Monday, 28 May 2012

Secret Places






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.

12 comments:

Hildred and Charles said...

What a treasure, Pat, - so glad you stopped and then shared. A beautiful church, and wreathed in so much history. I do envy you your access to these ancient spots, made holy by the generations who have worshiped there.

Tom Stephenson said...

What a great place.

it's me said...

I would so love to visit some of these secret places. It is pleasing to see the tender care some of the old churches still receive.

Heather said...

Thankyou for sharing this delightful find Pat. It is wonderful to think that this little church has survived for 800 years and is obviously very well cared for. I hope the Eucharist and other services there are conducted using the traditional versions!

angryparsnip said...

Lovely post.
This is one thing I so love and enjoy about England and Scotland. Your driving around and a secret treasure appears before you.

cheers, parsnip

ArcticFox said...

What a nice find.... the route from Alnwick to Rothbury is a great one indeed and it would appear that I have indeed passed your little gem by without even knowing it!! Well done!

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

I travelled that road many times before doing exacyly what you did! The railway viaduct behind Edlingham Castle is interesting in that it is built on a curve rather than taking the direct route. Thanks for reminding me of a couple of hours spent poking about in the area.

ChrisJ said...

You're so right about the secret places. We found one of the main road in Speeton near Bempton. There is a very old and small church there too , but also a very pretty duck pond surrounded by greenery and bushes and yes several ducks live there.

MorningAJ said...

Gorgeous spot! I think it's time I planned a trip up to the North East again.

Crafty Green Poet said...

I love finding places like that!

The lambs are so cute too!

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

Such a beautiful church! I'm truly glad you took the time to visit it and share the story and photos.

The Weaver of Grass said...

John's comments are interesting. We saw the viaduct but did not look into what it was, so thanks for that John. Thanks to everyone for calling.