northernvicarwalks – May 2017

At the end of April I had done 270 miles (I should have done 329). Therefore I was 59 miles in debt. May is even worse. On Sunday 30 April, the first day of Week 18, I walked 5 miles … and did something to my foot. No more walking that week.

In Week 19 I did 5 miles. 4 of those were on Saturday 13 May when I had a ride on the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway (they had a diesel unit weekend), a walk round the town, a bus back to Belper, a walk there, and another bus home.

Week 20 was better – 12 miles. Sunday 14 May from the Hanging Gate, and walks round Allestree and across to Chaddesden.

Week 21 was a local week, just 9 miles and no photos.

We ended the month by spending Bank Holiday Monday at Hampton Court. We walked 5 miles round the rose garden, park, and roof. I highly recommend Historic Royal Palaces – website – and the members’ tour of the roof was excellent.

That made 30 miles in May, and I should have walked 85. So by the end of May I had walked 300 miles. I should have done 414. I am now 114 miles in debt.

Posted in 1,000 mile walking, Derbyshire, London, Railway interest | Leave a comment

Lazonby, Cumbria – St Nicholas

St Nicholas, Lazonby, is in the middle of the village, just to the east of the station – NY549397. There is a leaflet which gives a circular drive from Penrith via this church and three others. I like the welcome notice and Café church banner – but how many s’s in Mission? I googled Lazonby church and didn’t find much – I then searched for “East of Eden Mission Community” and found it – which is OK if you’re in the know.

Finlay Hansford, my Godson, was being confirmed here on Sunday 21 May. We got there nice and early, and had a push to get Julie up the hill and in to church. Wheelchair ramps were in place and the warden could not have been more helpful.

There was an early church on this site – there are records from 1167 – but it was completely destroyed. There is an early preaching cross, and a substantial war memorial.

A Victorian church was built in the mid 1860s and consecrated in 1866. The architect was Anthony Salvin – we came across his work at North Sunderland and elsewhere.







Canon Wilson was Rector here from 1877 to 1920 – 43 years. He was a fine wood carver, and seems to have carved everything that didn’t move.

I like the way they have re-used some of the carved screens in the 2009 kitchen.

I liked this window, altar and figure.

Sadly there was no choir today, but we all sang well. I haven’t sung this chorus for a few years.

The church was pretty full for the service. The Bishop of Penrith did a good job, and chatted to the youngsters afterwards. All in all, a lovely morning. I am a proud Godfather.

I found time to have a quick explore of the Settle and Carlisle station – 1870, once a very busy place, with sheep auctions in the goods yard.


Posted in Cumbria, Personal, Railway interest, World War 1 | Leave a comment

Chaddesden, Derby – St Mary the Virgin

In the afternoon of Thursday 18 May we had Deanery Chapter at St Mary’s Chaddesden. The one benefit of Deanery Chapter is you get to visit lovely churches, and today I had a walk too. 4 miles to get there, then a bit of a lift home and a mile’s walk.

The church is at SK382368 and feels like a village church in the middle of city estates. In 1997 they produced a comprehensive 64 page guidebook – now history has been relegated to a short page on the church website.

This area was in the parish of Spondon for many years, though it would be good to think that St Chad preached in the hamlet in the C7. There is known there was a chapel here in 1347 when villagers sought permission from the Bishop to have their dead buried here rather than at Spondon. The Bishop gave his permission on condition that the fees went to the Vicar of Spondon! Various of the de Chaddesdens rose to high ecclesiastical positions – apparently the tomb of Ralph de Chaddesden at Sawley is rather splendid. In 1355 Nicholas and Geoffrey de Chaddesden obtained royal licence to transfer 12 acres of land for the endowment of a new chantry and the upkeep of its three chaplains. At the Reformation the annual value of the chantry was £36-13-4, which paid for fees, bread, wine and wax, and the “salarie and lyvinge” of the four chantry priests – Ralph Shaw, Walter Newham, Edmund Carlton and William Cartledge, as well “for kepyinge of hospitalite”. They were ejected in 1547, on a pension of £6 a year. (The guidebook is very thorough, and I wish I had read it before my recent talk on the Reformation – it gives a lot of local information).

