Silent Sunday….. So Off to Church

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Saint Melangell’s Church, Pennant Melangell, North Wales

This is a church you really have to search for.  It is hidden at the end of very narrow road in Cwm Pennant in the shadow of the Berwyn Hills. There at the very end of the road, hidden away behind high Yew Hedges and through a Stone Lych Gate, you will find the Church dedicated to Saint Melangell.  Built in the 7th century it has a story as old as the church itself * .  If you read the story below you will soon see that this rather small but important church is very much a place of Pilgrimage and also explains the reason for its immaculate upkeep.

So step inside admire the wooden beams and Rood Screen, move closer and you will find the Shrine to Saint Melangell.

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*  Now read the story of Saint Melangell

There once was a Prince by the name of Brochwel hunting in the valley of Pennant. His hounds put up a Hare that after a chase went to cover in a thicket. When the Prince investigated he found a young virgin by the name of Melangell at prayer and the Hare hiding beneath her long robes. The hounds would not approach her and in fact took off despite the huntsman’s best efforts to seek out the Hare. Prince Brochwel ask the young girl her name and her intentions. She told the Prince that she had come to this tranquil and serene valley to seek refuge and peaceful sanctuary. The Prince was so impressed with her godliness that he granted the valley to her…..so it is here that Melangell founded her religious community.

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17th February

(C) David Oakes 2019

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Spring is Bursting Out…. In Snowdrops

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The Snowdrop Woodlands at Hopton Hall, Derbyshire

Mid February, with local temperatures rising to 13c plus, and gorgeous sunshine and blue skies, you could be fooled into thinking that Spring has actually arrived.

May be it is too soon to brag about this wonderful weather..… but certainly not to soon to take a walk through the woods at Hopton Hall. It is a visual feast and a welcome sight after the darker winter days. The woodland is mainly Beech, which despite their lack of leaves,  cast long shadows of the white carpets spread below. So join us for a peaceful stroll…

Hopton Hall dates back to the 1400. It is now in private ownership.  Over the past few years they have restored, and added to, the gardens and woodlands that surround the Hall. Wildlife is being attracted to a number of ponds and a larger lake. The woods look carefully managed.  Apart from the woodland walks through the snowdrops, a Rose Garden with terraces, summer house and topiary is being restored to its former glory.

Even though it is February and the Roses a long long way from flowering, the Rose Garden, in its winter clothes is still well worth exploring (and a note in the Diary  to revisit in July or August)…. and from the Rose Terraces it is a short stroll down to the Lakes.

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So a summer treat to come….but right now in the February sun it is the Snowdrops that are the real treat….

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15th February

(C) David Oakes 2019

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge – Made by Humans

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Nether Largie Standing Stone, Kilmartin Glen Argyll, Scotland

Made by Humans’ is the nominated topic for this weeks Black and White Challenge set by Cee. Very broad in scope….but I guess these are some of the earliest items made by humans

Dating back over 5000 years these Neolithic Standing Stones show clear ‘cup’ markings on there surfaces… whilst the Standing Stones themselves erect near to and within an ancient cairn burial site.

Hope you like this contribution to this weeks challenge.  Follow what others have submitted here on this link :- https://ceenphotography.com/2019/02/14/cees-black-white-photo-challenge-made-by-humans/

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15th February

(C) David Oakes 2019