Saturday, 28 January 2012

The Church within a Church.


This is carrying on from my previous blog "Snow on Oxenhope Moor"

Built high on a hill, Heptonstall is Haworth without the crowds, without the tacky jewellery shops and suchlike. In fact there aint much there at all except a post office, a tea room, a couple of pubs, a museum and a Church within a Church!  

"The original church at Heptonstall was dedicated to St Thomas a Becket and was built between 1256 and 1260. Later two naves, two aisles and two chantry chapels were added as well as a tower. Following a storm in 1847 the west face of the tower fell away and following some measure of repair, the church was used up to 1854 when the present church, St Thomas the Apostle was completed. The new Church was struck by lightening and damaged as well, maybe someone is trying to tell the locals in this area something!
 There are three adjacent churchyards at Heptonstall. The oldest is now closed and is around the old church with the second part around the new church. The third and newer churchyard is across a little country lane and is where the American poet Sylvia Plath, the first wife of former Poet Laureate Ted Hughes, is buried. "

Apparently Plath's headstone is regularly vandalised by removing Hughes's surname from the memorial  because some of her fans believe he was responsible for her death. Wikipedia has more detail of her sometimes tragic life.

When I was there the local kids were playing hide and seek in the old Church and Churchyard which in a way, was quite a refreshing thing to see in this day  and age of the Wii and the Xbox. Kids just don't seem to play out anymore, they hang around street corners but never seem to play the way we used to.

It was a bitterly cold day so Citeh scarf, woolly hat and gloves were needed even when taking photographs (hangs head in shame). The views to the south over Calderdale and west across to the Lancashire moors were very good, with all the hilltops covered in snow. Stoodley Pike really stood out across the valley.

Oh and by the way, I was hanging my head in shame at wearing gloves whilst taking photographs and not for wearing my Citeh scarf ;O)

Most of the photos I took were either of the Churches or the surrounding countryside as the town itself seemed to be a magnet for builders or utility firms. Scaffoling or roadworks signs seemed to spoil just about every shot I attempted.

I'd kept an eye on the position of the sun most of the afternoon, hoping for a decent sunset and I'm pleased to say it didn't let me down. I don't go changing sunsets anymore and I've lost count of the number of times I've been disappointed and the number of miles I have covered but if one comes my way like it did today then I'll take it thank you very much. I never did get to a supermarket!

I'll post the sunset shots in a separate blog.


Lane leading to the Church

St Thomas the Apostle

Church Lane

Graveyard of St Thomas a Becket

Ruins of St Thomas a Becket Church

Ruins of St Thomas a Becket Church

Ruins of St Thomas a Becket Church

Ruins of St Thomas a Becket Church

Ruins of St Thomas a Becket Church

Entrance to St Thomas a Becket Church

Entrance to St Thomas a Becket Church

Thomas the Apostle Church

Madonna and child, Thomas the Apostle Church

Old and new Churches

Thomas a Becket Church ruins

Thomas a Becket Church ruins

Over the rooftops, Heptonstall

Old well, Heptonstall

Heptonstall

Looking to Stoodley Pike

A short-sighted worm's view of Stoodley Pike

A journey of two halves.

It was one of those all too frequent occasions when the weather forecast had a big wad of thick cloud and rain hanging over Cumbria whilst ...