24 July 2015

Yesterday

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.

13 comments:

  1. All pictures in this post are great, but the first one is really special - it is something about a shift in perspective, shadow and light, that really gets to me.

    Do the Warde-Adams still live at Hooton Pagnell hall?

    So, more foxes this weekend in Sheffield, this time of the musical kind. Your world is truly in the middle of being foxalized!

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    1. Because of a lack of new male offspring, the Warde-Aldam family have now become Warde-Norbury and yes - they still live there. "Foxalized" is a good new word - it suggests ancient forces - just like "fossilised".

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    2. Like foxilised fuel.

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  2. Hello, Mr. Pudding! Thanks for stopping by my blog and saying hello. How well do I remember the days of hijinks and revelry of our youth... that is to say, 5 years ago! Warm wishes, Farida

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    1. Hello Farida! I hope all is well in the Seattle urban jungle. By the way, you first commented on this blog TEN years ago! We were teenagers back then and you were Alkelda the Gleeful. I hope you are still full of glee.

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  3. Another well-written post accompanied by wonderful photographs. The history is fascinating as always. Since you forgot to give credit to John Lennon for your opening sentence, however, I cannot give you a perfect score.

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    1. Thank you kind sir. Suddenly I'm not half the man I used to be. There's a shadow hanging over me... and his name rhymes with vague.

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  4. I really am enjoying my trips around the English countryside. I'm off to make some more sandwiches to pack and take with me...I'm eagerly ready and waiting for our next leisure strolls. I'm glad I bought myself a good pair of hiking boots! And I'm glad you brought along the camera...wonderful photos once again.

    Thanks for inviting me along, Yorky. :)

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    1. No problem at all Lee - but quit the huffing and puffing! See yon clearing amidst the trees? I'll set the picnic hamper down there and you can tell me some more tales about your lovely life in Queensland.

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  5. "Human antheap" -- ha! It does feel that way sometimes.

    Love the pics! So many people tell me that allowing ivy to grow up a brick wall is TERRIBLE for the wall, but it sure does look nice.

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    1. Yes - a human antheap Steve. I guess you are one of the worker ants who travels hither and thither, delivering morsels to the nest for the good of the entire ant community. If you come across an oafish ant called Boris with a mop of unkempt blonde hair, please spray some formic acid on his mandibles for me.

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  6. One never know where posts are going to lead. I was thinking of the splendid inner gateway in pic 1 and then wondering what the inside of the church would be like. Then I came to your last comment. I thought I remembered that fomic acid was produced by ants so I wondered how that squared with the comment. So I had, of course, to go and read about fomic acid. So here I am with my increased knowledge and still wondering about the gate and church.

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