Sunday… off to Church


Hailes Parish Church, Gloucestershire

A church with no name…well at least a church that isn’t attributed to a Saint, just simply Hailes Parish Church.

It may well be a small isolated 12th century country church built around 1114 but its ‘religious ownership’ was a matter of dispute for many years.  The Norman Knight Ralph de Worcester as was the way of many Norman Knights wanted the land and took what he could.   In return he built a Castle and Hailes Church. He offered the church to Worcester Abbey but nearby Winchcombe Abbey disputed that decision and for years it was unresolved till eventually Winchcombe won out.


The interior is simple in layout, stone flagged nave, wooden pews and a simply carved wooden Rood Screen.  The stained glass window is original and amazingly intact.

Of great interest to visitors are the Wall Paintings, Saints, Angels and country Hunting scenes…you can just see traces on the plain plaster walls above.

Most visitors to Hailes Church find it very much by accident.  It is the ruins of nearby Hailes Abbey that they come to see.  Indeed these ruins are well worth the visit..


A Cistercian Abbey founded in 1246 by Richard de Cornwall.  They say that the size of the Abbey is much overstated as until its disillusionment in 1539, it never housed that many monks.  Though it was very much on the Pilgrims Trail with Pilgrims travelling to see  “The Holy Blood of Hailes” a so called phial of Christ’s Blood

It may well be small in comparison to the Abbey ruins but the Golden Cotswold Stone make Hailes Church a very striking building and hard to miss…and even more enticing to explore


28th August

(C) David Oakes 2016

Daily Post Photo Challenge – Frame


Down-and-sometimes-UpFrames…..of Doors and Windows

I guess Doors and Windows must be the most common of Frames in our daily lives so I also presume they will fit this week’s Photo Challenge.

View what others have suggested at :-

Location: The Fishing village of Crail, Fife, Scotland

27th August

(C) David Oakes 2016

A House and Gardens of Historic Note….


Melbourne Hall, Derbyshire

Hidden away behind high walls is one o Derbyshire’s oldest and most historic yet it is  one of the least known.  That is perhaps because it is still a family home and for the most part of the year its privacy is strongly guarded. House visits are restricted to August and the gardens over the summers months

Built in the 12th century as a Bishop’s Palace for when the Bishop of Carlisle visited the Melbourne Church of St Michael and St. Mary. Today it is the home of Lord and Lady Ralph Kerr the Marquess of Lothian.  Between times the house has had numerous connections to Royalty and many very notable names from history as occupants.  Amongst them being Thomas Cromwell, James I and the Earl of Shrewsbury.

ln Victorian times it was the home of Prime Minister William Lamb who later became 2nd Viscount Melbourne who gave his name to the now famous Australian City.


The gardens are of equally Historic importance and although the famous Birdcage is a main attraction the gardens have much else to offer the visitor.  The layout of the gardens is substantially lawn and woodland.  Lawns are set out on a downward slope from the Hall in a strong geometric mosaic principle and leading you to the Pond and its Birdcage.


Note the trimmed Yew Hedge behind the Birdcage.  This runs around all the main gardens providing both shelter and privacy and in places a shady walkway…

For the most part the trees provide the sculptural architecture for these extensive grounds where ‘hidden’ bowers protect some interesting gardens

Apart from the Yew Hedge the whole is also enclose behind a high red brick wall which only adds the feeling of a secret house, garden and numerous out buildings, some used today as Craft Workshops…

As for the Bishop…well he may no longer be a resident but his Church still stands strong below its stubby Norman Tower…very definitely well worth a visit in its own right…


Saint Michael and Saint Mary’s Church, Melbourne

27th August

(C) David Oakes 2016


Cee’s Odd Ball photo Challenge – Week 34


Wash day at a Scottish Fishing Village

Catching the breeze and all that fresh ozone a rather quaint tradition that has stood the test of time, a scene that has probably not changed much over the centuries.

An idea for Week 34 of Cees Odd Ball photo Challenge

Other participants can be seen on :-

Odd Ball

26th August

(C) David Oakes 2016