Tuesday, 16 February 2016

West Country Tour … near the end … now for quick visits, some food, and stories … part 20 …



We are into family time now … so checking out various places, home for lunch and supper, a school house … without (whew) much history!


Notley Arms with charabanc
The road was trafficked up and there was no phone signal – kind of helpful … still we went off the main road, went inland … to our first meeting point – a pub!  But we did meet and only had coffee there …


The bar at the Notley Arms


The Notley Arms Inn at Monksilver, Exmoor National Park, was rebuilt around 1870 … and we could easily have had a pub lunch ... but other visits called: family and churches.





The nave, chancel and altar showing the
tiled floor of the aisle, Stogumber Church




We went via this fascinating 13th C/ early 14th C church in Stogumber .. more details via the link.  But various photos of the Church set out below ... 










Here we can see some of the William Morris
inspired decorative work




The Church was restored by the Prebendary Edward Jones who was vicar from 1871 – 1907 at a cost of £2,400: rather a lot at the time.







Three of the poppies from the
Remembrance Memorial outside
the Tower of London re WW1



The chancel was tiled and stencilled, with the interior roof being painted – as we can see Edward Jones was a great follower of William Morris.




One of the old tower clock weights



The Heritage Railway has a stop near Stogumber … but please tell me – where on earth would you have the station building on one side of the tracks …


... with the platform being on the other ... ?!  Only in Somerset!




The Heritage Station waiting area

There is now a connecting pedestrian bridge – bet it wasn’t there earlier – but Health and Safety prevailed.  We do find some oddities around the UK …





Sydenham's tomb - Elizabeth was his daughter



Two notable residents of Stogumber deserve mention … the first is Elizabeth Sydenham of Combe Sydenham – who married Sir Francis Drake in the village in 1583.








Now the Allard Hall, named after the donor,
following a large recent donation

Then George Fredrick Curtis, born in 1906, was the founding dean of the University of British Columbia, Faculty of Law in Vancouver – emigrating with his parents in 1913.



Saint Joan (play) by GBS




One last snippet …  John de Stogumber is the name of a bishop in George Bernard Shaw’s play Saint Joan.   Shaw contacted the local rector to check there was no-one living with the surname.






We then visited our relative’s daughter’s home … some photos in the next post – it was an old school house … which they wanted Jenny to see before she returned to Vancouver Island … with their beloved horses in the fields surrounding the house.


Tomato and Basil soup
Next stop was to drop our luggage off … a home (no check in required!)  – but had to visit another Church as our last essential visit of Jenny’s time in this area.  So after a tomato and basil soup lunch, with breads and fruit … we set off to Pitminster … it was a wiggle through the lanes.




This village’s boundaries were first established by Saxon Charter in 834, given to the Bishop of Winchester by Edward the Confessor in 1044.   The church being first recorded in the 10th century.


St Andrew and St Mary Church, Pitminster


So much history related to each of these villages, to the Churches and to the parish records: one here dates back to 1541 … how the villages with the resources available and thus trades came to be and then developed in those early years …



… loamy soil, with extensive quarries of flint used for building.  A tannery, two maltings …

A window from the Pitminster Church




We have now reached our last day of our tour – my next post ties up a few stories, and on Sunday I shall put up the post on Emily Hobhouse … then – that – is – the –end - of - this - journey!








One of three Effigy tombs in Pitminster Church
to the Colles family




It was getting dark at 4.30 pm – so time wouldn’t wait for us … and we needed to get back to ‘collops’ in a heap – have tea, chat, prepare for the family to come over for some drinks and snacks … so they could all meet Jenny – and then leave us in peace for a quiet supper.




Somerset lane on our way to
Pitminster



It was only 8 nights … but I think I’ve extrapolated time a little … still it’s been good to have the record here … I’ll be sending Jenny a photo file for each of the subjects we’ve covered along the excursion: we’ve got our photos here.



The late afternoon darkening


Next will be some views of the countryside, the school house and some food stories … before I bid you farewell from this series of posts, after the post on Emily.






A winding down post – now I need some supper … with some stories …

Information on Stogumber Church - Images of England

Quantock on line community - Stogumber

Information on Pitminster Church - Images of England

Pitminster Village information

My post on Armstice Day 2014 - when I posted about the start of World War One, and gave details about the Poppy Display at the Tower of London.

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

37 comments:

Denise Covey said...

Hi Hilary! This was a lovely ramble. I'm really looking forward to seeing some more scenery pics and the old school house. Sounds intriguing! How wonderful to be able to amble around such historic sites. Thanks for sharing!

Denise :-)

Nilanjana Bose said...

Hi Hilary, the stained glass in the churches is just breath-taking. I have loved keeping up with your trip, just fascinating..thanks so much for posting.

Out on the prairie said...

A long road , but some very interesting facts and pictures took us along your trail.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Love tomato basil soup!

The Heritage Station area is so quaint.

H.R. Sinclair, Southpaw said...

The Heritage Station, the church, the pub--they all ooze charm!

Julie Flanders said...

