Friday, January 19, 2018

Days of Wine and Roses (Showing Off a "Small Island" - Part 5)

Welcome to my ongoing series celebrating the joyful days spent with my sister and her husband in the UK in June 2017.  (link to Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4) As I perused the photos of our fifth day together, my skin tingled with the recollection of the sun.  I longed to dip my toes in the tannin-infused waters of Aysgarth Falls, and to return to the patio of the Friar's Head, aromatic with the scent of white roses.  Just a few reminders of why I adore my adopted country.

This day, we left the village of Oughtershaw, but not before I gazed with rapture once more at this view from the cottage window.  

My in-laws headed home; our itinerary included a return to Hawes for a mooch (read: to walk around observing things).  For Spousal Unit and I, "mooching about" is one of our favorite past-times: no matter how many times you have been somewhere, you can still observe un-noticed details, or learn something new.

St. Margaret's Church was built in 1850 to replace a smaller church.  

Points of interest include the Millennium stained glass window, the War Memorial paneling and the Robert "Mouseman" Thompson pews and screens.

Robert "Mouseman" Thompson was a British furniture maker.  He lived in Kilburn, North Yorkshire, where he set a business manufacturing oak furniture, which featured a mouse on almost every piece.   
It is claimed the mouse motif came about accidentally in 1919 following a conversation about "being as poor as a church mouse", which took place between Thompson and one of his colleagues during the carving of a cornice for a screen.  This chance remark led to him carving a mouse and this remained part of his work from this point onwards.

For some time, I have been intrigued by the hand-stitched kneelers that are present in most Anglican churches in the UK.  As someone who relishes cross-stitch and community service, I could envision myself producing a kneeler, but I didn't really know what's involved.  Carpe diem!

Kneelers can take 3 months or longer to complete; an average kneeler involves over 9,000 stitches just for the top
I learned that there are thousands of church kneelers made by congregations across England and Wales.  Some congregations choose a particular theme, such as nature or geometric designs.  Others give the volunteers free rein.  As a result, church kneelers that are local, original, and unique represent the most widely practiced form of folk art in the country.  Check out this site if you would like more information.  And watch for future posts - you might just see more of this artistry!

The one on the left has clearly been well-loved!
Although Hawes might be distant from Montana, our log-house-in-construction is never far from our minds.  One shop featured heavy, metal furniture that would fit well with our rustic industrial motif - I took a picture for inspiration only - this would cost a small fortune to ship!

Along the lanes of Hawes
We made our way back to the car park (read: parking lot) along a public footpath, and found ourselves on the hill above St. Margaret's.  It's then I realized the commanding location it has in town.  Even now, I am gob-smacked (read: amazed) at the compelling beauty of the landscape that this church enjoys every single day.

Our next stop, Aysgarth Falls, is a familiar friend to our family, as a site of swimming excursions and overnight walks.  One year, Spousal Unit was the beneficiary of a coffee mug embellished with a repeating mosaic of this beloved photo.  If someone asked me to characterize our family when the kids were young, especially the relationship of the 'three kids', I would pull out this snap!

Today, it looks much the same as it did 9 years ago.  Located in a stunning wooded gorge in Wensleydale, the Falls are comprised of an Upper, Middle and Lower Falls.  Well-marked trails through the woodland allow easy access to the River Ure, with many pools and pock-marked rocks.

Yes, those are grapes!
For our family, a trip to Yorkshire is not complete without visiting the Friars Head, a beautiful bar/restaurant in a truly stunning location.  The following is a quote from its website, which I'll use because I believe it captures the essence of the venue so perfectly: "The Friars Head is a confident and striking blend of traditional and modern design, that celebrates great quality food.  What makes The Friars Head so special is the different and distinct interior themes and creative menus, developed to provide guests with their choice of a relaxed or formal experience".  (I am not being paid for this; the pictures left/below illustrate why we love the place.)
A meal without wine is called breakfast ... we enjoyed our adult beverages on the patio
Fig tree in the courtyard
Pausing to smell the roses - a gratifying conclusion to another exceptional day.

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  1. ...lovely, I like the church and cemetery!

  2. What a beautiful country. One day (and it will never happen), I'd like to visit the UK from top to bottom. Part of my family tree is traced back through Ireland to Scotland, but to read what one ancestor wrote, they were from Scotland. Never mind that they spent almost 100 years in Ireland before coming to America. lol

    Those falls are beautiful. One thing I've noticed in movies is that the UK still has wide rivers where here in the US, or at least in Texas, most of the rivers have been dammed and are just dry beds or the width of a creek.

  3. I guess I like to "mooch about" too!! (although never heard the term before). Love that shot of the blue door with red roses.

  4. Lovely church, village and post. I feel I just had a relaxing tour with you.

  5. The countryside there has so much to offer and there always seems to be walking paths to take you somewhere really special. Really love the history of those kneelers and that they are still being made by real people. So much work and so beautiful!

