St Margaret’s Church, Cley next the Sea, Norfolk

Last weekend we were on the South Coast, blue skies and a little warmth in the air, and then the Beast from the East came, and now Emma from the South.  We have been lucky in the little bit of the Fens we live in, and although it has been below freezing most of the time, only a little snow…..until tonight.  It has come with a vengeance, now I know what the rest of the country has been going through.  We lost our electric at the start of the week when a big power cable came down, so one night powerless and then for three nights we lost the internet……not good, even now it’s very slow. 

Anyway I have found some blue sky, we visited this wonderful church last summer 2017.  I had trouble with my camera, the battery was misbehaving and I only managed a few photos, so a revisit this summer is a must.  St Margaret’s Church at Cley next the Sea, sits above the village green and the church dates to the early 14th century, with the addition of a late 14th century porch.  There was an earlier church on the site, but around 1320 that church was rebuilt.  While the body of the church is intact, the north and south transepts are ruined, and open to the sky.  So really this is just a reminded for me to return and photograph the 24 late Medieval bench ends and more of the wonderful 15th century Perpendicular font.


The Chapel of St Mary & MacMillan’s Cross, Kilmory Knap, Loch Sween, Scotland

Kilmore Knap Chapel, St Mary’s on the shore of Loch Sween.  We visited back in 2016 and I did think I had posted about the chapel, but it would seem I did not.  Still, l think this peaceful tranquil place, will not have changed since I took my photos.  Kilmory Knap Chapel was probably built in the early 1200’s and it seems to have remained largely unaltered until it ceased to be used following the Reformation.

Following the Reformation the chapel, by now roofless, found use as a burial enclosure. It was re-roofed in 1934 to provide a shelter for the carved stones found within the chapel and churchyard, and is now in the care of Historic Environment Scotland.

I wasn’t quite expecting the amount of wonderful tomb slabs that I found on entering the chapel, they are amazing well preserved.  

The far end of the chapel is dominated by the beautiful MacMillan’s Cross, carved for Alexander MacMillan, who through marriage became keeper of Castle Sween in the 1450s. The original base of the cross can be seen in the churchyard outside, but given how crisp the carving is, it is difficult to believe it was ever exposed to the elements. It was moved into the chapel in 1981.




Roof Angels Galore


This is one of my favourite churches for roof angels, St John the Bapist, Stamford in Lincolnshire.   I cannot go pass without popping in to take some shots, so here are some more to add to the others.  It depends on the time of day, and they are quite high, as to the standard of the photos, but I really just like taking photos of them.  On this visit I did find some lovely pew ends, I actually looked down for once.

Finlaggan, Home of the Lord of the Isles, Isle of Islay, Scotland

In May 2016 when we were on the Isle of Islay, off the west coast of Scotland, the one place I really wanted to visit was Finlaggan.  After two days, we did, I was so excited….I know….but this is where the Hebridean Lords ruled and the whole island ‘Eilean Mor’ The Large Island, is covered with 13th to 16th centuries houses built on top of each other.  There are some wonderful tomb slabs, a little difficult to take photos, as the tombs have been covered to try and save them from the elements.  

The little island that you see later, is Council Island, where recent excavations have found the remains of an Iron Age Fort or Dun, I so wish that we could have visited, but there is no public access.  There are very good notice boards all over the island and I took photos of them, hopefully with photos of what they are explaining following them.  I hope I have them in order, but they are interesting to read anyway.  There is a very good visitors centre, with plenty of books to buy about the area.  If you ever go to Isley, Finlaggan is a must, it’s such an amazing place.












Kildalton Chapel & Burial Ground, Isle of Islay, Scotland

For some good reason, which is now lost in the mist of time, I had forgotten to post about Kildalton Burial Ground on the Isle of Islay, off the west coast of Scotland.   I posted about the famous Kildalton Celtic Cross and the Thieves Cross on site, but not the burial ground, although all the photos were ready.  We visited in May 2016, the weather was perfect and I found some wonderful tomb slabs.

Kildalton Chapel is one of the most iconic archaeological and historic sites on Islay. It is a fascinating and beautiful place to visit, located in the lovely SE corner of the island. Today we see the walls of the 13/14th century chapel, within the 19th century boundary walls of a graveyard and with an adjacent 8th century early Christian cross.  

Some history……The Kildalton parish is medieval in origin – early documentary records suggesting from c 1425, but the church building is older than this, possibly dating from the late 12th or early 13th century. Following the 1560 Reformation, Kildalton Church continued to be used, for a parish which extended from McArthur’s head in the north, to the Oa in the south, until the drift of population towards Ardbeg caused change and regular public worship was discontinued in Kildalton and transferred to the Lagavulin area at the end of the 18th century.

Schloss Oberhofen, Lake Thun, Switzerland

In September 2015 we are staying near Interlaken, in Switzerland, in a lovely hotel on the side of Lake Thun.   One evening we were exploring the local surroundings and found a castle or Schloss.  Unfortunately it was closed, but that didn’t stop me from having a good look at the exterior.  I would like to go back and have a look, as it does sound quite interesting with a lovely garden.  The weather was horrible, rainy and quite cold, so the photos were very dark and were headed for the trash.  But I wanted a record of the castle, so with a bit of magic, I think I have just about saved them in mono and chrome.  Thats another good reason to go back to capture the castle in the sunshine.

A little history that I found……The mighty keep of Schloss Oberhofen dates back to the twelfth century but the main palace and chapel are from the fifteenth century. The picturesque little tower in the lake is even more recent and a typical nineteenth-century addition.  One of the first owners of Schloss Oberhofen was Walther von Eschenbach, who was an accomplice in the murder of the Roman German King Albrecht the First in 1308. Ironically, the castle soon after ended up in the possession of the Habsburgs just to lose it again after the Battle of Sempach (1386). From 1844 to 1925, Oberhofen Castle was the summer seat of the Pourtalès family of Neuchatel-Prussian nobility, who converted it into its present state, built the delightful little tower in the lake, and planted the park.


All Saints, Barkby, Leicestershire

While driving through Barkby in Leicestershire, 2016, we stopped to look at the church, All Saints, unfortunately it was closed.  So I took a few photos, as I’m not sure that we will ever past that way again.  The church is a Grade 1 Listed Parish Church.   Mainly late C13, with some conservative Victorian restoration work.  Mainly ironstone but some use of granite in the C19 work. West tower and spire, nave with 2 aisles and clerestory, chancel. Tall tower of 4 stages, the 2nd is ashlar, and a different type of stone.   Its sounds like it would be worth visit, if we are ever that way again.