About Me

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Bristol , United Kingdom
I'm co-director of the Leaping Word Poetry Consultancy, which provides advice for poets on writing, editing and publishing, as well as qualified counselling support for those exploring personal issues in their work - https://theleapingword.com. My fifth poetry collection, Learning Finity, is now available from Indigo Dreams or directly from me.

Tuesday 9 February 2016

Cold As The Grave

Finding ourselves at a loose end in North-East Somerset for an hour or so, Ted (the dog) and I took ourselves off to the picturesque village of Newton St Loe. 

With the tail of Storm Imogen still twitching, we headed for the shelter of the Church of the Holy Trinity.  But first a couple of idiosyncracies ... 

... namely, a house with an unfeasibly large ammonite incorporated into its pediment ... 

... and the ornate canopy over the porch of the former village school, which was established in 1698 and closed in 1972.  

As soon as we got into the churchyard, I spotted some quite spectacular 18th century graves which I photographed them while Ted tried to roll in something fragrant (presumably) that only he could smell.  
'Here lyeth the bodys of James and William, sones of James and Mary Smith of y pish [this parish] James died 26. March 1749 Aged 3Ms  Will died 15 Januar 1757 Aged 7 Yrs 6 Ms

In memory of Martha, Wife of Daniel Deverill who died 6 March 1768 Aged 66. Also ye said Daniel Deverill died 20 Octr 1770 Aged 80  And of John Deverill their son who died [illegible]

Here lyeth the body of JOHN, the Son of JOHN and CHRISTIAN SELWAY who Died 21 Dec 17--  Aged 9 Years ... [illegible]

Under the gaze of gargoyles and a rather splendid weathercock, past the one-handed clock ...
... and into the darkness of the 14th century church.  Usual stuff - headstones re-used as paving stones, monuments to local nobs, two priests appointed in the Year of Our Lord 1349, a squint, a little mediaeval glass ... 
... and painted organ pipes.
Outside, though, something new - two scratch sundials, so the priest would know when to hold Mass. 
And what do you know, I looked at the house with the ammonite again and it too had a sun dial.  Now all we need is some sun. 


  1. Just found your blog-via your photo of the mulberry tree at Kelmscott Manor-I come to England every 6 months but of course miss the bits in between-I now hope to follow nature as it progresses toward spring through your blog-and looks like many other interesting things as well!!
    Carletta Prendergast
    Kittery Point, Maine, USA