  6. Angie! What a point in time you showcased. I loved the pics, and long to go there. Looks like Doc Martin or All creatures great and small sets. What I hope England looks like. Did you feel the history? Did any particular location pull you to it, or did you feel at home in one place over another? (lol, I'm very interested in past lives)
    LeeAnna, now in CO

    1. LeeAnna - the history calls out to me from the very stones. I am attracted to any place that has not changed for hundreds of years ...

  7. So gorgeous! I love all the photos of kneelers and the history behind them. I had no idea how they were made. :) Have a great weekend! Kit

  8. Wonderful post. Dear and I love all things U.K. I've always been very impressed with the kneelers and am happy to learn more about them. Besides England churches and cathedrals I believe we saw some at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. It would be so enjoyable to sit and eat at the Friars Head. God willing we will be able to take one last trip to Jolly Old England and we are trying to narrow down our choices to visit without renting a car this time. Hope you have a cozy weekend.

  9. Beautiful post! I enjoyed all the lovely holiday photos, the nature, the stained glass, the flowers, the happiness. Thanks for sharing. I also appreciate your comment on my recent blog post.

  10. Wonderful post and photos ~ all very lovely ~ intriguing about the church kneelers tapestry creations ~

    Happy Week ahead to you
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  11. A fantastic collection of photos! Thanks for sharing! My favorite was the one taken in 2009 ! There smiles are fantastic!

  12. I thoroughly enjoyed this little visit to sunny England on a blustery west coast day. You visited many wonderful sites.

  13. Hello Angie, this is the first time I have visited your blog but after looking at the previous post of the beautiful log home you are constructing in Montana I feel a connection to what you chose to do. When my husband retired at a young age we moved from BC to Alberta and we built a home on our land. He learned from his father and took over the farming operation. I will look forward to stopping by again. Sheila

  14. What a fantastic visit! I love the church and the bit about the mouse.

  15. That was such an amazing visit -- I've loved every bit of it. I've not heard the term Mooching about before, but it sounds exactly like how we enjoy visiting places ...(although as we age we aren't quite the tireless moochers we used to be). Your family looks so full of fun!

  16. Boa tarde, a seleção de boas fotos formam a fotorreportagem intensa a revelar o seu belo passeio, os painéis de vidro encanta-me, o que partilha é maravilhoso.
    Feliz semana,

  17. Hello, what a fabulous trip. Gorgeous place too. I like to mooch about too, that is a fun description. Lovely collection of photos. Happy Monday, enjoy your new week!

  18. Every photo is picture postcard worthy! I love the view and the monuments or grave markers. Just beautiful! Thanks for sharing photos of a place I'll never get to see in person. Hugs, Diane

  19. Interesting is your story about the church kneelers. I had never heard this, and they are so pretty!
    I like the carpenter's personal engraving, and know the expression about the poverty of the church mouse, but I wonder if it's true for the USA today -what I have seen I thought they are the better dressed ones?
    Thanks so much for sharing your trip and interesting experiences with All Seasons!

  20. Thank you for taking me back to a beautiful part of my home country, we love the Yorkshire Dales and National Park and have enjoyed some wonderful days up there mooching around Hawes, Reeth and Leyburn to name but a few. The Friars looks like our kind of pub and now I want to go back to see Swaledale sheep grazing in the fields surrounded by dry stone walls and bring home some cheese from Hawes!

  21. The Husband and I love to mooch too. :-) I've enjoyed reading and seeing photos of your wanderings. I wonder if it did something like needlepointing a kneeler if I would be more inclined to be part of a church.

  22. Lovely photos - I had to go back and read that these were taken in the summer because I was a bit surpised that these might be current.

  23. It looks like an educational and fun adventure. The flowers are so inviting and I love the pic splashing in the waterfall.

  24. How wonderful your visit must have been. So much beauty here...though my favorites are of the old cemetery...and the mosaic with the old block building with blue doors and Climbing artistic that image is to me...would make a lovely painting. Have a great week

  25. thank you for this tour. So many special places. I loved those flowers bordering the door way and the table and chairs and the views from the village cemetery. Happy travels and thank you for visiting my blog this week.

  26. I love all your photos especially the grapes as I wonder how they keep them free of beetles and other pests. The roses on wall are beautiful.

    I was sending you a reply by email but you have "reply-no comment" enabled, so I cannot send you reply by email.

  27. Memories for me too Angie. We spent many happy days camping in the Hawes area. Our favourite place Mr & Mrs Raw's farm just pout of the village and a walk across the field. Hope you visited the fish and chip shop almost opposite the crown pub?

  28. Lovely post, Angie. Those white roses are magnificent.
    Thanks for taking part in the FloralFriday Fotos meme.

  29. I love your descriptions of everything.


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