The first Saturday of the autumn was a beautiful day. After a summer of wet weddings, Alison and Matthew had a wonderful afternoon. Once I had finished we drove north and ended up having coffee at The Breeze in Wooler – http://www.breatheglendale.com/Breeze.html. As we went in I said “look darling, that shop down there must be a second hand book shop, there are boxes of books outside”; by the time we came out the boxes had gone and the shop was shut. I was least popular husband. In the other direction there is a newsagent, with some books for sale. Earlier in the day, my clever wife said “I will do my OU essay on the Second World War in the North East”. She had searched a well-known internet bookshop and found “Tyneside in the Second World War”. In this newsagent we found a copy of “Tyneside in the Second World War” at half price. I was the most popular husband.
We left Wooler church for another day, and ended returning south. Then we turned off the A697 and followed the Breamish upstream to the village of Ingram. This is an area of Northumberland we have never explored, and today – as it was late afternoon – we didn’t even have time to go to the National Park Visitors’ Centre. The church was lovely – park in the Visitors’ Centre car park (NU020162).
There is a record which says that in 1060 “Ingram church was restored”, which implies there was a Saxon church here. The lower half of the tower is the oldest bit, it was grafted on to the nave in the 12th century, and the top of the tower is later. The church was at its largest around 1300. William de Montfort, Dean of St Paul’s, became Rector of Ingram in 1291. In 1306 he was succeeded by Walter Reginald, a Prebendary of St Paul’s, who went on to be Bishop of Worcester, Archbishop of Canterbury and Lord Chancellor. I wonder if he ever came to Ingram. (The lych gate remembers those who died in the First World War).
Edward I invaded Scotland in 1296 and this led to violent Border Wars (the church guidebook uses capital letters). As late as 1587 500 Scots raided the villages here and took 500 cattle, 300 sheep and 20 prisoners back over the border. A month late they came back and stole “4 webbes (rolls) of lead” from the church roof. In 1663 the church was described as “ruinous and destitute”, in 1703 James Allgood became Rector and started a rebuild. (It was dark inside, but I have a good flash).
In 1792 the south aisle, porch and charity chapel were demolished to save the expense of repair (would the DAC allow that?). After 1826 they did the same to part of the north chapel and chancel. Then there was a restoration between 1877 and 1879. This slab, which the guidebook doesn’t date, is in the Chancel – re-sited here during the 1877-79 restoration.
The Restoration was the result of a tragedy. The Rector was James Allgood III, and his wife was taking two of their young sons to a new public school in the south of England when all three died in the Abbots Ripton train crash. Abbots Ripton is on the Great Northern main line just north of Huntingdon – near where we had our first house – and the accident occurred on 21 January 1876. The Scotchman collided with a coal train during a blizzard, and then the Leeds express ran into the wreckage. 13 people – so the Allgood family and another 10 – died, and 59 were injured. The snow had stopped signals returning to danger – hence the invention of the Great Northern somersault signal. (No, I won’t bore you with a photo of a somersault signal – google it!).
I wonder how the Reverend Allgood heard the news – did the telegraph operator at Wooler have to cycle out to Ingram with the telegram? The Rector and his sister renovated the church in memory of the three who had died. Naves, aisles and an extended chancel in the Early English style were rebuilt around the medieval shell. The tower was rebuilt between 1895 and 1905.
These windows are a memorial to Robert Collingwood Roddam, killed in action in 1915, and to his father Lt. Col. Roddam John Roddam. The family lived in Ingram Farm from 1820 to 1920. In the churchyard is the war grave of Robert Holywell – http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2809924/HOLYWELL,%20ROBERT
On the way home I wondered if we could cross the Breamish at Brandon Ford. In an astra (with the wife) the answer is NO. In a land rover – have a look at these photos on flickr – http://www.flickr.com/photos/stephenwaddington/5746915297/
There is another website listing all the fords in the County – http://www.wetroads.co.uk/northumberland.htm
Can we get a motability land rover please?