Monday, 28 May 2012
One of the nicest things about the English countryside is that you often come across little secret places which are fascinating. We did exactly that on holiday one day.
Between Alnwick and Rothbury there is a long, steep hill. We came down it several times and each time we noticed a church down in the valley and said that if we had time we would go down and look at it. Finally, before visiting Cragside, where the house doesn't open until 1pm, we took the time to go down the hill and investigate. What a jewel!
The Parish Church of St John the Baptist at Edlingham is first mentioned in the will of Sir William de Felton in 1358 when he requests that his body be buried in the church. The 14th century tower has no belfry openings, only narrow slit windows which suggests it was possibly used for protection for the villagers during the Border raids with Scotland.
The oldest stonework dates back to about 1050 and the chancel arch is late 11th or early 12th century - a Norman structure. Inside was full of flowers - this is obviously a much-loved and much-used church and the sense of peace along with the sense of history made it a wonderful visit.
About a hundred yards away from the church, down a grassy lane across a field, sits Edlingham Castle ruins. This goes back to the 12th century and the most prominent remains are the Solar tower - again built as protection against the Border raiders.
The sun shone, the lambs called for their mums when they saw us coming, and we spent such a lovely, peaceful hour on the site. If you are ever in the area, don't pass it by.