although it was lovely and cool in the car with air conditioning, once I got out and meandered round the churchyards I was just baked!

St Bartholomew, Docklow

The unbuttressed West Tower is probably late 13th century and the nave and chancel North wall probably Norman with two blocked openings.  Otherwise the church dates backs to a re-building by Thomas Nicholson 1880.

There appeared to be bees nesting in the tower! I did not linger!

Stonecrop growing on some of the graves - parts of the churchyard especially by the car park had been allowed to go a little "wild".

The church was well and truly closed. I am not sure if it is due to the current pandemic or whether it has closed closed permanently. If you look at the lych gate a few photos down it does look rather in need of repair! There again the churchyard looks well looked after. I will have to do some research.

Most of the fittings in the church date from the 1880 rebuilding but I would have liked to have seen the Godwin floor tiles.

St Andrew, Bredenbury

 A few miles further along the Worcester Road is St Andrew's, Bredenbury.  We always drive past the church if we journey via Bromyard and I have often thought it looked an interesting church.

The church was built in 1876/7 by T H Wyatt on a new site replacing a previous church.  The West Tower has a pyramid roof and the porch is made of timber.

Most of the window tracery is in the style of around 1300.

The south side of the churchyard is quite neat, tidy and "manicured" but to the east, west and north it is a beautiful "living churchyard" with grasses and wild flowers.  Herefordshire does seem to have a good record for encouraging wildlife in most of the churchyards - at least from many of the churches I have visited so far.

Stonecrop again - a yellow species this time.

You may wonder why a photo of a Portaloo?!  On Twitter a group of church crawlers have fun trying to discover the most outlandish places where such items as portaloos and traffic cones are placed. Really rather silly perhaps but in current times it is good to be lighthearted, have fun and make people smile.

This is a font which came from a nearby church at Wacton now being used as a flowerpot!

The church was only open for private prayer.

Timothy enjoying the sunshine but he found it very hot too!

We didn't go anywhere on Sunday as, if possible, it seemed even hotter.  We drove home late afternoon.

I hope everyone is staying safe and well.

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

Reference: Pevsner Buildings of Herefordshire (new edition)

Sunday, 25 July 2021

Herefordshire Again - Part 3: Mortimer Forest


Mortimer Forest was very quiet and peaceful and there were less cars in the car park than on the first visit and we only saw a few people during the entire walk.  We ate a picnic lunch in the car and I was thrilled to see several Silver Washed Fritillaries flying past (the first I have seen this year). No chance of a photo though as the only one that stopped flying was someway away and kept its wings closed! The trees provided some welcome shade from the sun and heat!

We did the same "easy access" trail as last time.  It is made of two loops in a "figure of eight" and again we walked both loops.

Every time I stopped to take a photo or identify a plant or butterfly B and E got further and further ahead :(

Hedge Woundwort

Heavily cropped photo of a Ringlet.

Peeler Pond - we saw many Broad-bodied Chasers (males)

Rosebay Willowherb, Meadowsweet and Foxglove

Back at the car park.

The final post of this visit to Herefordshire will include visits to two local churches - sadly one closed and one only open for private prayer but there was plenty to see in the churchyards and on the exterior of the churches.

Stay safe and well everyone.

All photos taken by me with the Panasonic Lumix FZ330 bridge camera. D was working from home Thursday and Friday so couldn't accompany us.