Today, unbroken sunshine was promised from dawn to dusk. It was time for another country walk. I chose the flatlands north of Doncaster and parked Clint near Hatfield and Staniforth railway station. Above, a pizza business, a barber's and a fish and chip shop on Broadway in Dunscroft.
Below, Lock House Farm north of Barnby Dun. You can see the farm through the trees.
Below is the track to Botany Bay. In the late eighteenth century and throughout the nineteenth century a fashion arose in rural England for naming properties after exotic far away places. It was not a widespread habit but nonetheless it remains noticeable. I have walked by farms called California, New York, Gibraltar, North America and Crimea and I am sure that if I turned my mind to it I could identify many more such lonesome properties with names that similarly look beyond the reality of the here and now...
Now I have arrived at Kirk Bramwith. Its lovely little limestone church with its unmistakable Norman door was certainly operational during The Black Death. In these flatlands there is no stone. You see hedges rather than stone walls for field boundaries but somehow the people of long ago managed to transport tons of magnesian limestone to this remote village. It beggars belief.
As I was walking to Barnby Dun's even more impressive church - dedicated to St Peter and St Paul, I turned to observe the stubbled field I was crossing and was immediately wowed by the sun's dramatic illumination...
I got back to Clint at three thirty having walked pretty solidly for four hours - covering eight or nine miles.
"Did you enjoy that then?" he asked with a hint of sarcasm as I tossed my boots into his boot (American: trunk).
"Yes I jolly well did!" I retorted, sounding rather like David Niven at a cocktail party in The Hollywood Hills.
Nine miles "ain't bad". With every step you seem to be able to discover some history.ReplyDelete
History is sitting waiting round every corner on this island.Delete
The stubble did make a dramatic photo. Original or reproduction, the old lamp at the church looks great. Is that the vicar in red? He appears to have a stick in his hand and is looking in your direction. He can tell a heathen when he sees one.ReplyDelete
He was not the vicar, he was a retired gentleman with his wife. They held hands as they walked away which was sweet.Delete
Beautiful scenes and walk! I'm envious of the sunshine and blue sky. We haven't seen much of that lately.ReplyDelete
We have had some grey days too so when sunshine arrives you cherish it all the more.Delete
A solid four hours of walking would see me totally exhausted. I like to walk long distances (as you know), but I need to stop for breath at the uphill bits and sometimes "just so" after about an hour, even if it's just for a few minutes and a sip of water. For a four hour walk, I would certainly take food with me, and stop for a break halfway through.ReplyDelete
You had superb weather! It was similar here yesterday, and I managed to fit a 2 1/2 hours walk into the sunny afternoon before returning to work.
I did pause to take photos along the way but did not sit down once. Sometimes I think I could keep plodding along all day - like a carthorse.Delete
A beautiful, photogenic day, and an excellent walk YP.ReplyDelete
Thank you Carol.Delete
I love that photo of the corn stalks standing straight and rigid - it looks like an army of men waiting to march into battle.ReplyDelete
That is one hell of an army. We are bound to subdue the turnips. Onward lads!Delete
A crisp, sunny day makes a walk even more enjoyable. Great photos again, YP.ReplyDelete
Thank you Jacqueline.Delete
Staniforth? Is that a euphemism for your underpants?ReplyDelete
Not only that but Stainforth used to be before Hatfield. Seems that Hatfield threw its weight around.Delete
Hatfield miners are tough guys. I wouldn't wish to argue with them. The pit was mothballed as late as 2015. Oh, and underpants are for cissies. I go commando like Bare Grills.Delete
I have seen many houses and accommodation businesses called Seaview. Looks like a pleasant walk.ReplyDelete
It's a long way to the sea from Staniforth or Dunscroft.Delete
From across the pond, names like Doncaster, Staniforth, Dunscroft, Barnby Dun and Kirk Bramwith all sound really exotic compared to the Indian names that permeate my area.ReplyDelete
Keosauqua sounds very exotic to me. I understand that the name "Iowa" itself derives from the Ioway people.Delete
Your environs are so dang picturesque. I mean from the churches to the fields to the farms to the chippies. Chippys? I have no idea. I've seen that sort of light on our own hay fields here. It is like golden liquid has been poured over them, isn't it? Good on you for that fine walk! Thanks for sharing it.ReplyDelete
The name "chippy" is often used in the north of England for a fish and chip shop. Of course what Americans call "chips" are what we call crisps. To us chips are friend potato fingers - like your french fries but thicker.Delete
People building churches, I think no expense was spared at one time. It was for the glory of God who still held sway over the populace. They are still beautiful those old churches.ReplyDelete
I love them though they are very hard to maintain as not many people go to church these days.Delete
And there was a horse in the king's stables:ReplyDelete
and the name of the horse was, Genius.
Last week I purchased *Reading Walter de la Mare* (Faber 2021) some 50 poems, selected and annotated by William Wootten.
He would have understood the English genius in building a limestone church, dedicated to SS Peter & Paul, in the Flatlands, where no stone can be found.
De La Mare loved English place-names as much as Edward Thomas: Barnby Dun sounds like a hidden village in a ghost story by M.R. James.
*Him in whose songs the bodings of raven and nightingale meet.*
This is De La Mare writing about another English genius, Thomas Hardy.
Reading from Ghostland - Edward Parnell (YouTube).
Thomas Hardy was a remarkable man and yes, I think the term "genius" sits well with him.Delete
A splendid tour of the Doncaster countryside on a lovely sunny day. I wonder what the temperature was.ReplyDelete
I hope to reread *Jude the Obscure* having purchased the Penguin Classic edition.ReplyDelete
There was such a furore over its publication that Hardy turned to verse.
Is there another example of the Muse visiting a man so late in life?
I have numerous selections of Hardy's poetry, and turn often to Tom Paulin's.
I can see why Larkin found it so hard to shake Hardy's influence.
Walter de la Mare, but not Hardy, haunts the pages of Edward Parnell's book, *Ghostland - In Search of a Haunted Country*.
The country is England, but not the England of motorways and satellite dishes.
I rediscovered De La Mare years ago when Saul Bellow named him as one of the poets he often reads.
A farm in Yorkshire called California?! Now THAT is funny.ReplyDelete