The church became its own parish church in 1851, and there was a major rebuild at the end of that decade. The estate was broken up at the end of WW1, and the houses of Derby spread over it. A huge community that the church should be serving.

The clock is a Smith’s clock of 1904. There is a blog about it on the Chaddesden Historical Group website.

A good modern servery and loo at the west end, and a rather splendid Victorian font. Since you have to attend church for six months before they will discuss baptism with you, I don’t suppose the font is much used. I shall continue to enjoy the pleasure of lovely baptisms and the opportunity to meet new families.

I wonder if this lump of stone was a previous font.

There are some interesting figures, but I only got one photo.

There is some very good woodwork. The Rood screen is C15, though it was “restored” in the C19. Apparently there is a peacock and a green man – I need to go back and find them. The pulpit is 1897, and some work later than that.

The side altar has an interesting reredos. The frame is medieval, but the current picture was installed in 1920 – the guidebook does not name the artist, Pevsner says it is by J. Eadie Reid, who was art master at Cheltenham Ladies College. Some of his work is in Cheltenham, and in Worcester Cathedral.

There is another reredos at the east end, which is by Walter Tapper, 1904. It has a centre of alabaster with carved figures, hinged wings on each side with paintings by Phoebe Traquair. She was an Irish born artist who did a lot of work in Edinburgh – Mansfield Traquair sounds well worth a visit – website. There is a black and white photo of it on the front of the guidebook, but I can’t find anything on the www. Obviously carved figures and saints do not fit the theology of the current regime. The Church of England is a very broad church – and I’m happy in my bit!


Posted in Derbyshire | Leave a comment

Boulton, Derby – St Mary the Virgin (again)

David, one of my churchwardens, wanted a chat – so we had it en route to the Tip. We came home via St Mary’s Boulton, where they are opening the church on a regular basis. We had visited this church on a previous occasion, but here are some new photos.

The lych gate is a War Memorial.

This time we entered through the south door – C13 porch with Norman tympanum. Interesting font, vase, not sure what it is.

The church is open, and people are visiting regularly. They are doing a Prayer Week, working with local schools – and have some great ideas and resources.

I do like this window.

I climbed up to the balcony, and found their crib. We have a German Market in Allestree in November, and I will be organising a display of cribs in church. I will be in touch to borrow it – and thank them for their welcome today.




Posted in Derbyshire, World War 1 | Leave a comment

Marlpool, Derbyshire – All Saints

On Thursday 11 May I had a full day’s Safeguarding Training at All Saints Church, Ilkeston Road, Marlpool, DE75 7BP. In any other profession you could at least count on a decent lunch – here we had to bring our own.

The book Anglican Churches of Derbyshire by I.A.H. Combes, Landmark Publishing, 2004, says “This red brick church was built in 1908 by Naylor and Sale and rebuilt in 1950 following a fire”.  There is a photo of the church on fire, and a little more information, here. This website says that the church is open daily.

Some nice brickwork and ironwork on the south door. The main entrance through the west door is easier, though less elegant.

There is a lovely carving of the Holy Family inside, but I managed to wobble the camera. The church itself is light and open. I liked the Easter Garden under the altar.

The reading desk is a war memorial, but I could see no mention of which school they are memorialising. 

The first floor meeting room (with lift) is very good for a meeting.


Posted in Derbyshire | Leave a comment

Hognaston, Derbyshire – St Bartholomew

On Friday 5 May we had popped over to Ashbourne for the delights of Waitrose, and diverted back via St Bartholomew’s, Hognaston – SK236506 – website. Will we ever get back to a Society where we don’t have to collect for foodbanks?

It’s a C13 tower, with a C15 top, and battlements dating to the 1879-81 rebuilding by Stevens and Robinson. Apparently the clock was a gift of John Smith’s, the clock makers of Derby, as Mr Smith himself lived here.

