19 February 2016

Torksey

On my little adventure at the start of this week, I took a break from driving with a short stop in the village of Torksey. Somewhere I had never been before. It is situated on the Lincolnshire side of The River Trent, not far from its junction with  the manmade Fosse Dyke that begins its Roman route in the city of Lincoln.

The sky above was as blue as cobalt with cotton wool clouds gently scudding south. Sunshine illuminated the old  village church theatrically and so I photographed it before deciphering some of the churchyard's weathered gravestones - farmers and farmers' wives, babies, a boatman and a soldier - all gone before us. Perhaps to life everlasting.

Then as I walked on towards "The Hume Arms" pub, I noticed a building beyond windbreaking trees to my right. It aroused my curiosity but how could I reach it? Soon, wading across a knee-deep carpet of ivy, I stumbled to the river bank until there it was in all its ruinous glory - Torksey Castle. Largely destroyed by a royalist assault in the English Civil War, it has been crumbling away ever since that fateful day back in 1645.

It sits on private land and was never really a castle - more of a country house. Being so close to the river, its foundations have frequently been flooded. Some historians have suggested that it occupies the site of a Saxon stronghold and maybe that is how it earned the nomen "castle". A mile to the west of it, Cottam Power Station still belches its fumes into the country air, providing a stark visual and historical contrast.

I love places like Torksey Castle. Redolent of times past. Neglected and yet beautifully evocative. In a way I am happier to witness such a structure crumbling down than to see it surrounded by scaffolding and men in hard hats. After all, nothing lasts forever.


18 comments:

  1. Another lovely childhood memory revived YP. When I was a child there was a ferry across here. And when my first husband and I were courting we used to row up here in the evening, tie up the boat in Torksey, have a spot of canoodling on the bank and then row back.

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    1. When you say you rowed back how did you say the word "row"? Rhyming with "sow" or "go"?...If you see what I mean.

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  2. Fabulous picture of the old and new!

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    1. I am glad you appreciated it Mary.

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  3. That is a great big power plant. Yowza! Again you take us to the lovely river Trent.

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    1. The River Trent is 185 miles long and played an important role during The Industrial Revolution. It curls down from the Staffordshire hills and passes through Stoke and Nottingham on its way to The Humber and the sea. Yowza!

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  4. As my "gimpy" hip wouldn't and doesn't allow me to go on hikes, I'm very appreciate that I'm able to join you in your hikes, Yorkie...via your computer and mine. So thank you for allowing me to tail along.

    That is a great contrast you captured between the ancient and the modern. It's similar to when I stand near a young person! ;)

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    1. You are welcome to come along Lee. I just hope you have some nice sandwiches in your knapsack.

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  5. Interesting! I saw a similar ruin when I went to Durham last year -- a stone wall standing by the side of the road, seemingly in the middle of nowhere, with a historic marker. I looked it up and it was the remains of a historic building called Ludworth Tower. (There was actually much less of it than your castle.) I guess England is loaded with the fragments from centuries past, still standing out in fields. I think I've seen that power station from the train -- or one similar.

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    1. You have been to UpNorth Steve! Most Londoners haven't been north of Watford Gap on the M1. They think we northerners still wear animal skins.

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    2. ...and keep t'coal in t'bath !
      Thank you YP, excellent photos and very interesting to read - once again I've learned about somewhere I didn't know existed. Who would have thought there were so many hidden treasures dating back to the Civil War?

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    3. For me it was thrilling to discover Torksey Castle by accident.

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  6. Some restorations destroy the original look. Some ruins are better left as ruins. these have lasted a long time and will be here long after we are gone.

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    1. In the years following the civil war, a lot of stones and bricks were purloined by local people. That is what used to happen with historical ruins.

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  7. That last paragraph in your post perfectly sums up how I feel about such places.
    The last picture in particular is great, with the green plants growing on top of the crumbling walls.

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    1. Of course I was confident that you would give Torksey Castle the thumbs up.

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  8. Decay can sometimes display an unexpected artfulness... wonderful to see these photos.

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    1. Thank you The Cranky and I hope you are not feeling too cranky today!

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