Friday, 17 September 2010
A Village visited.
How often do we drive through villages on our way somewhere and only see that one main road through? I do this often several times a week through the village of Crakehall on my way to Bedale or Northallerton.
Yesterday the farmer had an appointment witht the Physiotherapist in that village and Tess and I went with him. He parked the car by the village church and Tess and I walked round the village, knowing that he would be about three quarters of an hour before he came back.
What a delightful village it turned out to be. There are about half a dozen well mown village greens - one of which (in front of the Hall) is the village cricket ground. All around the edges of the greens are pretty, well-cared-for old stone cottages with lovely cottage gardens full of country cottage flowers - like the cosmos in the picture.
We didn't see a single vehicle as we meandered along the lanes and then set off along a narrow but obviously well-used footpath - not knowing where it would lead us.
Half way down the path was the village penfold from earlier days (for readers in the US, this was an enclosure where lost sheep could be stationed) and this has been transformed into a lovely little garden with a sheltered seat.
Eventually we came out on to the main road right by the side of the beck - which is the same beck that runs through our fields here - shortly after Crakehall it enters Bedale and becomes the River Em on its way to the Swale, then the Ouse and finally into the Humber estuary and out into the North Sea.
Once back on the main road we wandered along a raised footpath and onto the big green, stopping to photograph the Village Quoits Court outside the village pub. They have an active quoits team which plays regularly throughout the summer months.
We crossed the road and went into the churchyard, where there was a conveniently placed seat from which we could see when the farmer returned. We sat there in the sun and I noticed that the path was made of old tomb slabs - they made such interesting reading and were certainly food for thought - 'Margaret, loving wife, died in childbirth in 1823 aged 32 years; James, dearly loved, died in 1796 aged 2 days; Eleanor, beautiful daughter died aged 11 months in 1801. Goodness me, aren't we the lucky ones with all our advanced medical care?
We drove on to buy the grass seed for the field the farmer has just finished ploughing and then came home in thoughtful mood just thinking how lucky we are in so many ways.
Photos. Centre top: Cedar tree in churchyard.
Left: The Hall and cricket green. Right: Church green.
Left: Cottage and garden. Right: Quoits court.
Left: The Penfold. Right: Beck bridge.
Left: 19th century cottage. Right: Cosmos in bloom.