The south wall is Norman, and in the porch is an “amazing Norman doorway”, to quote the current edition of Pevsner.  It probably dates not long after the Conquest. The tympanum has incised pictures of a bishop with a crook, an Agnus Dei (the Lamb of God), a bird, boar or pig and several other beasts, probably sheep. The original edition of Pevsner apparently asked “What on earth did our forebears mean by such representations? And how can one account for this total absence of a sense of composition and this utterly childish treatment?” There are some interesting figures in the pillars, and the door itself is C17.

Inside, the north aisle has been partitioned off, and the electrics look wonderfully complicated. The inside does look very Victorian, which is a shame. How old is the font?

An ancient guide leaflet is pasted up in church – sadly there is no modern guidebook. This tells me that in 1240 it was a chapelry of Ashbourn, under the Dean and Chapter of Lincoln. An inventory taken in the first year of Edward’s VI’s reign – 1547 – says Thos Haydock, Curate, 1 chalice with paten, 2 vestments with alb and amesse, 1 surplus, 1 corporas, 2 altar cloths, 1 towel, 1 payr of censors, 1 crosse of woode covered with plate, 2 bells, a sakarynge bell. A report dated 1650 describes Mr Roger Cooke the curate as “honest but weake” (hardly seems fair not to have his response). Two later clergy are memorialised.


I like the east window, 1922 by H.H. Martyn & Co. Herbert Henry Martyn founded the company in 1888 – a firm of stone, marble and wood carvers, specialising in gravestones, memorials and church work. They were based in Cheltenham for many years.

Nice views from the churchyard, and some interesting memorials. Details of the war memorial are here.






Posted in Derbyshire | Leave a comment

northernvicar walks – April 2017

I started the month with an 8 mile circuit of Carsington Water on Saturday 1 April. Then started the 14th week of the year with a walk at Kedleston. We had a day in Buxton – I bought a new pair of walking boots, then climbed up to Solomon’s Temple – website. I did a few miles later in the week delivering Easter cards round Allestree, and we had a coffee at the National Stone Centre while I did another walk – 23 miles that week.

14 miles in Holy Week – one has to do some work! On Palm Sunday afternoon we went to Nottingham. Julie was happy in a huge Waterstone’s while I had a walk to the Great Northern Station and then along the canal as far as the Gregory Street tram stop. Happy Julie, happy Peter. The Nottingham and Beeston Canal has this website.

At the end of the week I had a day on the Talyllyn Railway, and a walk up to the incline in the woods above Nant Gwernol. The Talyllyn is one of my favourite lines – here is their website.

Week 16 started on Easter Sunday. On Easter Monday I got up early and caught the bus to Ambergate. I then walked the Cromford Canal in an easterly direction. Here is the Friends of Cromford Canal website. Sadly this section is derelict, but it was fascinating following the route. Bluebells in the woods by the National Grid site. Over the railway and road, where Bullbridge Aqueduct used to stand – this engraving was done for Francis Thompson, the architect of the North Midland line. The whole thing was demolished in 1968 as the arch over the road was a little narrow.

Through Buckland Hollow Tunnel, and through to Hartshay. Two main roads are built over the line of the canal, and the Butterley Tunnel is closed. The original tunnel was 2966 yards long, and about 9 feet wide and 8 feet high (from water level). At the time of building it was the third longest in the world.

The walk goes past the Midland Railway Centre, which I haven’t visited for years, then I cut down into Ripley and caught the bus home from outside the Hippodrome cinema. That was 8 miles.

Later in the week I had a walk from Breadsall round through Little Eaton. The blossom is lovely this year.

As well as two churches Jess and I walked a good few miles in London – we also said “hello” to John Henry Greathead. His statue is on Cornhill, by the Royal Exchange in the City. There is an excellent blog about him here. That was 25 miles in the week.

Week 17 was 22 miles. The 2nd of my Derwent Walks, some lovely walks through the Bluebell Woods through Allestree Park and Quarndon, and a trot along the Monsal Trail.

