Monday, September 02, 2013


Current work: working on M&B #59 (Rom – Mediterranean prince) and two or three other projects (focus, Kate Hardy, focus…)
Listening to: Beethoven
Reading: next on TBR
Gym: 121 today (and a day off tomorrow as I’m still in London, though I should be back in time for ballroom dance class... trains permitting)

On the flimsiest of excuses (i.e. the current book involves restoration of stained glass, so I wanted to go and see some), we went churchcrawling at the weekend.

So what did we see? (Prepare yourself for utter nerdiness because I love this stuff.)

We started at Reepham, which is unusual because three churches share the churchyard (one is a ruin). (Why? In Reepham’s case, because the churches were each at the far edge of the parish boundary. Hackford church burned down in 1543, and the other two churches remained separate until 1970. Nowadays St Michael’s – which was the parish church of Whitwell – is used as the parish rooms/church hall. And St Mary’s continues as the parish church of Reepham.)

There’s something else unusual here, though, and that’s the fourteenth-century tomb of Sir Roger de Kerdiston (d. 1337). He lies on a bed of cobbles; the only other one I know of in Norfolk with this kind of arrangement is Sir Oliver de Ingham at Ingham. Why cobbles? Mortlock (who wrote THE book on Norfolk churches) says it’s allegorical, so I guess that would be something to do with the hard, uncomfortable life of a campaigner.

It’s an amazing tomb, though. (Eight weepers at the base - and they survived the Reformation. Amazing. And there are traces of the original paint, too.) If you’ve ever read Edith Nesbit’s ‘Mansize in Marble’ you’d think that this could be one of the knights. (Actually, there’s a legend very similar to the story attached to Sir Oliver de Ingham’s tomb, but not to Kerdiston’s.)

Oh, and I love the lion at his feet.

And the carvings on the bench ends – this is a wyvern (a legendary winged creature with a dragon’s head).

We also visited Salle, which is a lovely big old barn of a church.

The tower is 111 feet tall.

And it has a shroud brass. Most shroud brasses depict skeletons, or the flesh is fully shrouded, but this one is nicely gory! John Briggs was one of the founders of the church, and died in 1454.

I think I like the wording even more than the illustration.

Here lyeth Iohn Brigge under this marbil ston
Whose sowle our Lord Jesu have mercy upon
For in this world worthily he lived many a day
And here his body is beried and cowched under clay
Lo frendis see whatever ye be pray for me I you pray
As ye me see in soche degree so shal ye be a nothir day

There are other lovely brasses here. (Y’know Anne Boleyn? Her great-grandparents have brasses here.)

We also visited the churches at Wood Dalling and Thurning (the latter had box pews, and even in the 1920s they preserved the custom thay men and boys sat on the right side of the church and women and girls on the left – plus they have the hat pegs on the men’s side, and outside there’s still a stable for the ponies who took people to church). And finally we went to Briston, which has an iron cello made around 1700 by the blacksmith, Mr Clitheroe – he apparently played it there for years. (And they did of course use stringed instruments in churches as late as Victorian times – see Thomas Hardy’s novels for example, and did you know that Hardy’s grandfather played the cello in their parish church?)

So it was a very nerdy, very nice afternoon out.

Other than that - last week, I bought a new amp and then dragged the kids off to see the gorillas in the city centre (full story of that over at the Chocolate Box - And there was the delight (not) of school uniform shopping...

This week, I’m off to London – firstly to sort out my ITIN (which means an early start at the US Embassy, so it made sense to stay overnight on the Monday, aka excuse to see my best friend), and secondly to meet up with my fellow Cherish authors for lunch - can't wait, especially as Michelle Douglas is over all the way from Australia. (There will be pics!) Later in the week, the children go back to school and the dog will then spend the next week or so being all sorrowful because his playmates have gone. Oh, and I have a book or two to write…


Mary Preston said...

Nothing nerdy about it at all. What a fantastic way to spend your time.

Nell Dixon said...

Loved seeing these, as you know I share your churchy nerdiness :)

Caroline said...

Fascinating stuff, Kate as always. Caroline xx