I’ve never done anything but dream. This, and this alone, has been the meaning of my life. My only real concern has been my inner life. FERNANDO PESSOA

Friday, 9 April 2010

A Somersby Interlude

She came to the village church, / And sat by a pillar alone; / An angel watching an urn / Wept over her, carved in stone... From Maud by ALFRED LORD TENNYSON

Half-way along my walk in the Wolds lay the tiny village of Somersby, birthplace of the venerable Victorian poet, Alfred Lord Tennyson. Tennyson's father, George, was the rector of Somersby and Bag Enderby, and the father of twelve children (Alfred was the fourth). George was a violent man, a depressive, and dependent on drink and drugs, so Tennyson's mother must have had a very hard time. All of George's children were born in the vicarage, which, in my picture, is the white house on the right, and is now called Somersby House. The imposing, castellated dwelling on the left is Somersby Grange, probably designed by Sir John Vanbrugh, who also designed Castle Howard, the grand stately home in Yorkshire where much of the TV series Brideshead Revisited was filmed...


On the other side of the road is St Margaret's Church, built of greenstone blocks with brick repairs and a slate roof...


In the churchyard there's a rare example of an original stone cross (most churchyard crosses were destroyed in the English Civil War)...


And above the church porch is this sun dial dated 1751...



Inside the church you can see a plaque on the wall commemorating Tennyson, the font where he was baptised, and, near the lectern, a rather scary bust of the great poet...



Just before I left the church I noticed a 'Prayer Tree' on one of the south-facing window ledges...



I rested on a handy bench near this signpost and ate my sandwiches...



After which I took a right-of-way through a farmyard and meandered back to Brinkhill on grassy footpaths and green lanes...



(You can find my other posts on Tennyson here and here.)

1 comment:

Tim Shey said...

I like your photographs.

When you walk, you notice more details than when you are driving.

Last night I camped out in a pasture somewhere between Broadus and Ashland, Montana on U.S. 212. I made a little campfire and then went to sleep in my two-man tent. The next morning I noticed an antelope on a hill maybe a half mile away--he was watching me. I guess I was on his turf. Then he got up and walked away.

After I packed up my gear, I walked for several miles and then got a ride to Lame Deer on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation. I walked into a grocery store, but I did not have much money on me. This lady walked up to me, smiled, and gave me seven bucks. I was very grateful.

The Lord always works in mysterious ways.