Aberdaron is, I think, the most characterful village on the Lleyn, a picturesque cluster of white-washed stone buildings huddled around two small, hump-backed bridges and a church that edges the shore. Its present appearance belies the village past. Long a fishing village, in the 18th and 19th centuries it developed as a shipbuilding centre and … Continue reading Porth y Swnt at Aberdaron: the poetry of a place
If you have read Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall you’ll remember Ralph Sadler, the young lad taken into the household of Thomas Cromwell. Under Cromwell’s patronage, Sadler entered royal service in 1518, at the tender age of 11. Cromwell’s skills and efficiency in governmental matters – and especially in facilitating Henry VIII’s divorce from Catherine of … Continue reading Sutton House: home of Ralph Sadler, late of ‘Wolf Hall’
I’ve been along to the Open Eye gallery to see the small exhibition of landscapes by E Chambre Hardman that’s currently showing there. Open Eye is the appropriate place for a display of Chambre Hardman’s work – after all,without the intervention of Peter Hagerty, Open Eye’s Director at the time, Hardman’s entire photographic output would have … Continue reading E. Chambre Hardman: Landscapes at Open Eye
We had joined the Sandstone Trail walking up from the village of Bickerton to the escarpment where we paused to take in the view out across the Cheshire plain, the last of the autumnal colours still lingering. We had got lost briefly in the winding Cheshire lanes, burrowing deep between hedgerows and fields, and I … Continue reading On Bickerton Hill: the blue of distance
There’s a place I like to go sometimes with the dog, an open space of wildness and natural beauty that comes unexpected in the suburbs of a large city. Childwall Woods and Fields is a Local Nature Reserve, and I was out there the other day enjoying the current spell of warm, fine weather. In … Continue reading Childwall Fields: safe from the developers?
Our England is a garden that is full of stately views, Of borders, beds and shrubberies and lawns and avenues, With statues on the terraces and peacocks strutting by; But the Glory of the Garden lies in more than meets the eye. – Rudyard Kipling, ‘The Glory of the Garden’ I often wonder, when exploring … Continue reading Bodnant: the glory of the garden
Before we left Cornwall we visited the Norman church at Morwenstow, situated on a wild and remote stretch of the north Cornwall coast, on the track of one of the lovable eccentrics that the English seem to treasure. Simon Jenkins captures the atmosphere of this place in his England’s Thousand Best Churches guide: …a no-man’s … Continue reading Morwenstow’s eccentric vicar