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Old Jun 24, 2012, 03:42 PM
Love & a Molotov cocktail
Punkie's Avatar
on a boat on the river cam
Joined Jan 2005
624 Posts
Gallery
Old Railway, Castle and Churches.

Amazing the stuff you find driving around this little Island I live on.
A couple of hours driving around a corner of Essex and Suffolk netted an abandoned railway now part of a country park, in the same park the remains of a castle, and several churches.
There was another Castle we passed, that one is intact, but the grounds were closed for some reason, its usually open at weekends, but its possible they had a wedding or some filming on.
First stop, the Village of Clare, once dominated by a Castle built in the 13th century.
The Country park is based around the Motte and Bailey Castle, now just ruins, most of the stone reused in local buildings.
This is quite common in this area, building stone is in short supply so if a building was not used for a while, bits disappeared while new buildings grew.
In the19th century the Great Eastern Railway company built the local bit of the Cambridge Colchester railway through the Bailey, that closed in the 1960s as part of the Beeching Cuts which destroyed the local railway network in the UK.
The track has gone, the route is now used as a Pathway.
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Old Jun 24, 2012, 03:53 PM
Love & a Molotov cocktail
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on a boat on the river cam
Joined Jan 2005
624 Posts
Just one wall of the keep remains and only part of that, but up close you can get a feel for how it must have impressed the locals.
Up until the Normans came in, apart from a few Roman buildings in ruins, the tallest buildings in England would have been a big thatched hall, or the short tower on a Saxon church, most buildings locally would have been wood and they would have been pretty much limited to the length of a log for building tall stuff.
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Old Jun 24, 2012, 04:34 PM
Love & a Molotov cocktail
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on a boat on the river cam
Joined Jan 2005
624 Posts
Leaving Clare, we drove through the countryside to Castle Hedingham, unfortunately Hedingham Castle and grounds were closed, but we found a nice pub in the village and had a refreshing pint before going of in search of further adventure.
Driving through the pretty countryside we stopped at Little Maplestead to wander around the round church.
One of only 4 round churches still in use in England it is a pretty place, sweet little building.
Built in the 14th Century, probably on the site of a previous round church, it was part of the hospital built by the Order of the Knights of St John of Jerusalem, known as the Knights Hospitaller.
If you have a few quid going spare they have a fund going to restore the building as age is taking its toll.
http://www.roundchurch.co.uk/
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Old Jun 24, 2012, 05:09 PM
Love & a Molotov cocktail
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on a boat on the river cam
Joined Jan 2005
624 Posts
St mary Chiltern.
If you drive through the town of Sudbury, possibly visiting the Artist Thomas Gainsborough's house on the way through, rather than turn off to the antique shops of Long Melford, but instead drive through the industrial estate near to the Tescos, you catch a glimpse of a church tower.
We parked next to some small industrial units and walked along a gravel path to the still consecrated Church of St Marys Chiltern.
Serving no houses, no regular services, but still available to visit and still used now and then.
The day we visited it was being set up for a ukulele concert.
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Old Jun 24, 2012, 06:08 PM
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United States, OK, Moore
Joined Jan 2006
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Once again, thank you Punkie, for sharing some beautiful pics!
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Old Jun 24, 2012, 11:44 PM
Registered User
Quincy IL
Joined Jul 2006
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Thanks for the info.

One comment. Round churches are closely associated with the Knights Templar. Not much info as to why. When the Templar's were disbanded by the Avignon Pope all their property was transferred to other military orders, mostly to the Hospitaller's about 1310-1320.

Philip the fair is still looking for the Templar's money.
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Old Jun 25, 2012, 05:03 AM
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Backwoods Alabama
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Beautiful countryside. Thanks for sharing.

--Bill
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Old Jun 25, 2012, 05:27 AM
Love & a Molotov cocktail
Punkie's Avatar
on a boat on the river cam
Joined Jan 2005
624 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hugh P View Post
Thanks for the info.

One comment. Round churches are closely associated with the Knights Templar. Not much info as to why. When the Templar's were disbanded by the Avignon Pope all their property was transferred to other military orders, mostly to the Hospitaller's about 1310-1320.

Philip the fair is still looking for the Templar's money.
Both the Templars and Hospitallers built round churches, they probably were inspired by Emperor Constantines Church of the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem built in the 4th Century.
The round shape is supposed to celebrate the resurrection.

The Hospitallers were given the land at Little Maplestead in 1185, pre-dateing any issues with the Templars.
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Old Jun 25, 2012, 05:31 AM
Love & a Molotov cocktail
Punkie's Avatar
on a boat on the river cam
Joined Jan 2005
624 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by LVsoaring View Post
Once again, thank you Punkie, for sharing some beautiful pics!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Harris View Post
Beautiful countryside. Thanks for sharing.

--Bill
The Suffolk Essex borders are very pretty, lots of little villages, little hills and winding roads, thatched cottages and farms, you would have to struggle to mess up taking reasonable photos.
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Old Jun 25, 2012, 09:19 AM
Reserved Parking
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Joined Jun 2004
926 Posts


Is it just me, or does that look like a ready made RC airfield, clubhouse and all!
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Old Jun 25, 2012, 10:11 AM
Love & a Molotov cocktail
Punkie's Avatar
on a boat on the river cam
Joined Jan 2005
624 Posts
Totally surrounded by trees and a Castle, Just enough space to fly a micro cub and thats about it.
Plus loads of walkers, families picnicing, no footballers though
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Old Jun 26, 2012, 04:12 AM
Taking care of the pond.
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United States, CA, Sanger
Joined Apr 2004
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Thanks for the great pictures.
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