Foot Prints of English Churches

A collection of interesting churches around the Country

A Night At River Cottage, Park Farm, Axminster, Devon.

I have found some photos I took in the winter of 2016, when we paid a visit to River Cottage to spend an evening of eating and socialising.  We have been a couple of times before, it just a nice thing to do if you are interested in food.  Our working life is related to the food industry, so we are lucky to visit a few nice restaurants…….of course all in the interest of work.  

For those who have no idea about River Cottage …….. River Cottage has given millions of TV viewers a taste for great cooking since 1999, when Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall a multi-award-winning writer and broadcaster widely known for his uncompromising commitment to seasonal, ethically produced food, brought his famous food ethos to Channel 4.  His hard-hitting campaigns have changed the eating habits of a nation and improved the welfare and sustainability of animals and fish.  Hugh established River Cottage HQ in Dorset in 2004, and the operation is now based at Park Farm near Axminster in Devon.  A working organic smallholding, HQ is also the base for a broad range of courses and events, and home to the newly launched River Cottage Chefs’ School.

You can eat in the barn or the farmhouse, the latter is cosier, but the barn is great fun, you sit at long tables and tend to meet a lot more people.  The food is amazing and is locally grown on the farm or sourced from the surrounding countryside.

St Bartholomew’s Church, Minshull, Cheshire

I have learnt that I must take photos of churches that I see, even if I do not have the chance to visit and also regardless of the weather, especially weather here in the UK.  The chances of returning to said church, can be a bit iffy and thats even if I can even remember where most of them are.  This particular church in question, is St Bartholomew’s in Minshull, Cheshire.  We had stopped at a pub for lunch and as we walked from the car park to the back of the pub, I noticed a church tower over the fence, well I contained myself until we had finished.

So after our meal, I walked round to the church and tried the door……..shame to say that it was locked.  The weather was pretty miserable for taking photos, but it did look interesting with its Neoclassical architecture, so I took a few photos before the heavens opened.  I also came across the most wonderful little black and white house or cottage, of which there are a great many in the Cheshire countryside, but this one looked just like a little dolls-house.

A little history …….It is possible that a Saxon church was originally on the site. This was replaced in 1541 by a timber framed church which in 1572 contained at least 50 coats of arms of the local nobility, either depicted in the stained glass or painted on the walls. In 1667 a storm damaged the roof and the west wall. At the beginning of the following century the tower partially collapsed and it was rebuilt in 1702. The rest of the church was still in a dangerous condition and it was rebuilt in 1720. A clock was added to the tower in 1722. There were fires in the church in 1798 and 1804 which led to a restoration in 1861. Further fires occurred in 1874 and 1885. In 1891 there was another restoration of the church, by Walter Boden.  The previous internal alterations had weakened the structure of the church and in 2000 it was declared to be unsafe. A major restoration of the roof took place in 2002. During 2007 the tower roof was restored and the parapet rebuilt.