Oh my gosh, that's the prettiest train station waiting area I've ever seen! Love it. And it is funny that the platform is on the other side of the tracks. Not the best idea! :D
I love the old churches and those stunning stained glass windows. I hate to read that we are nearing the end of this tour!

Karen Walker said...

ooh, I want the tomato basil soup - looks so yummy. And to visit all these ancient places. I love your rambles, Hilary

Anabel Marsh said...

Wow, I had lost track that it was only 8 nights - you packed so much in! Another quirky place with its odd station arrangements and unusually decorated church.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Denise - the last day once we'd got past the north Devon traffic was a fun time - but the daylight was going ... so no extra time available. It was great to be shown Stogumber, but we went to Pitminster for other reasons.

@ Nila - the stained glass is amazing isn't it - and tells so many stories. Thanks I'm just delighted you've enjoyed coming round with us ... and I'm glad I've posted - more at length this time ...

@ Steve - in fact I only did 600 miles over the whole 10 days I was away - not lots of travelling, lots of stop offs - yes! I'm happy to see you've enjoyed the west country trip.

@ Diane - yes I know I posted this and thought - yummy! When I found out about the Heritage Station I had to include it ... and it looks lovely.

@ Holly - yes we do get charm around our country villages and areas ... delightful oozing!

@ Julie - the little station totally bemused me too - so it had to go in. Funny old world we live in - when there'd have been few trains and many fewer people ... it probably wouldn't have mattered .. but it's sorted now - with the pedestrian bridge.

I'm sorry re the end of the tour ... I'd have been happy if it had carried on! I'll go back at some stage ...

@ Karen - the soup does look good doesn't it .. makes me want some too. Delighted you're enjoying the rambles and snippets of history ...

@ Anabel - I know .. it was only 8 nights - but I've strung the journey out a little - Jenny wanted to see places and do things, and it's now easy to add the history in when I got back and make the posts up - they're long anyway .. but I don't think anyone wanted longer?!

Stogumber Church was amazing ... I'd have loved to have spent longer there - there was so much to see ... and then the station - makes me want to go on the heritage line!

Cheers to you all - it's been lovely having you all along with me as I write up the tour ... Hilary

Joanne said...

you've earned lots of tea, snacks,dinner, and a rest after this very thorough travelogue. I've enjoyed the quaint stops on this post, the wiggle roads, and of course all the churches. Lovely journey - it's kept my spirits up at work - I read during my own self-ordained 10 am break.

A Heron's View said...

I recall as a boy that all single decker country bus services were of the charabanc style and the seating was leather too ! They must have been the vehicles that survived the blitz.

My parents at one time considered buying a cottage in Stogumber, they changed their minds and we moved to Devon instead.

Sydenham is quite a popular name in the West of England.

Mark Noce said...

Looks so fun! Wish I was there:)

Mary Montague Sikes said...

Hilary, fascinating as always. Our old buildings date back to 1607 in Virginia. Quite amazing to go back so far in time. The station on one side and the platform on the other sounds like an adventure! Thanks for visiting my blog!!!

Elephant's Child said...

I have really, really loved travelling with you. History, beauty and delicious food. Hard to ask for more.

A Cuban In London said...

I loved the layout of text and images. So easy to navigate! :-) That tomato and basil soup looks tasty. Thanks.

Greetings from London.

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Hilary
Looks like you had a wonderful time.
Nancy

Paula Kaye said...

Loved the pictures..esp. The pub and the station waiting area

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Joanne - we did have a fun time ... and had a huge variety of foods along the way - including the traditional one of cream teas! I'm so happy to read your comment and that the 10.00 am break was a "Hilary - West Country" tea-break ... and lifted your spirits in the process ...

@ Mel - I know we had charabancs in the village in Surrey ... and went to school by bus - but cannot remember what the bus looked liked - except we were entrusted to the driver for the 5 mile ride. I bet the seating was leather .. that smell is wonderful.

Interesting you must know something of Stogumber - presumably you visited occasionally ... Devon is a large place: south or north ... I guess south and by or near a large inlet.

I'd noted the Combe attached to Sydenham - but hadn't realised it was 'common' as such.

@ Mark - I think we'll be here when you get to visit.

@ Monti - glad you enjoyed this section of the travelling - with the station snippet - next time I must visit the station. 1607 I guess is 'far back' for the States ...

@ EC - thanks so much ... I'm glad you're happy to have been along for the ride, the history, beauty and food!

@ ACIL - I'm chuffed you appreciate the way I wrap the photos into the post at (theoretically) the appropriate section. The tomato soup was very tasty ..

@ Nancy - we did have a fun time ... and I saw things I'd never seen before ..

@ Paula - that's good you enjoyed the photos ..

Thank you so much - love to have your comments and that you've seen a little of our West Country .. cheers Hilary

Loco mente said...

Thanks for sharing these beautiful pictures...
Loved the tit-bits too :)

Patsy said...

Stogumber is such a great name I'd want to go there even without seeing the pictures and reading a bit about the place, but you've got me even more interested now. I've told the navigator/travel manager to add it to 'the list'.

Gattina said...

That was a wonderful trip you did with her ! So many things to see and such a beautiful landscape and these adorable little villages !

