Friday, 4 September 2015

Unknown Territory

Up until now, everywhere I'd been on this year's Yorkshire Holiday was familiar, always allowing of course for the changes that occur within a year.
But on the 21st of August, J and B suggested we go and have a look at the White Horse on Sutton Bank. I'd only heard of it, but never been there, and since the day looked promising with the prospect of a good walk/hike, off we went.

Our first stop was the handsome village of Coxwold:








We walked up the hill from where we had parked the car and took a closer look at St. Michael's Church. According to wikipedia (see the link above, clicking on the word "Coxwold" will take you there), a church has been at this place since the year 700. The building you can see now is from 1420; its tower is unusual in that it is octagonal.


Inside, there was much detail to take in, but little chance of getting good photos with it being so dark in there. Nonetheless, I managed to take this one of a face on the ceiling of the church's entrance porch, and one of four mice hidden in various places around the chancel and a side chapel of the church. (It was too dark, we only found two, I think.)


Outside, I found the view across the churchyard so beautiful, with the mixture of melancholy and reassurance of life's continuity I always feel when looking at old tombstones.


Maybe you have heard of (or even read) the 18th century novel "Tristram Shandy". Its author, Laurence Stern, lived at Shandy Hall in Coxwold, and was buried here.

Across the road from the church, we couldn't help but admire this beautiful old building. What had it been originally, we were wondering? We looked it up on the internet when we got home that night, and learned that the building is from 1603, when Sir John Harte founded a grammar school here. 
John grew up in the neighbouring village of Kilburn (which was to be our next stop). He went to London as an apprentice grocer. Later, he married his master's daughter, and made it to Lord Mayor of London. He never forgot where he came from, though. The school he founded in 1603 was only closed nearly 300 years later, in 1894.



How we would have loved to go inside the building and have a good look around! But it is now a private residence and not open to the public.

Never mind, the day had more Good Things for us in store, as you will see in my next post.

16 comments:

  1. Well, I never knew that Laurence Stern was from those parts so I have learnt something new today. Thank you. As for the old grammar school, you should have knocked on the door and said "Guten dag! Ve are being zwei Schwestern from in Deutschland. Ve vant to be looking at your schönes Haus bitte! Danke!" and they would have let you inside for a nice look round and a cup of tea too.

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    1. Glad to have offered something new to you, Neil.
      Hmm... Not sure the fake German accent would have worked here, but maybe I'll give it a try next year :-)

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  2. Reading your posts is like taking a virtual tour, always so interesting and so detailed!

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  3. What a fine place, and lovely photos too!

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  4. The view of the graveyard reminds me very much of the church in Burwash. You have reminded me that I need to do a post about it!
    Very interesting, you have such an eye for detail!

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    1. Looking forward to that post of yours, Kay.
      I guess I've always had something of an eye for detail, but blogging has certainly developed it.

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  5. Aha. Robert Thomson's mice as promised. I do love them. Interestingly I can't recall noticing an octagonal church tower before. I think that the grammar school building is a truly handsome structure.

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    1. Yes, that one is a Robert Thomson mouse: I did not feel like writing too long a post and therefore did not elaborate on the subject, but my next post will have some more information.

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  6. More days of enchantment! Love those hidden mice!

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    1. It was fun trying to find them, Kristi!

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  7. Forgot to add, how I love the windows on that grammar school of the past.

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    1. Beautiful, isn't it. But I am glad I am not the one who has to clean them :-)

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  8. Love the little mouse :) And I've actually read Tristram Shandy. It was one of the course books in my third term of university English - way back in 1984...

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    1. Maybe I should read it, too... as a Librarian, I am nowhere near as familiar with the "classics" as I should.

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