11 February 2016

Worksop

The south door - Worksop Priory Church.
The door is made from yew with intricate scrolled ironwork
- dated around 1250 - but the Norman stone arch is  considerably older.
Worksop is a town in Nottinghamshire. The Font of All Knowledge - Wikipedia - tells me that it has a population of 44,970. Worksop is an odd name. It sounds like "workshop" but the origins of the word lie dim and distant in our Saxon past. Some say that the name probably derives from the Old English for Wyrch's Valley. How ever the place name came about, there was certainly a significant settlement there when the Normans arrived to assert their powerful influences upon our land.

They built a magnificent monastery at Worksop with a fine church attached. During the Dissolution, the monastery was ruined by Henry VIII's forces but the priory church remains, albeit altered and developed through intervening centuries.

On Tuesday of this week, after a long walk around the town, I managed to gain admission to the church. A funeral service was scheduled to commence at one thirty but a kindly church warden was happy to give me a guided tour of the building before that sorrowful event. He was passionate and knowledgeable about the church and pleased to regale me with some of  its tales.

He showed me graffiti left by crusaders of the fourteenth century and in a tiny recess in the north wall he revealed a palm-sized piece of skull with an arrowhead  lodged in it. The skull has been radio-carbon dated with results giving support to the notion that this relic came  from The Battle of Agincourt (1415) when our lads whupped The French during The Hundred Years' War.

It was a lovely sunny day in Worksop and  a joy to walk around it and see it so brightly illuminated. When I was twenty four, after taking up a teaching post in the nearby coal-mining village of Dinnington, I visited Worksop on several occasions. I recall a night club on Bridge Street and a woman called Susan with lips that attached themselves to me like a limpet on a rock and I remember fish and chips and a couple of pubs but I really didn't know Worksop at all. I just wasn't as inquisitive in those days. I guess there were other things to think about.

Worksop Gallery:-
Mr Straw's House - museum of a forgotten life

16 comments:

  1. I think it very rude to refer to Jack Straw as 'a forgotten life'. He hasn't been out of parliament more than two minutes.

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    1. Haw! Haw! Arise the new Bernard Manning!
      Now please see:-
      http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/mr-straws-house

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  2. Sometimes when I look at the wonderful pictures that you make of villages that are past their glory, I think about the elderly people that still live there. Like the lady leaving the fabric shop there. I wish that some anthropology students would talk to these people and record their stories about their village and what they remember that was told to them by their elders about the village and its people. 'Cause all these pieces of history are disappearing at an alarming rate as are the languages of the world.

    A wonderful visual insight into the city of Worksop, Mr. Pudding. And, I suspect that you took a picture of that fabric/craft storefront just for me? I can't quite make out the lettering above the front of the Top Locks store.

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    1. There is a lady who moved into my street at the age of four. She is now ninety six - living in the same house! When she moved in nobody on the street owned a car. Milk was delivered via horse and cart. I have often thought that she needs interviewing before her knowledge is lost.

      The sign above the hair salon harks back to much earlier times. I took a close up of it and I am going to add it to this post specially for you

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    2. Thank you, kind sir. I can read it now!

      Oh, what you might learn by speaking to your elderly neighbor at length and writing a biographical paper from what she tells you and submitting it to the Yorkshire Historical Museum.

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  3. What a beautiful day! And I think you won't be surprised to hear that the picture of the door is my favourite of this lot.
    Reminds me of the entrance door to the monastery of Maulbronn, about half an hour's drive from my hometown: http://librarianwithsecrets.blogspot.de/2012/03/doors-doorways.html
    fourth picture from the bottom up.

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    Replies
    1. I looked at the door you referred to. Also very old and the same iron scrolling techniques used. The Worksop door is smaller.

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  4. I'd say you wee side tracked but better late than never you have the story and the photos to prove it.

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    1. You mean sidetracked by the fellow in the church Red? Yes I guess I was but it was a nice and unexpected sidetrack.

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    2. Now I'm not sure what I really meant. I think sidetracked by the girl or from the girl. It made good sense at the time.

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  5. A very interesting post, Yorkie. That door is magnificent; a truly wonderful example of the past.

    I do hope you managed to be rid of the second pair of lips without the need of surgery!

    What is the story behind Mr. Straw's house? I'm sure there is one. I hope you find time to tell us all about it.

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    1. I didn't go in Mr Straw's House Lee. It is closed till March but it is a house that was frozen in time and entering it apparently takes you back to the 1950's and before. See http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/mr-straws-house

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    2. Thanks, Yorkie. I looked it up on Wikipedia, as well. What a fascinating tale behind the house. How interesting it would be to wander through the house...and I'm the walls would whisper their stories, if one was prepared to listen carefully.

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    3. Probably later this year Shirley and I will visit Mr Straw's House and I shall report back via this friendly family-safe blog.

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  6. The church door is fantastic. I will try and model it.

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    Replies
    1. I hope you have got plenty of papier mâché.

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