Friday, 19 February 2016

Friday.



This morning we motored down into Essex (Halstead) to attend a meeting of the Highdale U3A Collector's Club. After an early lunch (a very light one- our own choice) at the end of the meeting with the Club, we motored home and decided to make a short detour to have another look at the Little Maplestead Round Church. There are four of these strange little buildings in England, and one in Scotland - which is in ruins.
     The Little Halstead one is a pretty little building, which has been (according to the guidebook in the Church) in its present form since around the year 1240.



The top photo is of the west end of the Church. The lower one is of  the South side of the Church. It's well worth a visit. It can be found by running North from Sudbury, and a few miles south of Halstead, turning right towards Little Maplestead, where the church may be found in a tangle of lanes.

     There is a WW1 memorial inside the Church on the North side wall - only three men of the village  died in that war (which is the least I've ever seen!!!!!). Later we talked to an elderly man, working in the churchyard  (he described himself as the general dogsbody of the church) and he said this was because the whole surrounding area is agricultural, and farm working was a protected (?) occupation, all of this was true enough; but I know of far too many country churches in similar circumstances which have twenty or so names on the WW1 memorial.  He also told us that most Sundays the congregation consists of between twelve and fifteen people, even now.

     Ann is calling me up to supper, so must close now.

8 comments:

Crowbard said...

What a very satisfying piece of architecture, Mike. Beautiful proportions.

Liz said...

What an interesting building. Perhaps Sir B and I should explore that part of the country a little more; it's not far away.

Mike and Ann said...

Hello Crowbard. Yes, it's a very pretty little place, set in the middle of the countryside in North Essex. Odd to think that the other side of that much maligned County verges on the edge of the Metropolis. Actually North Essex is an attractive area of farmland, with a good many very pretty villages of early, timber framed architecture.

Mike and Ann said...

Hello Liz. We're very fortunate in living in such a lovely area, with many interesting places within easy reach.

paul cully said...

I'm not sure whether you intended to denigrate the poor performance of the men folk of Little Halstead or not, but it seemed that way. But knowing you as well as I do I'm sure it's a mistake on my part.

Lori Skoog said...

Thank you for sharing this beautiful piece of architecture!

Mike and Ann said...

Hello Paul. Poor performance ? Absolute TOSH. If only three men fell, all the others who (undoubtedly) volunteered, put up a grand performance, and then came home safe and resumed working on the farms, deserve our thanks. In my book, they must have been grand scrappers to have lost only three from that parish.

Crowbard said...

Hi Paul, yes, I think you failed to read between the unwritten lines. It's a cultural thing, we still don't talk much about the grim realities of war, but we wear our poppies with pride and remembrance. Be assured we know that those who couldn't enlist would have done so at the drop of a hat; and many who were excluded on the grounds of age wangled the numbers to get in.
In WWI the population of Little Mapleton parish was about 220, 90 males and 130 females. Of the males about 60 would be too young or too old for military service. Of the 30 eligible for service about 25 would have been in reserve occupations and 2 unfit. This suggests that of those 3 men who enlisted 100% lost their lives in action. At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them.