Over the Festive season we've had several parties in the Italian style ending with biscotti, panettone and prosecco.
Today the house seems very quiet as our guests have gone home, but we have some good memories of our time together over the Christmas holidays. For us the Christmas season continues until Epiphany when we think of the scriptures of the wise men from the east coming to worship Jesus and bringing significant gifts. Personally, we re-dedicate our lives as a gift to God.
Continuing with our outing to Castleton in Derbyshire on New Year's Day.....
After our time by the fire in the Castle Inn we walked over the lane to visit St. Edmund's Church.
The church is dedicated to St. Edmund, King of East Anglia, who was martyred in AD 869.
The church dates back to the 12th century at least. William Peveril had been given the land by his father, William the Conqueror, in order to build a castle on the hill and the village gradually grew at the foot.
During the Middle Ages the whole was enclosed by an earthwork called the Town Ditch and the stone church was built on a mound in this enclosed settlement. The custodian of the castle held the patronage so that it was known as the church of Peak Castle.
The tower has not been altered since the 15th century apart from a small entrance to the belfry on the exterior southern wall. On 29th May, Garland Day, the pinnacles are decked with oak boughs and a garland is hung on the central pinnacle after being processed around the town.
The interior of the church is beautiful. There are 17th century oak box pews and lancet windows. The arch between the nave and the chancel has a Norman arch and the stone is carved with a chevron design.
The belfry is reached by a spiral staircase with a gallery between the tower and the west end of the nave.
The Victorian stained glass east window behind the altar shows Jesus as the Good Shepherd and preaching to the disciples.
There are seven windows in the nave with grisaille lights (different shades of glass set at angles to reflect the light).
The pew lamps are over a hundred years old and were converted from cranberry glass oil lamps to electricity in the 1960s.
In the children's corner are several crib scenes, which I will feature again on another post. This one has knitted figures and there has been a rota so that the children could take the crib scene home over the Christmas period. We all found this very touching.