"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 3 February 2024

A Walk Around Local Country Lanes


Last weekend D and I did one of our favourite circular walks round the hamlet of Shawbury in North Warwickshire.  Its only about mile so a good walk when you haven't got that much time and there is a bitter cold wind!

I seem to remember when we last went the road was flooded here and

it was a bit too muddy to venture onto public footpaths!

We passed a lovely little cottage with a gate in the hedge leading towards a wishing well.

A few seedheads are still visible in the hedgerows.

Hazel and Alder Catkins

Signs of new growth in one part of the hedge and daffodils are starting to appear although no buds.

In this wood a small animal scampered through the trees. For some unknown reason my first thought was that looks like a wild boar but I think that is unlikely as I haven't seen them reported locally. We came to the conclusion it was a muntjac.

Some of the photos D took.






We stopped off on the drive home by St Cuthbert's Shustoke to get a photo of an old  barn by Church Farm. D has found a website with some information on the barn. It is a typical Midlands box frame barn which is probably the same age as the C17th farmhouse.  If you click on the photo to enlarge it there are three box framed bays to the left. Alterations were made probably in the C18th to the far end of the barn where the bays were replaced with brick walls.  Ventilation holes can be seen in a diamond shaped pattern. The barn is now used as a garage and workshop.

I am still trying to research what the object in the foreground is without much success!

We only saw a few birds on the walk - flocks of tits which included Long Tailed Tits plus Blackbirds, Chaffinches and a flock of Fieldfares.

Photos taken by me with the Panasonic FZ330 bridge camera. Those by my son with the Canon SX50HS bridge camera. (I don't particularly rate my photos but if anyone ever wishes to use one of mine of my son's I would appreciate an email first - thanks).

Reference - Website - www.greatbarns.org.uk


Rustic Pumpkin said...

A mile is plenty in this weather! Such lovely photos, and heartwarming to see the slow beginnings of Spring emerging. Daffodils are an odd lot, they are in full bloom in some places but barely breaking through the soil in others. Timothy stayed home then?

Ragged Robin said...

Rustic Pumpkin - Thanks so much. It was relatively mild but a cold wind so a mile was enough as you say! I've noticed that too about daffodils. Yes Timothy stayed at home in the warm!!!

Millymollymandy said...

I love English country lanes! Your hazel catkins are more advanced than the ones I saw recently - we don't have many hazels around here but we were a bit further inland at a bird reserve. That barn is really interesting - love the box framed bit but the diamond patterned side is still interesting.

In many of the hamlets in Brittany there would be a simplified version of that stone pillar but usually with a cross on the top, and I've seen one here in the south too. Not sure exactly what they signify though I ought to find out!:-)

Ragged Robin said...

Millymollymandy - Thanks so much as this comment has come through fine I won't publish the other one if that is ok
There is something special about country lanes :) I screeched to a halt by the barn!! :) I have seen it before as I've been several times to the church 50 yards away but recently I have got even more interested in old barns! :)
Interesting about similar stone pillars in France Mandy. I still haven't found out what exactly it is. Market cross has been suggested on twitter or part of a church spire? Its not the churchyard cross because that is in the churchyard itself.

Millymollymandy said...

Phew I'm glad the comment came through to save me retyping it! I just found this interesting article about crosses in France although on reflection your stone pillar is not really a cross, is it? You might find this article interesting, anyway.

https://jimmcneill.wordpress.com/2011/03/23/wayside-crosses-and-crucifixes-of-france-what-do-they-symbolise/ I hope that doesn't come through as spam!

Rosie said...

What a lovely walk, it sounds delightful with all the signs of new growth and flocks of birds spotted. I wonder if the little animal was a muntjac? It seems the most likely. The little cottage looks wonderful as does the barn. Your photos show just how wet it has been over the last few weeks:)

Ragged Robin said...

Millymollymandy - Thanks so much for the link - I copied and pasted :) My stone pillar not really a cross but the article is fascinating and very interesting so thanks again.

Ragged Robin said...

Rosie - Thanks so much - I agree sure it must have been a muntjac but it was such a fleeting glimpse. Yes it has been wet - we kept to the roads!! The cottage is a favourite of mine - sadly IF it ever came on the market would be way above our price budget I suspect!

Ragged Robin said...

Millymollymandy - I've found out what the stone pillar is!!! Checked photos from past blog posts of the church and there are similar things on the church tower just below the spire! So perhaps when spire struck by lightning in the past it was damaged and removed. Will give a link but I think you will have to copy and paste - scroll down to phots of church tower and enlarge. https://raggedrobinsnaturenotes.blogspot.com/search/label/St%20Cuthbert

Ragged Robin said...

Millymollymandy - Afterthought - it doesn't really explain why its there though!

Millymollymandy said...

Luckily that address came as a link in the email notification! Well done for figuring it out! Is the pillar on church land, or the land that the barn is on? The first makes sense, but not the latter.

Ragged Robin said...

Millymollymand - oh good! Pillar not on either really. Its on a piece of grass in the centre of narrow lane that leads off to the church! Church and churchyard about 100 yards away - barn belongs to Church Farm I think. Hard to explain without actually being there.

Ragged Robin said...

Millymollymandy - Me Again! Just re-looked at photo and in background by entry to a house (Church farm?) to right hand side of barn is what looks like (possibly) another stone pillar!! Its no good I shall have to back at some stage and check if it is another pillar!

Millymollymandy said...

Well spotted Caroline! It is the top section, about a third I’d say. Looks like they placed it on a stone or brick plinth. Maybe no one wanted the old or broken ones so the Church Farm people said they’d have it? I guess you could knock on their door and ask, but the pillar has probably been there a lot longer than they have!

Ragged Robin said...

Millymollymandy - Thanks Mandy. We would make good detectives - lol :) Yes you could be right. It was some centuries ago when the spire was struck by lightning and repaired twice - I think although of course no guarantee that was when they were removed. If they ever have another event at church and its open I could go along and ask some of the people there. Could of course contact the church but I have a feeling several churches there are run by one diocese - perhaps Coleshill? There may be a local history society which may know more. I will ponder! :)

The Wessex Reiver said...

I like lane walking, as long as there's not that much traffic. a nice stroll and peering into peoples gardens for ideas. I'm a little worried over D's image of the brick building with the airbricks... was he falling over while the shutter snapped? Intriguing.

Ragged Robin said...

The Wessex Reiver - Thanks so much. We didn't see a single car pass us on the walk - its a quiet area although parking is a pain.
lol! re the photo of barn and falling over!. No, he wasn't falling over he has a passion for taking photos at an angle! and I think he was trying to cut a piece of fencing out of the photo too!

CherryPie said...

My kind of walk. I love the old barn :-) I hope you find out what the object in front is. I am intrigued by it too.

Ragged Robin said...

CherryPie - Thank you. Well I have discovered the stone object is identical to ones on the tower of the nearby church so I think it came from there but why it was placed at the nearby road junction I have no idea! There is a similar object by the entrance to the nearby house too.

Mandy said...

What a lovely winter walk, and an inspiration to get out with my camera. I like that cottage with the hedge and wishing well. And hurrah for daffs!

Ragged Robin said...

Mandy - Thanks so much for visiting and leaving a comment.