13 March 2014

Cowdale

The yellow line marks the boundary of The Peak District
Aquae Arnematiae - The Spa of the Goddess of the Grove - that's how the Romans knew Buxton. Several roads led there and it was a place where Roman soldiers and merchants could acquire some well-earned rest and recuperation. Their veneration of water sources intermingled with the myths and legends of local inhabitants - a creed that pre-dated Christianity by millennia.

Yesterday, I parked in the hamlet of Cowdale to the east of Buxton - in high limestone country. Just to the north of this village there's a deep cleft in the earth where the River Wye runs eastwards to Miller's Dale, Ashford and Bakewell. Cowdale has no services, no shops or churches, no village hall - just this largely redundant phone kiosk:-
And then in the lovely spring sunshine, I struck out across the fields to the charming hamlet of King Sterndale. Christ Church is not as old as it looks. It was built in the middle of the nineteenth century and funded mostly by the Pickford family - later famous for removals and haulage:-
Inside the unlocked church I prayed to The Goddess of the Grove:-
Down to the Wye Valley via a precipitous path and then up the other side via the oddly named Woo Dale. At Lowfoot Farm this brown and white horse positively galloped across the paddock when he saw me entering it on the public footpath. Seeing a ton of horsemeat thundering towards you can cause your heart to miss a beat but fortunately he put the brakes or horseshoes on at the last moment then nudged me towards the exit - over the limestone wall- where he appeared to  laugh at me like a latter day Mr Ed:-
Up to The High Peak Golf Course and into the suburbs of Buxton - an unappealing estate of modest social housing. Its hostlery - "The Royal Foresters" is yet another English pub that has shut its doors forever. I bought a pint of milk in the 7-11 minimarket and in honour of Earl Gray of Trelawnyd secured a reduced price scotch egg. Then back down to the Wye Valley and up the other side to Staden and over the fields to Cowdale. But before I got back there I snapped this smiling ewe with her hungry new lambs - tails wagging madly:-
Slightly shitty lamb bottoms are perhaps not as cute as their innocent little  faces. The front one is called Adrian and the naughty one behind is of course... Bob:-
Maaay! Maaay! - No lads, it's still March!

10 comments:

  1. That is a wonderful little church.
    If that lamb was called Adrian it ought to have given you a good butt.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually, Adrian simply returned to sucking on his mother's milky udder.Adrian seemed rather frightened of me.

      Delete
  2. You may pray to whomever you like wherever you like, of course, but praying to The Goddess of the Grove in a place called Christ Church is a bit insulting to your unseen host and perhaps even borders on blasphemy. But perhaps that was your intention.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think of Christianity as a Johnny-come- lately raft of religions. In the panoply of human history, two thousand years is not a long time and besides The Goddess of the Grove listens.

      Delete
  3. That is a lovely church. In Cowdale. On the boarder of the Peak District.

    I wondered about the new looking phone box and I found that there are quite a few homes rented for vacationers in the vicinity. Guess that is why they have kept it, odd tho' it is sitting all by its lonesome.

    I hope they still have a Farmer's Market in the spring and summer around there and use the Buttercross.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Across from the phone box there's a row of houses. That's where I parked my car. Until the mobile phone took over, these phone boxes were much used.

      Delete
  4. Sorry, my eyes aren't what they used to be; is the ridge SW of Baily Flat Farm called 'Cunning Date'? No wonder the town was popular with soldiers!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. First you would take your sweetheart along Woo Dale and then if you were lucky, after finding your way through Red Gap Plantation you'd reach the secret delight of Cunning Dale.

      Delete
  5. That church is beautiful! It looks well taken care of. So, Cowdale does not even have a church or shop? And I thought Littlethorpe was "bad" with no shop and no pub, but at least they have a church, a village hall and a bus stop!

    Have you ever been to Wharram Percy? I've stumbled (not literally, of course) across this abandoned village yesterday, while looking for something else on the web, and thought it is just the kind of place you'd post about.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes Arian - I have been to the lost ghost village of Wharram Percy but it was a good few years ago and I have no photos of the place. There are many other abandoned villages in England but often ther's very little to see. At Wharram Percy the church ruins are very evocative of past times.

      Delete

Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.