A while ago the HLF tweeted about a day course on Friday 16 June on “How to organise a Heritage Bus Tour”, to take place at Bestwood Country Park on the north side of Nottingham. It was an interesting bunch of people in an interesting place – a little visitor centre next to the old pit head.
After lunch we had a Heritage Bus Tour. I was hoping for “a big six wheeler, scarlet-painted, 97 horsepower”, but it was a boring minibus. There were Byron links with our afternoon out, and the first stop was Annesley Old Church – SK504524. They have a facebook page and are on this website and on this one.
There was a Saxon church on this site, which was replaced by a Norman church about 1150, then by this church which was completed in 1356. Annesley pit was sunk in the parish in the second half of the C19, and the community of New Annesley grew fast. Annesley All Saints was consecrated in 1874. The old church was used on and off until the 1940s, then deteriorated.
DH Lawrence wrote “The church is abandoned. As I drew near an owl floated softly out of the black tower. Grass overgrew the threshold. I punched open the door, grinding back a heap of fallen plaster and entered the place. In the twilight the pews were leaning in ghostly disorter, the prayer books dragged from their ledges, scatted on the floor in the dust and rubble, torn by mice and birds. Birds scuffed in the darkness of the road.”
Work to make the church safe was done in the early part of this decade, and it is a pleasant place to explore – though the road beside it is busy (there is decent parking).
The Old Hall next door and the stable block the other side are also in an appalling state – despite being Grade II listed buildings – there is a blog here. Byron was a childhood sweetheart of Mary Ann Chaworth, who lived here.
This memorial is to Commader George Chaworth Musters (1841-1879). He explored Patagonia in 1869-70. There is information about him here. Some other fascinating graves.
Well worth a visit – bring a picnic!