Then I finished the month with 5 miles on Sunday 30 April from Wirksworth station, up to the Cromford and High Peak, up to Middleton Top, and back through the quarries.

At end of March I had done 173 miles (I should have done 247, so I was 74 miles in debt). In April I did 97 (I should have done 82). So, in the first four months of the year I have done 270 miles (I should have done 329). I am now 59 miles in debt.


Posted in 1,000 mile walking, Derbyshire, London, Railway interest | Leave a comment

Derwent Valley Walk 2 – Hathersage to Grindleford

I walked the first 5 miles of the Derwent Valley Heritage Way on Monday 1 August 2016 – if you want to find it on northernvicar, click on Derwent Walk on the right hand side of this screen. 8 months later I walk the next 3 miles. I will make no comment. On Tuesday 25 April 2017 we had been to Sheffield. I gave platelets, Julie had coffee with Harry. As we drove over the hills into the Peak District it started sleeting.

We parked at the Plough Inn, on the B6001 at SK234804 – website – and it was blue sky there. They got a ramp out so we could get the wheelchair in, but they don’t have a wheelchair accessible loo. I left Julie with a white wine and big sandwich, and went for a walk.

I crossed the Derwent at Leadmill Bridge, originally an C18 packhorse bridge, and turned right along the north side of the river. Apparently the rather exotic pieces of stone come from a large steel plant in South Yorkshire. There is a sewerage plant here, but it doesn’t intrude. It is a very well signposted trail.

After the cottages at Harper Lees you walk across the meadow – and a lovely meadow it is too.  The clouds were going grey.

I entered the National Trust Longshaw Estate, Coppice Wood – the estate has a website. I was very glad to enter the woods as the heavens decided to sleet. Later I looked it up. According to the Met Office “Sleet is a type of solid precipitation that occurs during winter weather. Sleet has no internationally agreed definition but is reported in meteorological observations as a combination or mix of rain and snow. Essentially, it is frozen precipitation that partially melts as it falls and has begun the melting process before it reaches the ground.” I have decided we should stop worrying about Brexit and commit to finding an internationally agreed definition of sleet. There are the remains of several weirs across the river, an indication of its historic importance for fishing (or so the book says).

I reached the B6521, only about 2 miles from the Plough. I debated moving on and then bussing back, but decided a circle would be easier. It’s a nice notice from the Sir William Hotel – unfortunately when I wanted to leave Julie there on another day and do the next stretch of the walk we found their toilets are accessible to all … as long as you’re not in a wheelchair. St Helen’s Grindleford is 1910, but I didn’t view it today, nor visit the Community Shop.

I walked past the Maynard Hotel, then down to the station and café. I love the way the accent has been added to café. It was closed. The station dates to 1894. They started boring the three mile long Totley Tunnel in September 1888. It was a very wet tunnel, and they didn’t finish it until 1892. There is a photo of it being dug here.

I walked along the footpath on the north side of the track, past Brunt’s Barn (a Peak Park Volunteers’ Centre – website) and a nature park for schools. Padley Chapel is a Grade I building, Former gatehouse and chapel, now a Roman Catholic chapel. C14 and C15, with later alterations, formerly part of a quadrangular house, the foundations of which survive to the north east. Sadly it was locked, but there are decent photos here. According to the Hallam Diocese website the Chapel is open on Wednesday and Sunday afternoons, or perhaps we could take a group from church here as part of our Reformation commemorations.

I crossed the line and looked back to Grindleford Signal Box. I will walk and get a closer photo at some point, but in the meantime look at this chap’s flickr site.

Then down to the river and back along the valley. I must have done about 6 miles by the time I got back, but I’d managed to turn Strava off. I had an excellent suet pudding in the Plough – not the cheapest pub, but the food is gorgeous. It had been a lovely afternoon.



