17 May 2019

Local landmarks and family visits

We always enjoy showing family members around who have never visited us before as there are many picturesque places near to where we live. We often go there at other times too.  Here's a compilation of places we might see on a short tour of the area.

Agden Reservoir

Low Bradfield Village

Agden Beck, Low Bradfield

Grandson and girlfriend 

There's a new memorial seat by
 Agden Beck in Low Bradfield

St Nicholas Church, High Bradfield

 The Strines Reservoir

The Strines Inn on Strines Moor

It's surprising what you see along the way. 

Wishing you a good weekend,
Linda :)

14 May 2019

Beauchief Abbey, Sheffield

We had a pleasant drive yesterday on our way back from a shopping trip in a different area of Sheffield and I came home feeling relaxed after seeing the bluebells in Ecclesall Woods and then visiting Beauchief Abbey.  Above are the golf courses that surround what remains of the old abbey.
It was easy to park in the lane that leads to the abbey site, but then the kind volunteer lady said we could park right outside.  At the moment I have a painful knee (possibly due to overdoing some Spring cleaning) and Mr P has his hip and back problem so it was a relief not to have to walk far. 

Here's a map of the area on the outskirts of Sheffield which was taken from the information board on the site. 
Beauchief Abbey was a 12th century monastery founded on an abbey for the monks of the Premonstratensian order.  It was a daughter house of Welbeck Abbey and its history goes back to about 1172 -1176 with the official foundation laid in 1183. The name 'Beauchief'' comes from the Norman for 'beautiful headland'. Robert FitzRanulph, Lord of Alfreton, Marnham and Norton gave the land to a group of Canons from Welbeck and it was dedicated to St Thomas Becket probably to expiate his part in the murder of Thomas, an Archbishop of Canterbury.  The White Canons as they were known because of their white habits were ordained priests who worked in the local community in various roles as doctors and teachers and  also served as the parish priests of local churches.
The monastery site included an estate  200 + acres and a nearby stream brought water to supply the fish ponds. The Canons also supervised the mills on the river Sheaf and there were iron-smelting and woodland activities that helped the monks become a self-sufficient community as well as providing employment for local people.  The present parkland has many wooded areas with trails that are open to the general public.
Henry VIII dissolved Beauchief Abbey in 1537 and the buildings were left to decay in what was then a rural settlement. The monastic estates were sold to Sir Nicholas Strelley and remained in the family until the 1920s. The present chapel was built in the 17th century in the nave of the abbey as a private place of worship for the family.  It was sold to Frank Crawshaw who gave the abbey to the City of Sheffield along with land for the golf course. Now its an Historic Monument and Grade II listed building which Sheffield City Council maintains. The area itself together with the chapel is termed as a 'liberty' which means that it's not a parish or overseen by the Bishop of Sheffield. However, the abbey has a congregation and regular services take place on a Sunday and on other occasions and there are open days for visitors interested in the heritage of the site and surrounding area.

the plan of the original monastic buildings taken from the information board

The tower was remodelled in the 14th century and the height was reduced in the 18th century. There's a small door on the right which leads to a spiral staircase with a bell platform in the tower roof.  The doorway is Early English.  The large west window is 14th century.  Beyond the two arches is the churchyard and some walls of the old abbey can be seen, but our time was spent inside which we appreciated because the abbey is not always open unless a visitor contacts a volunteer in order to be shown around.

looking up into the tower

The font situated in the bell tower is of unknown date.

The box pews, the pulpit and the wood carving - 17th century.
The tallest box pew was for the Beauchief Hall family.
It had a fireplace and its own entrance.

The psalm board has a cherub's head which faces the congregation 
and a coat of arms granted to the family on the reverse.

a hatchment on a wall depicts a  coat of arms

memorials in the chapel, originally a private one,
refer to the Strelley-Pegge-Burnell family and the Crawshaw family.
The above marble memorial depicts Charity by Sir Henry Weekes, RA

The small sculpture of St Thomas a Becket, the bronze plaque showing scenes of the Abbey's history and the cut out painted model of a Premonstratensian Canon by the font have been gifted to the abbey church.

a model of the original abbey church

In Beauchief Lane you can just see a glimpse of water on the other side of the wall, probably a stream or the river.  The lane was once a medieval causeway where below, situated on the sunken land, was a large pond. 

There were stone steps down and a path, not to be taken by us that day, but I'm sure more mobile and adventurous people would have gone exploring there.