Parish Churches

Iceland Cruise 11 – Bøur Village & Church, Island of Vágar, The Faroes

After visiting Gásadalur on the Island of Vágar, The Faroe Islands, we retraced our tracks back through the road tunnel, to a little village we had passed earlier.  Someone on the coach needed a pitstop, the driver said he would stop at Bøur and we could have 10 minutes……10 minutes was all I needed.  I had spied a lovely little church, but the coach had parked at the top of the village in the car park, and the church was at the far end of the village.  Halfway down the road, the surface became a sheet of ice, I was trying to take photos and stay upright at the same time.  I did, but I never made it to the church itself, the road was just too icy and I still had to get back up, what I had come down.  It was worth every slippery step, to get some close up shots of those grass roofs and that wonderful little church.  

Bøur is a beautiful little village, that could date from 1350, on the west-side of Vágar.  It has a magnificent view over the sea and the rocky islet Tindholmur with its many peaks.  The village has charming old wooden houses and a traditional church from 1865.  Once we were all counted back onto the coach, just incase anyone had decide to stay, we made our way to the airport, as the pitstop in the village had been closed, so we got to look at the airport as well.  So next post, the airport and a wonderful church.



St Wilfrid’s Catholic Church, City of York, Yorkshire

While visiting York last year 2017, I noticed a sign ‘Church Open’, well that’s enough for me to venture into to any church.  The church was St Wilfrid’s Catholic Church, known as the ‘The Mother Church of the City York’ and stands in the shadow of York Minster.  I didn’t get a clear photo of the exterior and I wasn’t too sure if a service was about to start or was finishing, so I just took a couple of quick shots.  What I did see, quite impressed me and reminded me of some of the churches I had seen in Venice and Florence, which is not surprising as its ‘Gothic Revival Style’ a copy of 13th–14th century style church.  The building was started in 1862 and finished in 1864.  There has been a church dictated to St Wilfrid since medieval times and the present church was built on the site of an old chapel.

All Saints Church, Ripley, Nr Harrogate, Yorkshire


Opposite the castle in Ripley, near Harrogate, Yorkshire, stands the parish church of All Saints, which we visited in 2016.  

The church dates from the late fourteenth century and replaced an earlier chapel which had suffered from subsidence, and became known as ‘the Sinking Chapel.’ contains the tombs of several of the Ingilby family, who’s descendants still live in the castle today.  These include the effigy chest tomb of Sir Thomas Ingilby (1290-1369). Their heads rest on a wild boar, in a reference to the incident where Thomas saved the life of Edward III.




St John The Baptist Round Tower Church, Aylmerton, Norfolk – 24

Time for another Round Tower Church, St John The Baptist, Aylmerton in Norfolk.  The church was one of nine that we visited back in January 2017.  We were very lucky, the weather was beautiful and to top it all, every one of the churches were open.  

Nothing remains of the earliest Church, which was Saxon, but the Church appears to have been rebuilt in flint before the end of the Norman period.  To the new nave, in about 1200, the round west tower was added. That it was lower than now is shown by one of its belfry windows, which partly survives below the nave roof.  Reconstruction of the upper part of the tower in 1912 has obliterated all traces of the other windows.  The Church was restored in 1865, and again in 1876, and in 1912 the upper part of the tower was rebuilt to the old design, re- using the old stone and flint.




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.

All Saints Church, East Budleigh, East Devon & Sir Walter Raleigh

In the summer of 2016 we visited a church I had read about, All Saints in East Budleigh, East Doven.   had read about the amazing pew ends that date from 1537 and had survived the reformation in one piece.  With luck the door was unlocked and we entered a bright and welcoming interior.  My eyes then fell on the pew ends, amazing

The church consists of chancel, nave, north and south aisles, south porch, and embattled western tower with clock and six bells – five cast in 1755 and one added in 1875.  The church was probably erected between 1420 and 1425 on the site of an earlier building, and is noted for its connection with the Raleigh family, its carved bench ends and its rood screen.

The pew ends are square-headed and about 3 feet high, and from 16 to 17 inches broad.  There are about sixty-three remaining, and in no two cases is the carving alike.   Complete set of 16th century oak benches of high quality workmanship.  All are slightly different giving rise to the impression that they were acquired over a period rather than being a single scheme.  Most of the bench ends have a frame of wreathed foliage with small urn stops around a carved panel.

The Raleigh bench end dated 1537.

At the eastern end of the central aisle on the north side is the Raleigh pew, with the family arms caved on the end. It is rather remarkable that there should be no religious symbol carved on any of the pews.  Presumably, because the bench ends do not carry religious iconography this aided their preservation during the Reformation

A little about Sir Walter Raleigh

Walter Raleigh (1544–1618) was a courtier, seaman and explorer in Elizabethan England.  He was a pioneer in the English colonisation of North America.

Raleigh (orginally spelt Ralegh) was a favourite of Queen Elizabeth I and helped defend England against the Spanish Armada.  As well as being a courtier and explorer, he was also a keen philosopher, historian and poet.

He is best known for establishing an early colony in the New World and for bringing tobacco and potato plants back to England. 

Sir Walter Raleigh’s father, Walter Raleigh of Fardell, was warden of the church, and Walter was born just outside in the Manor of Hayes Barton, a large house and estate nearby. owned by his father.  Both of his parents are buried in the churchyard.  

One little thing I found which was quite interesting, Walters father’s first wife was Joan Drake, a distance relation of Sir Francis Drake, unfortunately not Walter’s mother, who was his father’s third wife



Holy Trinity Church, Marham, Norfolk

Another church that I would like to re-visit is Holy Trinity in Marham, Norfolk.  The door was locked in 2016, there were some phone numbers on the church notice board, but being a Sunday, I was loath to disturb anyone.  I just took a few photos of the exterior and the beautiful display of snowdrops.

Having read about this parish church, which is C12, and late C14, restored 1844, 1867 and 1875 and built of flint with ashlar dressings with slate roofs and the best part…….inside a very interesting memorial.  So another one to go on the list to visit when the weather is more clement.