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.

Kings and carols

King's College, Cambridge

Every Christmas Eve, millions of people all round the world tune in to their TVs or radios to listen to carols from King’s – or ‘Nine Lessons and Carols’ – from King’s College Chapel, Cambridge. The broadcasts are an essential part of Christmas for many; for some, they mark the beginning of the Christmas celebrations, […]

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Dracula and Whitby

Whitby Abbey, Dracula

The great tempest broke rapidly and without warning in the darkness.  The sea around Whitby convulsed, waves rising in growing fury, over-topping one another, beating white-topped on the sands, rushing up the cliffs and breaking with great spumes over the piers of the harbour.  Adding to the difficulties and dangers of the night, a huge

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Our Brontë tour begins in Haworth

Haworth, Bronte Parsonage, Cemetary

Who was the third Brontë sister?  It’s a good question for quiz night down at the Olde Rupturede Ducke.  There was Charlotte and Emily, of course – the authors of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights respectively.  But who wrote The Tenant of Wildfell Hall?  Tracy Brontë, perhaps?  Or Chelsea?  No – if you’re a literary

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The ghosts of Christ Church Greyfriars

Haunted London churches, Christchurch Greyfriars

Christ Church Greyfriars is one of those places you stumble across in London without meaning to.  That’s exactly what I did a few years ago, anyway, drifting in search of somewhere to eat a sandwich after a tedious business meeting.  Close to the Stock Exchange, I found myself in a peaceful garden planted inside the

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Wharram Percy DMV

Wharram Percy, DMV, Yorkshire

We tend to see modern towns and villages as permanent things. They may change, but it’s hard to imagine the landscape without them and easy to take it for granted that they will last forever.  Yet the world is littered with places that have been lost along the way – abandoned communities, traces of old

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London’s Church of the Templars

Effigy, Gilbert Marshal, 4th Earl of Pembroke, Temple Church

Almost hidden, tucked away from the jarring bustle of London just off the Strand, you may stumble upon a church that was built by the Knights Templar.  Like all Templar churches, it is round – modelled on the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, traditional site of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection.  The Order

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St Mary’s Chapel, Lead

St Mary's, Lead Chapel, Yorkshire

In a field opposite the Crooked Billet pub near the village of Saxton, in North Yorkshire, stands the tiny chapel of St Mary’s, Lead.  Cross the field over Cock Beck, which was said to run red with blood after the nearby Battle of Towton in 1461, and you are stepping through a vanished hamlet to

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Visiting Alice de la Pole and St Mary’s, Ewelme

Alice de la Pole, Chaucer's granddaughter, St Mary's, Ewelme

I was looking for Geoffrey Chaucer’s Granddaughter – as you do.  In the process, I discovered a unique church and the last resting place of Jerome K Jerome. Let’s start with Chaucer’s granddaughter, Alice de la Pole.  Alice was quite a lady, a duchess, with extensive lands in the Thames Valley, East Anglia and overseas. 

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Give us a song, Caedmon

Parish Church of St Mary's, Whitby

This is the story of England’s first known poet. Once upon a time, many many years ago, there was a good herdsman who lived on a cliff top called Streaneshalch.  The herdsman’s name was Caedmon; he was no spring chicken and was actually quite shy.  Nearby on the cliff top was a great Abbey, ruled

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Earls Barton, our finest Saxon church tower

All Saints church, Saxon, Earls Barton, Northamptonshire

There’s no need to hurry to see the unique Saxon church at earls Barton in Northamptonshire; it’s been there for a thousand years or more and will probably wait for you. There was probably a settlement at Earls Barton as early as the 6th century – possibly even a Celtic one before that.  By the

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Brixworth – All Saints’ church

Norman window, Saxon arch, Roman bricks. All Saints' church, Brixworth, Northamptonshire

Northamptonshire is blessed with some fine Saxon churches.  And the largest – in fact the largest Anglo-Saxon church in Britain – is at Brixworth.  Actually, a monastery was founded at Brixworth sometime before 675AD, more than 1300 years ago, when this part of the country was in the Kingdom of Mercia and England did not

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