Deniz Bevan said...

Thanks for taking us on this tour with you, Hilary!
It's wonderful how much variety there is everywhere -- churches, and natural wonders, and personalities from history...
Love the story of Mother Leakey :-)

Annalisa Crawford said...

I love the stained-glass windows. Remind me, how many months were you travelling??? You seem to have done so much!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

It's so amazing how old some of the churches and even the pubs are. Even if they have to be restored, they've stood for so long.

Ann Best said...

Tomato and basil soup. Umm, delicious, as also the pictorial tour. Wednesday almost noon here. Cheers to you as you put together views of the countryside, etc. I'll be back for that!

walk2write said...

As someone rather unschooled in British history, I always enjoy learning more about it from your photos and travelogue. I imagine it's a bit like what the mostly illiterate parishioners experienced in years past while attending service in those fabulously ornate churches you visited. The stained glass and other details tell a story side-by-side with the sermon.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ LM - thanks for commenting and coming by ..

@ Patsy - isn't a wonderful name - and I'm glad the travel manager/navigator has Stogumber on the map! It's a fascinating part of the world ...

@ Gattina - yes: all down to Jenny and her decision making - or perhaps I should say Emily ... I'm so glad you've enjoyed the tour .. villages and landscape.

@ Deniz - pleasure and it's so great to have so many friends along with us - or with me here. I like to mix my stories and posts - and include the bits of interest that I can include - adds spice to the post.

Isn't the Mother Leakey a great story - in my previous post.

@ Annalisa - the stained-glass always beguiles me .. one day I shall sit in the sun under one of those windows, while the we go round.

We were gone for 8 nights ... six in hotels, and 2 with friends/family .. that's all - amazing how much ground one can cover once I get home!!

@ Susan - our village roots go back a long way - over 2,000 years to Roman times .. though what we more commonly see today goes back 1200 years in places. Yes we restore - but we also try and preserve too ...

@ Ann- the tomato and basil soup does look good - in fact there won't be many views of the countryside .. but you'll enjoy the post. Good to see you too ..

@ W2W - that's great that you can come onto the blog and feel you've picked up a little of our history and see something of British history.

Interesting you mention the way people used to learn ... and you're right - from the art and glass- panes .... with the sermon - which would have been long in Medieval days, I suspect - the art and stained glass would have given beautiful concepts to dwell upon ...

Thanks so much for visiting - so lovely seeing you all ... cheers Hilary

M Pax said...

Mmm, I love tomato soup. That church does look interesting to poke around in. Boo on bad traffic.

Karen Lange said...

Love the photos throughout this series. They add so much and make it more interesting. I am sorry to see it come to a close. I do so appreciate you sharing the journey with us! :)

Crystal Collier said...

I absolutely adore old churches--the history, the detail, the care... They set my imagination on fire. I've been absolutely eating up your whole experience, so thank you for sharing it.

Shannon Lawrence said...

I wonder how many people missed trains, because they couldn't get to the platform from the station once the train was in? And how many got hit?

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Mary - the traffic wasn't helpful, but I guess they were doing roadworks. The church was fascinating .. and tomato soup - a good lunch.

@ Karen - thanks so much ... yes I think they add to the 'scenario' and one can visualise the descriptions from my words more easily. I know - it's nearly finished ... but I've enjoyed writing it all up - with the little stories and quirky bits ... so glad you've enjoyed it.

@ Crystal - these two churches were special and I'd have love to have had more time in them .. still I can go back. I'm glad the places etc have given your imagination something to mull over, and spark into life at times ... and thanks so much for the comment.

@ Shannon - it was a tourist train at a time when there were fewer people - so a much more leisurely journey ... they'd have crossed the tracks - the sort of thing that was done in times gone by .. but I can see a good story arising here ... However in real life - I'd expect zero hits ...

Cheers to you all - so good to see you and to know you've enjoyed the story line of our trip and sub-trips ... Hilary

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I had no idea about Mr. Curtis and UBC. Fascinating. The Heritage Station is so charming. Is that a real person seated? I only ask because the train museum had such life-like replicas sitting in the Queen's car. Somerset Lane, the setting for so many wonderful novels. Great photos, Hilary. Glad you're about to get some rest. What an exciting trip.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Joylene - the Mr Curtis link was interesting I thought - so am glad you noticed him. Yes that is a real person at the real station - not taken by me though. I found so many interesting snippets along the journeys of this trip - it fascinated me. Almost at the end .. and thanks yes it's been exciting .. cheers Hilary

DMS said...

I always like looking at stained glass windows. :) So pretty! That soup looks delicious! Yum!
~Jess

Jeffrey Scott said...

Some great photos here.
What good is a pub if you only drink coffee? LOL
Well, at least you had a coffee. I can't fault you for that.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Jess - yes the stained glass windows were amazing ... and always are, when we get to see them in Cathedrals and churches. The tomato soup was very good ...

@ Jeffrey - thank you - the pub was for meeting up ... and we had a busy day ahead ... and needed a mid-morning coffee ...

Thanks so much -cheers Hilary