Silent Sunday…So Off to Church



Glastonbury is a town of Legends and Myth.  King Arthur and his Round Table of Knights, Merlin and Druids, legends that for many are as real today as ever.

But legend apart Glastonbury was for centuries a Religious Centre.  Glastonbury Abbey is very much a legend in its own right. The earliest Christian Monastery that became the wealthiest and largest in England only to fall fowl of Henry VIII Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1539.

We visited the ruins on what was a surprise wet day but it didn’t take the shine of this wonderful estate.  The buildings cover an enormous are, there is a conical shaped Abbots Kitchen, Kitchen gardens and a couple of Fish Ponds (Stew Ponds), guides in authentic costume help the tour parties to get the full enjoyment from their visit….so here is a quick glimpse of Glastonbury Abbey


But back to another Legend….a legend and Chapel missed by many visitors to the Abbey.

It is the Chapel of Saint Patrick of Ireland who when he returned to England and with the blessing of Saint Dunstan built with the help of several like minded Hermits this rather wonderful small Chapel.  Today the interior decoration has been restored and for those who seek it out it remains a quiet place of contemplation.





A dull damp day but not a dull visit by any means

8th July

(C) David Oakes 2018


Silent Sunday….and off to Church (sort of)



The beach at Hesteyri, Hornstrandir, Iceland

It was one of those Icelandic summer days we had been warned of…..a milky sky of low cloud that would remain with us all day.  Not the weather we had hope for on our highspeed boat trip from Isafjordur.  A boat, or a very, very long hike in is the only way to get to Hornstrandir Nature Reserve and the deserted village of Hesteyri and area located on the north west coat of Iceland.

In the 19th century this was once a Whaling Station and because of its remoteness a community was built up around it. In 1915 Whaling ceased and the village turned to Herring Fishing and Farming for its income.  As was the way, fishing declined and left only a meagre farming existence which came to an end in 40’s.  The village itself was deserted by 1956.


As a Nature Reserve, Hornstrandir is just perfect.  Summer visitors only and now well and truly overgrown during the short summer with wild flowers and scrub.

What is left behind is a handful of houses (now used as summer getaways) and a few remains of Hesteyri village…the most obvious to be found is the graveyard and a short stubby Bell Tower housing the Bell from the Church.  As to the Church.. well that was dismantled and taken to Sudavik in the 50’s



Despite its remoteness, or perhaps even because of its remote location, Hesteyri and Hornstrandir still attract a good number of summer visitors.  There are Boat Trips from Isafjordur and a Wildlife Guide to help you make the most of your visit. Those undertaking the trek have a long way to walk across wild countryside surround by mountains where the snow never vanished.  But at least at one of the remaining houses, The Doctors House, they can top up a few basic supplies and enjoy some simple refreshments in a unique location…… a location now so quiet but once so busy.


Despite the grey cap of milky cloud remaining with us all day it could not detract from the remote beauty and the feeling that you were treading in the footsteps of what must have been a very hardy community where surviving would have been tough at the best.

24th June

(C) David Oakes 2018


Silent Sunday….The Weeping Window


Hardly seems a year since Derby hosted, for a few short weeks, this magnificent tribute to those who sacrificed so much in WW1 and the conflicts that have followed….. But a year it is, and still talked about by many as a very fitting tribute in a unique location.


The Silk Mill, Derby.


A Silent Reminder for Silent Sunday

17th June

(C) David Oakes 2018

Silent Sunday…..So off to Church



All Saints Church, Dale, Derbyshire

Doesn’t look much like a church but hiding under the low roof to the left of the main building is All Saints Church…possibly the smallest church in England.

It was built in the late 12th century by the Lord of the Manor for a deeply Religious local Hermit as a place of worship an Oratory.  The main building has been adapted and modified over the centuries and has been many things for the village… A Farm House, the Blue Bell Inn, and the top floor an infirmary.  But back to the Church.

Measuring just 26ft x 25ft it is indeed a tiny space for its congregation.  Wooden pews and a gallery are crammed in between these stone walls.


The pulpit was a late addition and clearly ‘squeezed’ in to the available space.  As was the practice of larger churches the interior pews were divided by low screens defining  them as individual family spaces.

Looking down from the even smaller gallery, a true impression of just how small All Saints is, yet you can still identify what one would normally refer to as a aisle and nave….


The windows are in carved stone and today mainly plain glass,  it is suspect that they once were glazed in coloured glass as in this one remaining coloured window. The walls are whitewashed but this it has been discovered to hide early wall paintings….they remain covered for protection but one small section is on view…

All Saints Church is now under the Diocese of Derby Cathedral, is well cared for by local volunteers whilst still offering a programme of services throughout the year

3rd June

(C) David Oakes 2018