24 April 2012


As esteemed regular visitors to this humble blog are well aware, from time to time I like to post photographs I have snapped myself. And following on from yesterday's St George's Day post, as I swam twenty more lengths of the social club pool this afternoon, my mind drifted back to two little walking expeditions I undertook  in the Sheffield area before emigrating to Blogland. The two photographs I have chosen speak of England's rich history and both are of unsung buildings that you will probably have never heard of. Such is our history.

This building is in Old Whittington which is a suburb of  Chesterfield - the north Derbyshire market town. It's called Revolution House but was once a pub called "The Cock and Pygnot". Here some time in 1688 three influential noblemen met to plot the overthrow of the Catholic king - James II. They included the Earl of Devonshire and the Earl of Danby. They are seen as the architects of England's "Glorious Revolution" in which the threat of a Catholic takeover with all that that might have entailed was resisted:-
Revolution House, Old Whittington
And here's Upper Padley Chapel, close to the village of Grindleford. This stalwart building was part of the Padley Manor complex which predated the Norman invasion. Again, echoing that ancient tension between Catholicism and Protestantism, it was in this building in 1588 that three Catholic priests were found hiding - having been given sanctuary by the lord of the manor -Sir Thomas Fitzherbert. They were duly hung, drawn and quartered. Labelled the Padley Martyrs, a Catholic pilgrimage is still made to the chapel on July 12th each year:-
Padley Chapel, Upper Padley
And that's just two unsung historical sites in the Sheffield area. It makes you think - what the hell was all that religious strife really about? Was it to do with the manner in which one should worship the Christian God or was it more about economic power and the ownership of land? That tension coloured much of English history in the middle ages and beyond and perhaps the vestiges of it still remain. I mean, why do English cities still accommodate Catholic state schools when Protestant children's schools are open to everyone - whatever their faith?

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm heading for the forest with my catapult to shoot a few parrots. They're delicious when plucked and then barbecued.


  1. I'm not a parrot plucker.... I'm a parrot plucker's son..... and I'm only plucking parrots for the parrot plucker's mum!
    Life would be easier if we were all atheists and resumed the consumption of missionaries!
    Tonight we shall eat like kings!

    nice photos looks like the set of WARHORSE ( the movie)


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