|A glimpse of Hooton Pagnell Hall with its |
fourteenth century inner gateway
Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away. I climbed into the jalopy and tootled off to a South Yorkshire village called Hooton Pagnell ready for another circular walk. It's a place I had never been to before. Once it sat in the heart of the South Yorkshire coalfield and yet through that hundred and fifty year industrial period it preserved its rural and historic charm. The pitheads and the spoil heaps were just out of sight - along with mining families in their tiny pit cottages - where no doubt they bred whippets and spoke in impenetrable Yorkshire accents.
Over in Hooton Pagnell, The Warde-Aldam family remodelled their rambling country estate with its vast hall and gardens. They rode horses and hosted dinner parties and spoke in the accents of the ruling elite. Perhaps because she was bored, Julia Warde-Aldam oversaw the renovation of two impressive old churches - both called All Saints. One was right next to Hooton Pagnell Hall and the other, sometimes called "the church in the fields" sits alone on the edge of some woods half a mile from Frickley Hall which was also owned by The Warde-Aldams. I ventured to that old church along a grass track. The original village of humble wooden homes that once surrounded the church was consumed by The Black Death in the middle of the fourteenth century.
|All Saints Church, Frickley with Clayton - "The church in the fields"|
Like other "noble" land-owning families in South Yorkshire, The Warde-Aldams benefited enormously from the discovery of the rich coal seams beneath their rambling farmlands. Their main pit was Frickley Colliery on the edge of South Elmsall. It became the most profitable pit in South Yorkshire and at one time employed over 4000 men and boys. These workers probably had little realisation of how much profit their dangerous labours were contributing to the enormous wealth of The Warde-Adams and their fortunate progeny. And though Frickley Colliery is now gone, the legacy of family wealth continues.
Sadly, yesterday's light was not as conducive to photography as the weather people had predicted. But I enjoyed my ten mile hike, then headed back to the Meadowhall bus station for three fifteen to pick up our lovely son, Ian who has returned for a few days from the human antheap they call London. There's a big music festival on in Sheffield this weekend - it's called Tramlines and the headline act is of course The Urban Foxes! No doubt they will be playing their hits - "Foxy Lady", "Fox on the Run" and "For Fox Sake" while dancing the foxtrot.
|Wink House Farm. Can you see the white horse?|
|Stotfold Farm near Thurnscoe|
|The lych gate at Hooton Pagnell Cemetery. Given to the people |
of Hooton Pagnell by Julia Warde-Adam in 1903 and dedicated by
The Archbishop of York in May of that year.