Trials,Tribulations and Happy Moments in my busy life

Thursday, 29 May 2014

St Bridget's Church, Skenfrith.

Hi folks,

Remember the church yesterday at the end of the blog, its tower is very unusual  having five foot thick walls and topped by a Dovecote looking structure.  St Bridget's Church is on the Welsh Border and would have sustained sudden raids, so villagers could have sought sanctuary and kept supplies safe and sound.  Now lets take a look inside.

First off what struck me was the lighting, oil lamps everywhere and modern lighting concealed high in the rafters.

Here you can see among other things, stained glass, old light fittings, wall paintings and to the left the Processional Cross which I show a close up of later.

This old desk was at one time used as a temporary altar.

"The Skenfrith Cope", cope being a hooded garment like a cloak or cape is made in the 15th century with English embroidery worked in coloured silks and silver and gilt threads on canvas and then put on velvet.  Not too easy to photograph as it was in a glass cabinet on a wall opposite a window.

This floor was much more uneven than it looks, the sign was a bit of an understatement!

There were some beautiful carvings to do with the history of the church which included acorns, oak leaves, Fleur-de-Lis, Lancaster and Tudor Roses and Pomegranates.  Fascinating how they all came together to show the churches past. 

Note the modern light high up on the beam, the Processional Cross was made in early 1970 from old and new wood, lots of religious symbols going on when you look closely.

Original candle bracket still in place.

Some of the original painting and in the beam above it are the Church Wardens initials R M T G and the year 1663 showing when the last major renovation work had been completed before 1909.

Copies of the Ten Commandments made in 1910 showing the same decorative border and type as the paintings behind the altar.

In the north aisle stands the Morgan Pew, John Morgan was important to the church and died in Skenfrith in 1557 he was also a Member of Parliament in 1553 and 1554, the tomb of him and his wife are nearby.

This window is made up of 15th century glass fragments which had been collected up and re-leaded, note the green tinge and the distortion of the glass compared to the rest.

The porch leading into the church, there is a "floodgate like" barrier to step over as the door is set high up.

This outer wall was built so strongly and like the lamp in the first picture just took my attention.

Quite a long blog tonight, I got a bit carried away with this magnificent church but hope you enjoyed it.  I would like to thank the compiler of the Church Guide for the information which was invaluable and very interesting.

Luv Mike

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Skenfrith Castle

Hi folks,

Something different to show from our Welsh holiday although the weather might have been better! Here is Skenfrith Castle which is owned by The National Trust and managed by CADW, which is the Welsh equivalent of English Heritage.  As you can see it is slightly in ruins due mainly to being dismantled in the 15th century to diminish the power of the Lancastrians.

It is amazing how the stones are assembled to build these structures and that vegetation manages to grow from the nooks and crannies.

Some of the stone was taken away to build other properties in the village but in its heyday it would have looked an impressive sight.

My Welsh readers can find out about the Great Tower from the green writing but the rest like me will need to read the black writing on the left.

This I hope you will agree is a particularly good angle of view.

In the village I was drawn to this bright flower tub, it was such a grey day that this shone from afar.

Having left the Castle we noticed the "Dovecote" on top of a tower which turned our to be St Bridget's church but more of that later.

Into the church on the next blog, thanks for looking. Luv Mike

Monday, 26 May 2014


Hi folks,

just a short blog as we have been away.

As we came home Sunday last week we thought a day later the following weekend to the club event would not be a bad idea.

Well we had a great time Saturday and Sunday with the fantastic Kent and Sussex Auto Camping Club and as I time this is posted we are still there.

Sunday morning shot of all the club vans at Caravans at Rye Rugby Club. Started out sunny with I counted  about14 units on site

Looking over the fence at the sheep munching away in the early morning.

View across the marshes and more sheep.

Winnie with everybody fast asleep and Marks Football flag flying in the wind and the sound of snoring and sheep munching the grass.

Lastly we took a walk into the town and added these two to the expanding group of swaying toys, what a sad lot we are. The new ones are the smiling flower and the swaying Tweety Pie, the Monkey came from Wales.

Short and sweet and it is now chucking it down with rain on a typical Bank Holiday Monday.

Thanks for looking and thanks to the club committee for a smashing weekend.

Luv, Mike

Friday, 23 May 2014

Forest of Dean

Hi again folks,

On our arrival we stayed on the site called "Bracelands", not to confused with that famous place in Memphis, Tennessee, this was in the Forest of Dean, Gloucester.

A wonderful site in the middle of the forest, very quite with wonderful views.

Walking around the site we came across the trailer that looked like it had been plucked straight out of the USA.

There we spotted some House Martins nesting in the toilet/shower block eves, they just landed clinging onto the wood.

The following day we went for a walk to the local shop and pub about a mile and a half away. Walking through the forest we came across "a few" bluebells, they just went
on and one. They are later than at home as all ours in Kent have finished.

This warning sign was real, apparently there are a lot of Wild Boars in the forest.

The newly built Forest Centre with lots of activities in the area and more being build as we speak.

Ah we finally arrived at the pub for lunch, ham, egg and chips washed down with two pints of beer, will I make it home? The pub as you can see is the New Inn and was in the village of Short Standing.

Walking out of the pub we were greeted by this wonderful view across the fields.

Back at the camp site we relaxed in the evening light as the birds including this Mistle Thrush started to look for their supper.

We stayed out chatting as the sun went down at the end of a perfect day to be out in the forest and we finally were treated to a wonderful sunset.

Thanks for looking, Luv Mike

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Raglan Castle

hi folks,
we moved on and stopped at this castle that Cromwell knocked about a bit.  Raglan Castle was the last castle to be built in Wales and its surrender marked the end of the Civil War, it was very imposing from all angles and a pity that it was so derelict.

I thought you might like to see the buildings from various angles!

This doorway shows how the foundations are sinking due to age.

Its very sad the the castle was destroyed.

In the grounds we met Alice, who is still very much a puppy, with her owner.

Looking out across the Welsh country side from the castle grounds.

Then we set off for the Wye Valley.........

stopping at this lovely pub where we set up nearby for the night.

Off we went for a walk along the bank of the River Wye before settling down for the night.

The next morning we set off for The Forest of Dean, but that is another story.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

Luv Mike