24 February 2015

Axholme

In north west Lincolnshire there's a district known as "The Isle of Axholme". Long ago, when effective land drainage techniques were in their infancy, the area was literally an island - surrounded by rivers and watery marshes. To get on to the Isle of Axholme or off it you needed a boat or a particularly dry summer. Shirley was born on the Isle of Axholme - in the southern part - where her father was a farmer - so I knew that part of the island well.

However, I was very unfamiliar with the northern part so last week I went there - the same day I snapped those sad village pubs. Above you can see one of the drains developed by Dutch engineers in medieval times. It's called Boating Dike.

Below, an old chapel near Crook o' Moor Farm. Not so long ago it was derelict but thankfully somebody has had it converted into a house. In past times, the rich farmland would have been worked by a veritable army of agricultural labourers so the chapel would have been thronging on Sundays.
The church below is St Oswald's in Crowle. The land at Crowle rose a few feet higher than the surrounding fields so it was a sensible location for the most significant settlement in the northern part of the Isle of Axholme. Some parts of the church predate the Norman invasion of 1066 and as there are no stone quarries for miles around, it would have taken an enormous effort to import the stones - on rafts or sailing barges.
The signpost below is in the village of Eastoft. Once The River Don flowed through the village but its course was drastically diverted in 1626. The signpost stands on what was once the Yorkshire side of the village.
I crossed the River Trent at Keadby Bridge and later parked in Burton upon Stather. From there I walked to Normanby Hall which is the family home of  PM David Cameron's wife Samantha Sheffield. There were snowdrops:-
 And here's the eighteenth century hall itself - set in extensive parkland:-

14 comments:

  1. What a beautiful sunny day this was! Thank you for taking us along for your walk. Snowdrops must be among the must uplifting sights I know. As a kid, I usually had a bunch from my grandma's garden for my birthday in late March. Often, it would still be rather cold, but sometimes it was sunny and warm (or at least mild). I wonder what it's going to be like this year.

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    1. It will probably be 47 degrees!!!

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  2. What a lovely looking area...so peaceful...just as I like it.

    I was going to crack a joke, but decided to bite my tongue (or sit on my fingers) instead. :)

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    1. Well I hope it wasn't a rude joke Lee! Well done for your self-censorship!

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  3. I am starting to think a visit would be a good idea. I prefer hills but I suspect this area could look magical in the early morning light.

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    1. Flat landscapes can have their attractions too. More subtle and less obvious perhaps.

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  4. Ibsen, check your Friends Reunited inbox. Trying to make contact. Back in Britain for the summer from late March - there are a few old associates who would be happy to offer your lens a suitable group portrait in the back garden of a Derbyshire pub. NS

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    1. Hello Neville. Sorry I didn't get back to you. I hope you won't take this personally but for illogical/psychological reasons I am not one for reunions.Best wishes to you, Neil.

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  5. Is that where the Lady of the Lake lived?

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    1. No Jan - that was in the south west of England - the Isle of Avalon.

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  6. Well an interesting read and I love the tops of your photos but I shall have to come back to this post fully to appreciate it. My internet connection is has gone to pot again and despite many tries I can only get the top halves of your photos. And I so wanted to see where the wife of our esteemed PM came from.

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    1. As with women Graham - the bottoms are more interesting than the tops.

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    2. I have a feeling, YP, that, on reflection, you may feel that that is a comment which will come back to haunt you.

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  7. I shall attempt to ignore your last statement about women. Generalizations are rarely correct.
    Your last photo is fascinating. The tree is amazing and appears very old. What variety is it, do you know?

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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.