|St Stephen's Church, East Hardwick|
After investigating Pontefract with its castle, its marketplace and its "Liquorice Bush" public house, I drove a couple of miles south of the town and parked my car in the village of East Hardwick. After taking a couple of photos of St Stephen's Church, I set off westwards towards High Ackworth.
By now the clouds had almost cleared and intermittent sunshine illuminated the countryside though the wind was chilly. High Ackworth seemed a most pleasant, salubrious village with some large, luxurious houses behind security gates and high hedges. "The Brown Cow" pub appeared to be thriving. The old village church is called St Cuthbert's in memory of the time during the ninth century that the bones of the saint of that name rested in the village for a while. Pillaging Danes had invaded Northumbria and on the holy isle of Lindisfarne, Cuthbert's blessed remains were consequently disinterred to save them. He had died in 687AD and today rests in his shrine at Durham Cathedral. That shrine was an important place of pilgrimage throughout the middle ages.
|Ackworth Old Hall|
On the edge of High Ackworth, I snapped a picture of a fine Elizabethan mansion called Ackworth Old Hall before heading south to Low Ackworth. There I walked by the River Went which passes under a fine railway viaduct built in 1874 on a line that still connects Sheffield and York.
|Low Ackworth Railway Viaduct|
|Jogging to a storm over East Hardwick|
Onwards along the Ackworth Bridle Road and Rigg Lane and back to East Hardwick. Before leaving the area, I drove back to High Ackworth specially to photograph the village's "Plague Stone" by Pontefract Road. This old stone has a hollowed basin atop. During the plague of 1645, the basin was filled with vinegar to disinfect coins when goods were bought by the unfortunate villagers. Another deadly plague had touched the village three hundred years earlier. That one was known as The Black Death and it killed some 40% of the population of Europe.
|Ackworth Plague Stone|