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.
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.