Being asked to adopt a village seemed very strange request when Christine our Webmaster suggested it to me a few months ago, so I kept that thought on the back burner, & the more I thought about it the more I wanted to “adopt a Village”
So on a very sunny Friday 8th July soon after lunch & husband away golfing, I decided to jump into my little car & buzz off to Yelvertoft my chosen adopted village. While I was driving the 6 miles I noticed the sky getting very black, but hey I thought it aint raining yet so carried on.
Arrived in Yelvertoft pulled into the Village Hall car park & the heavens opened up OMG I thought, I sat it out, being mindful I had just had my hair done & it cost me £9. I sat & listened to the radio for about ½ hour or so, and then it began to brighten & sun tried to shine through the clouds, so on with my mackintosh & hat and I got out and took pics of the village hall & grounds, with a very nice place for the kids to play. I then drove into the village, parked out side the old Manse ??? in the centre of the village, walked to the WW1 monument took some pics, took pic of the Catholic Church over from the monument and then walked towards the school, taking pictures of various very old houses along the way, approached the school, and it was sort of much higher then the road, which presented me with the problem of how to get the whole school into my picture, I sort of took a picture of the middle bit & hoped it will do the trick I then walked back to my car, by this time I could feel spots of rain, and then it began to rain again which resulted in loads of puddles on the path which I had to dodge, my shoes are not waterproof !!!!! by the time I had got back to my car the rain had stopped, so I preceded to the stone masons yard & took some really interesting pictures of some very large granite marble blocks which the rain had brighten up the striations in the marble. Mr Nigel Owen is the stone worker/mason & he makes all sorts of things out of stone & marble in fact he had some examples of his work in a display cabinet at the side of his house/workshop. I am now opposite Elkington Road, I walk up High street take pictures of the congregational Church, & then I was surprised to see a lovely little butchers shop own by Keith Hewitt The Yelvertoft butcher, It’s lovely to see a butcher shop in a small village, please may it prosper. I then see on the same side a tall house looks like 3 stories & a plaque inserted into the brickwork at the very top by the gutting which reads JK 1839 This is Dunton House is I walk along the High Street taking shot of various houses including the Knightley Arms pub I notice a small cottage attached to the Pub & on its wall is a dark green plaque which reads This Community is recorder in the Domesday Book 1086, Domesday 1086-1986 authorised by the National Domesday Committee issued to Celebrate 900 years of Norman Heritage, I cross over the road & notice standing back from the road a brick house painted white with a painted sign on the wall it read Mann….. noted Stout, I took a pic, I carry on down the High Street & take pic of a row of cottages the first cottage No.65 the plaque reads Boaters Cottage. Opposite is Chigwell Cottage. I walk past the Post Office taking a picture & smile to myself & think, village Post Offices are disappearing at an alarming rate, it’s sad to see them close. I then spot an very old brick building with sandstone mullions windows opposite the Post Office, this intrigues me it has a bell tower, I think could this be the original school, take a picture & think that looks extremely old I then approach & then I see a slate plaque attached to the wall which says Yelvertoft Reading Room former Charity School Established 1711 that 300 years ago WOW I say to myself, it also has sandstone sun dial with an engraved date of 1792 It starts to rain again & while I am wondering what shall I do I notice a pump on the grass verge next to the Reading Room, I take a pic & read the plaque it says Yelvertoft Village Old Parish Pump constructed circa AD MCM (that’s 1900) preserved circa AD MM (that’s 2000), I am now wondering where is the Church? when suddenly 2 people appear as if out of nowhere, so I enquired about All Saints Church & was informed it was up the Hill, turn left, I said I am doing a reckie because I am coming to a wedding here in September & would like to “get my bearings” she says you wont be able to park it’s a very narrow lane leading up to the back entrance of the Church. I walk a little further & see a grand fine entrance with large oak gates & large brick pillars & a slate plaque that says The Manor I take a pic of the house & see it also has sandstone mullion windows & thinks this must be old, as well same era as the reading room, over the road & notice in the hedge a very rickety gate with a name Manor Lodge & the house behind this gate was in a very sad state of neglect I take pictures.
I decided to walk back & get my car & then drive down this narrow lane to the Church, this lane it had very large pots holes, so care had to be taken, as they were very full of water & not knowing how deep they were I approached with caution, a sharp 90 deg left bend & I could see The Old Rectory entrance with a large white 5 bar gate which had been electrified & the rear entrance gate to the churchyard, I park my car.
I donned my Macintosh and fastened it up tightly to keep out the rain, as the sky was looking very black, I then took my fist picture of the churchyard, then took more pictures of gravestones, and I notice some were Northampton stand stone & were illegible with lichen growing all over them, but a few were made of slate possible from the valleys of Wales & the engraving was as crisp & clear as if it had been engraved yesterday, I noticed that the stone mason was Mr Palmer & I said to myself “made a good gravestone there Mr Palmer” nearly 150 years later & you can still read the inscriptions, well done I say, I spent a good ¾ hour taking photos of grave stones, which I thought I would look some of these people up the census to read about them, where they lived & what they did for a living. I eventually came to the West entrance with a mesh door screen which was closed but a note on the screen says, the Church is Open during daylight hours, this mesh gate is closed to stop the leaves from blowing into the church, please enter, but please shut this gate when you leave. I entered the Church, is was not gloomy but was pleasant, I took pictures of the nave & of various tablets inlaid into the walls.
As I left the churchyard the sun came out & I turned & looked back at a beautiful Northamptonshire Sandstone Church with sunshine showing it up in all its glory.
I left my purse in the car so did not make a donation, but will return.