Posted in 1,000 mile walking, Derbyshire, Derwent Walk, Railway interest | 1 Comment

Guild Church of St Margaret Pattens, London

We walked from the Temple down to the Thames, had a boat ride to North Greenwich, then crossed the Thames on the cable car. A ride to Canary Wharf and an explore there. Back to the City, and we walked past the Guild Church of St Margaret Pattens is in Rood Lane, just off Eastcheap, with its lead-covered spire reflected in the nearby buildings. The church is dedicated to St Margaret of Antioch. She died in the Diocletian persecutions of the fourth century – I wondered if she is commemorated here because someone returned from the Crusades. The fourth church on this site was destroyed by the Great Fire, and this replacement is by Christopher Wren between 1684-87 (interesting that it was twenty years after the fire before it was rebuilt). It was damaged during WW2 and restored in 1955-6. The tower and spire were built and finished by means of the tax on coal entering the Port of London, and is the only lead-covered spire left.

Entering the church there are two substantial church warden pews, and the Royal Stuart coat of arms, probably that of James II. The organ dates to 1749 and was originally the work of Thomas Griffen Esq. It is still housed in its fine C18 case, and has a Grade 1 Historical Organs Certificate awarded by the British Institute of Organ Studies (hope you’re impressed!). It is a lovely open church, which feels typically Wren, and I love the chandelier.

The windows reflect the two Livery Companies – basket makers are self explanatory, pattens are the wooden undershoes which were made nearby. Both the Worshipful Company of Pattenmakers and the Worshipful Company of Basket Makers have been attached to this church since the C15. The last patten maker in London retired in the C19, there is a display about them in church.

The altar and wooden surroundings are rather nice. The reredos contains a painting by the Italian painter Carlo Maratta (1625-1713) depicting Christ with the ministering angels in Gethsemane.  My photo is lousy, so have a look at the church website to see much better photos (of this and all the other things I missed. Enjoy the virtual tour). I like the top painting of the meal at Emmaus – Luke tells us it was Cleopas and his companion. I have always thought it was Cleopas and Mrs Cleopas – and it looks as if this painter (name not mentioned in the leaflet) agrees with me. Good solid altar rails too.

The font is nice too, but that’s not mentioned in the guide either. I need to go back and have a better explore.



Posted in London | Leave a comment

Temple Church, London – St Mary

On Friday 21 April I had a day in London with Jess. We met at Euston and walked down past Persephone Books – website. They are a lovely publisher who have kept my wife happy for many years – a reminder you can read Julie’s blog here. We crossed Fleet Street and entered the Temple. I was settling down to write up this blog while watching Diarmaid MacCulloch’s A History of Christianity dvd – and he starts talking about this church. His books are excellent, and this dvd well worth watching. I don’t know why I haven’t visited this church before. I have enjoyed Elizabeth Chadwick’s series of books about William Marshall (one of them is called The Greatest Knight) and read Thomas Asbridge’s biography with the same title – and William is buried here.

The church has a full programme of services and events, see their excellent website, with a good history section – here. There is also a music website. There is a charge of £5 to enter the church, well worth it – and it would be lovely to go to services as well, some time I would like to spend a year in the vicinity of London and do a lot of these things.

The church was built by the Knights Templar, an order of knights who took monastic vows. They were founded in 1118 to protect pilgrims to the Holy Land, and became one of the most powerful orders in Christendom. The Round Church was consecrated in 1185. It was modelled on the circular Church of the Holy Sepulchre, on the site where Christ was buried. The chancel was buried when, in the 1230s, King Henry III and his Queen said they would buried here – in the end they went to Westminster Abbey. The West Door is quite splendid. It is C12.

In through the south door, a quick photo facing east, then we started on the original circular church. The guidebook reminds us that the Round Church recalls Christ’s death, burial and resurrection, and also recalls our baptism into Christ’s death and resurrection. Let’s start by looking up. This window is lovely, but I failed to make a note who it is by.

There are some very good displays round the wall, and the figures are fun (though most of them are Victorian).

