Churches

Churches are places of Christian worship, of any denomination, that serve, or once served, a community of any description. Most of Britain’s parish churches are medieval in origin.

Coombes

Coombes Church, chancel arch

The tiny, downland, Church of Coombes is one of the most extraordinary English churches I have ever seen.  There are thousands of medieval churches in Britain, each one illuminating parts of our nation’s story.  Though not a religious man, I am a long-standing member of the “Oh Look, There’s a Church, Let’s Go in” Club […]

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Why hadn’t I heard of Holme Cultram?

Holme Cultram Abbey feature on A Bit About Britain

“Do you want to go into the church?”  The neatly dressed middle-aged lady beamed at us. It was a little late in the day and it seemed she was just about to lock up. “Well, if it’s not too much trouble…”. Visiting Holme Cultram was one of those happy accidents.  I had never heard of

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Blessed Virgin Mary and St Leodegarius

The manor of Ashby St Ledger and the church of St Leodegarius

Someone on Twitter was talking about Ashby St Ledgers.  This is a small, attractive, village in Northamptonshire, famous for being home to the Catesby family and for its associations with the Gunpowder Plot.  Then I remembered a brief winter’s morning visit to the peaceful old church, and that it is dedicated to St Leodegarius.  Leodegarius

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A walk round Montgomery

Montgomery, Powys

We went to the small town of Montgomery, in Powys, for some much-needed peace and quiet – and found it.  Girdled by lush landscape, the old county market town of Montgomeryshire has a Georgian appearance and is a peach, a place to mentally recharge.  There is little to attract the seeker of brash entertainment, or

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St Martin’s and Rupert Bear

St Martin's, Canterbury

The Venerable Bede tells us that, in 597 AD (1425 years ago in 2022), St Augustine landed on the Isle of Thanet, in Kent, with some forty companions.  Their purpose was to spread the news of eternal joy in heaven and an everlasting kingdom with the living and true God.  In those days, the most

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World Heritage Sites in Britain

World Heritage Sites in Britain

Britain has 29 World Heritage Sites.  The United Kingdom has 30, including the Giant’s Causeway and Causeway Coast in Northern Ireland but excluding overseas territories.  It would have been 31, but Liverpool’s maritime mercantile city was, sadly, stripped of its status in 2021.  Don’t let that put you off; Liverpool is more than worth spending

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The Hospital of St Cross

Hospital of St Cross

The Hospital of St Cross and Almshouse of Noble Poverty, to give the institution its full name, is almost nine centuries old and said to be England’s oldest charitable body. Never heard of it? Neither had I – until reading about it in Ian Marchant’s delightful book, ‘The Longest Crawl’. This is an account of

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A visit to Whitby

Yorkshire coast

Whitby, one of Yorkshire’s go-to seaside towns, conjures up so many images: the ruined abbey, dominating the skyline and old harbour, tales of Captain Cook, Dracula, the semi-precious Whitby Jet, days by the seaside – and, of course, fish ‘n’ chips.  On the other hand, maybe you are familiar with the place from the evocative

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Blickling

Blickling Hall, visit Britain

Blickling is an extensive estate and stately home in Norfolk, with walks, gardens and a splendid house to enjoy wandering around.  People will tell you that it was Anne Boleyn’s childhood home, but don’t believe a word of it.  Anne was indeed probably born at Blickling, in 1501 or 1507, but there is no visible

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Crowland or Croyland

Crowland, Lincolnshire

Crowland, Lincolnshire, is one of those little towns that Britain does so well. It is appealing, has a couple of fascinating historic attractions (a splendid half-ruined abbey church and a unique three-way medieval bridge), at least one decent tea and bun shop and was once home to a famous hermit, Guthlac.  Well, really, what more

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Fotheringhay

Fotheringhay

Some places inspire a sense of curious awe.  Though the past is ubiquitous, shaping who and what we all are, there are particular spots on earth where the shades of great events and people gather, jostling for attention.  Visiting them is like walking across the hallowed pages of a giant book, catching tantalising glimpses of

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Domus Dei, a Portuguese princess and the Blitz

Portsmouth Garrison Church

My mother would love to walk from Point along Old Portsmouth’s walls, past the Sally Port, Square Tower and above Battery Row.  There was the Regency Grand Parade, scene of many ceremonial occasions in days gone by.  There was the statue of Nelson, who boarded HMS Victory nearby before the Battle of Trafalgar.  And below

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