Derbyshire 41 - North Wingfield/a very stern Norman church/a collapsible watering can/a tv update/and a change of plan

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February 16th 2018
Published: February 16th 2018
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Well a theme seems to be developing in the Jones household. Nothing is insignificant was the mantra from my thoughts for the day a few days ago. Today Paramahansa Yogananda tells me that I should " Do little things in an extraordinary way". So today was a day of doing little things. Nothing of any importance . It was just another Friday.

The sky was that pale insipid blue when I woke. The sort of sky I feel I should poke a stick at and it would shatter into a thousand pieces. Each one landing on the Earth like a tiny blue snowflake. The air felt thin and cold and the temperature gauge in the car registered at minus 4 degrees. The windscreen was covered in a thin layer of ice. It felt as if we were still in the grip of winter. The gardens though are beginning to tell another tale. The grass once green is now covered in a white coating of Snowdrops, tiny splashes of mauve and yellow are appearing as the Crocus push their way above ground. The pink Virburnum bushes are full of blossom and the Winter Cherries are colouring up nicely. Even the Hawthorn hedges have a green tinge. If I look closely the leaves are starting to unfurl.

The collapsible watering can arrived. It was supposed to be a welcome addition to Gabbys armoury helping us to fill her with water more easily. At £12.95 I expected nothing special. It collapses. It looks like a watering can. Whether it will work remains to be seen.

We received the price for putting another solar panel on her roof. Another £700 for a slightly larger panel, a rework of the wiring and a new control panel. Sounds ridiculously expensive and a job that will have to wait.

We did however find someone local who can wire up a TV socket for us so Gabby is booked in for the work in a couple of weeks time. It is true that nothing we do is insignificant - everything adds up to take us to the first real holiday of the year. Less than 55 days to go and the stomach butterflies are starting early.

We plan to try to take out the useless drinks holder from the cab of Gabby before we leave and replace it with a more useful fixed file holder. Suzy had one and it proved a lot more useful than this contraption we now have that snaps at our ankles as we pass it. The cupboard holds the file that contains our insurances, our street maps, our tickets for the train. You cannot put those inn a drinks holder. I don't know why Fiat changed the dash for this configuration. Given the complaints I have read it seems we are not the only ones to hate the drinks holder. We found a couple on the internet but by the time we pay postage they come out not much cheaper than the Fiat dealer in town. At least at the dealer we will get to see what we are buying.

We need to book tickets for the Elephant ride at Nantes and to check times for the Little Yellow and Red Trains in the South of France. The Croatia books are out as we debate Spain - September or Croatia and Montenegro . At the moment we may as well throw a load of coins in the air as we keep changing our minds. I am sure a change of plan is on the cards but ......................who knows what that change might be.

So what did we do today apart from a little shopping and booking Gabby in for some work to be done to her? . We walked up to Church of St Lawrence at North Wingfield. A church I have always wanted to see inside but sadly failed times many. The doors have always been firmly locked denying me entry. Today was no different. The doors were firmly shut. We had to make do with a walk around the church and its churchyard on this crisp Spring morning. I do love churches so it was no hardship.

North Wingfield is another of these large villages in the area located 4 and a half miles from Chesterfield town centre. The population at the last census was 6505. The River Rother runs through the village and the main railway line follows its path. The church stands high up on the hill and is imposing and seen for miles. It is not a pretty church and with its dark stone looks severe. The old manor of North Wingfield was known as Winnefelt in Domesday 1086. The church has been around since that time and before. Parts date to the Normans and some to the Saxons.

Trying to take a picture seemed impossible with the sun so low in the sky. We walked around the graveyard trying to find the perfect picture. First we stopped at the locked door. I tried it vainly in the hope it would magically open for me to see inside. Had I been searching for sanctuary it would have been denied to me. The door looked as if it had not been opened for years. We had to make do with the tall angular tower with its clock. Walking around the exterior we found the porch dating from the 12th century, but is mostly 14th and 15th century. Evidence of stone carvings were there but they were much weathered. The wrought iron gates were locked . A great big lock and chain barred entry.

We read that restorations had been carried out in 1880 by the architects Richard Herbert Carpenter and Benjamin Ingelow of London. The contractor was Rollinson of Saltergate, Chesterfield. A typical Victorian rebuild to suit needs of the population at the time. The Lady chapel exterior walls were restored and the tracery in the East window was renewed. The floors in the nave were relaid at a lower level and refloored in stone. The chancel was laid with Minton encaustic tiles. The seating was renewed with oak pews. These oak pews were later taken out and sold . Replaced by chairs to suit a more modern form of worship. The church was reopened by the Bishop of Lichfield in December 1880 just in time for Christmas. The east window of the chancel was fitted with a stained glass in memory of the Rector’s wife, and was executed by Clayton and Bell.

Apparently inside there are three 14th century reliefs. But today we were not going to see those. The martyrdom of St Lawrence, the Annunciation and Christ in Majesty were going to have to wait for another day. Surely the church would have an open day at some point in 2018.

The graveyard as always proved interesting with many older stones. Some weathered with the names worn off over time. Others were crisp and clear. It was an odd morning doing nothing much but a day were we learned a little more about the local history of the village.


18th February 2018
A table tomb

Interesting grave
That was a very interesting grave. I like visiting graveyards. I think it is interesting to see how they in various parts of the world treat their loved ones after they have passed away. /Ake
18th February 2018
A table tomb

It's known as a table grave in Britain. They were quite prominent around the 18th century but not many remain in graveyards now. I too love graveyards particularly French and Italian ones. Spend ages reading the inscriptions on them. Fascinating places . Where are you off to next ?
19th February 2018
A table tomb

Next trips
Next blogs will be The Gambia and Senegal. We were there over Christmas and New Year but haven't had time to write the blogs yet. Next trips will be Rome (a weekend) and Budapest (5 days). /Ake
20th February 2018
A table tomb

Rome and Budapest
Hi We love Rome and spent a week there and didn't see everything. Had a day in Budapest - lovely city we enjoyed it very much.

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