Sunday 13 March 2016. My daffodils are looking lovely. The sun was shining and we had a free afternoon. Northernvicar still has a lot of churches to do in Northumberland, so I made a quick list and we set off to do a couple. Alnham and Rothbury are the last two in the Croquetdale Team, so let’s go there. Up the A1, turn off on the Wooler road, turn off to Whittingham, and keep going. Stopping several times to check the map. We should have stopped to photo beautiful banks of snowdrops – in Whittingham by the river, on the verges through Eslington Park, and on the corners through Prendwick. Into Alnham, past a police car (when did they last see a police car in Alnham?) and up to the church at NT991110.
There is a display board outside about the deaths of two farmers (Jock Scott and Willie Middlemas) in the snows of 1962 – this was my first winter. You can download the walk here and see some lovely pictures here.
I entered the churchyard through a lovely lychgate, and wonderful roots of the tree next to it. Then pushed open the huge church door. Pevsner says there are Saxon features to this church, the Chancel arch is around 1200, south porch C16, but it had been ruinous for many years before restoration by F.R. Wilson in 1870.
It is a simple little church, with a welcoming table of jams. It is a fireplace in the wall behind the table.
There are two War Memorials – apparently one was in the village hall until it closed. I liked the stone in the south transept, and the hassock stack to balance the fan heater to keep the organist warm is a miracle of engineering! Thank you to those who keep music live in our tiny churches (and in the bigger ones).
The East Window is the only stained glass in the church, and is a rather nice Three Kings Nativity Epiphany window. (If I use all four words I have a better chance of finding it when I search for it in the future!). Some grave slabs and other interesting lumps of stone in the chancel.
The font dates to 1664, and the tombstone behind it (in front of the right hand chair) reads “Here lies George Adder of Prendick, Son to Robert Adder Gentleman. Died riding through the water at Kelso [at] the ford called Hendersyde Ford in [the] Tweed. Washed away and found beneath at Sharpitt Law. Cast away the 15th of February Anno Domini 1611. All Laud and Praise be to the Lord and Soforth.” The board that translates these words wonders why this young man was so far from home. Julie and I were a long way from home by the time we got to Alnham, but we have a comfy car with heated front seats, and it was a beautiful afternoon.
Snowdrops in the churchyard, and the grave of a Vicar. May he rest in peace.
We continued the pretty way towards Rothbury – this is a rather wonderful view.