The effigies in the Round include the figures of William Marshall, 1st Earl of Pembroke (died 1219) – he won the favour of Richard (later Lionheart), mediator between John and the barons, and Regent for the child King Henry III) – there are also copies of Magna Cartas on display. One story says that knights with crossed legs went on crusade, another that it simply makes them look as if they are moving. MacCulloch notes they are all in their mid-30s, the age at which Christ died. They are not in their original positions, though you can understand why they would want to be buried at the centre of the sepulchre, and were damaged in 1941 when the roof collapsed in the Blitz.








We went up and enjoyed the view down. The tiles were rather lovely too.

There was an exhibition “A Year in the Life of a London priest” which had some interesting photos – you can read an article about it here. Nice window too.

On Friday 13 October 1307 every Templar in France was arrested on the orders of King Philip the Fair and accused of blasphemy and heresy. He was probably after their money. The other kings of Europe acted more slowly, but the Order was in decline. In the C14 the Temple Church passed to the Knights Hospitaller, at the Reformation it reverted to the Crown. Richard Hooker became Master in 1585 – I like this quote. “It were dangerous for the feeble brain of man to wade far into the doings of the Most High. Although to know him be life, and joy to make mention of his name, yet our soundest knowledge is to know that we do not know him as indeed he is, either can know him; and our safest eloquence concerning him is our silence, when we confess without confession that his glory is inexplicable, his greatness above our capacity and reach. He is above, and we upon earth; therefore it behoves our words to be wary and few.”

There are some lovely medieval monuments too. Richard Mason (left) died 1608. He was “a very handsome man, a graceful speaker, facetious and well-loved,” arranged riotous parties in the Middle Temple, and took 15 years to qualify as a barrister. He became Recorder of London. Sir Edward Plowden (right) died 1584, was Treasurer of Middle Temple. He was a Roman Catholic when Catholics were under deep suspicion, but was buried (at his own request) in the Temple (Anglican) church. His epitaph was “I have lived in a dangerous channel. I die in harbour.”

In 1608 James I granted all the Templars’ former land to the societies of the Inner and Middle Temple. Richard Hooker again – “Law’s seat is the bosom of God, her voice the harmony of the world: all things in heaven and earth do her homage, the very least as feeling her care, and the greatest as not exempted from her power. Both angels and men and creatures of whatever condition, though each in different sort and manner, yet all with uniform consent, admiring her as the mother of their peace and joy.”

In the Chancel was an excellent exhibition about the First World War. One panel told the story of the War, the next the stories of members of the Temple. Very moving. They had produced a little book about it, which I managed to leave on a train later in the day.

In the Second World War incendiary bombs landed on the church roof on 10 May 1941. The river was at low ebb, and water pressure was weak. The fire burned all night. It was 17 years before the church was fully repaired. The East Window, designed and made by Carl Edwards, was a gift from the Glaziers Company. It shows St Paul’s and the Temple Church with the pepper-pot roof on the Round which was destroyed in the raid. The altarpiece was designed by Sir Christopher Wren, sold in the 1840s and bought back after WW2.

This organ was installed after WW2, and made by Harrison and Harrison.

In 1927 the Temple chorister Ernest Lough recorded Mendelssohn’s “Hear my Prayer”, “O for the wings of a dove”. More than 5 million copies of this have been sold, and you can listen here. We are currently practising this with the Derventio Choir – website – for concerts in the summer. I am not the soloist and we will never sell 5 million copies of our rendition! The director of music was George Thalben-Ball. I love his “Elegy”, which you can listen to here. When I make my final journey, I hope the organist will play me out with this.








Wednesday 3 May, and I am reading a book about Darley Abbey (one of my parishes in Derby). It tells me that Alfred Ainger is buried near the graves of the Evans family, and that Ainger was Reader of the Temple Church 1866-92 and Master of the Temple in 1894. He was a friend of Walter Evans II and preached many a sermon from St Matthew’s pulpit. At his funeral a special train was run from London, and Henry Walford Davies (Temple organist) played the organ. Ainger wrote the hymn “God is working his purpose out” and this is his portrait

by Sir Leslie Ward, chromolithograph, published in Vanity Fair 13 February 1892



Posted in London, World War 1 | 1 Comment