We've been living in our present home for several years in an area which is classed as 'a suburb' of the city, but which still retains a village atmosphere although a walk down the hillside brings us to a busy shopping area.
The parish church community still serves the area in different ways just as it has always done. The church was built in the 1830s. Once there was a village school and this is now the church hall where different events and group meetings take place. The alms houses continue to provide accommodation. The church is responsible for an area which covers several acres, including a large field with public walkways, a graveyard and other burial areas. For many years volunteers have regularly tended the graveyard and recently much of the area has been cleared of brambles and other undergrowth and invasive plants replaced with environmentally friendly alternatives, including new trees. Hand-crafted benches have been placed at the far end of the field.
The old school and alms houses
The carving over the school room door is of an open Bible
Some of the monuments have trees growing through them which have had to be trimmed.
Others are partly covered in ivy which obliterates the writing carved on the stonework and damages the fabric.
All these beautifully-carved headstones, mainly Victorian, give details of the lives of parishioners and I find a walk around the graveyard interesting and thought-provoking.
|The headstone of a local blacksmith.|
|The headstone of a cricketer.|
|The grave of the two sisters who financed the building of the church.|
As well as the new trees of oak, cherry and yew and the patches of wild flowers to attract insects and butterflies there are some beautiful, mature trees that give shelter and sustenance to the birds. It's good to see the hard work being done to keep this area of the village in good order.