Sunday, 21 March 2010

Imagine my surprise

I've been getting more exercise over the last couple of weeks. One reason is the new bike. The other is lousy planning.

Today's trip was to visit two churches: St James at Shere, and St Peter and St Paul at Albury. On Saturday evening I worked it out at a round trip of about 50 miles, or maybe 60 at a stretch. By the time I got home this evening I had covered nearly 75 miles. I was out by nearly 50%. Even by my standards that's a big error. And for me it's still a bit far for a day trip.

Both the churches I visited have Saxon origins. So imagine my surprise when I got to Albury and discovered this one. It doesn't take an expert to realise that this isn't exactly Saxon. It turns out that the local landowner built two replacements for the old parish church in the middle of the nineteenth century. It sounds as though the village had to move a couple of miles westwards so that villagers didn't clutter up the new park that was being created around the big house, and there was a bit of a local religious disagreement, so each faction got their own new church.

The original parish church is a mile or two outside the new village, and is now looked after by the Churches Conservation Trust. Special thanks to the couple who helped me to find it. It would have been a long trip to repeat because I missed it by a couple of miles.

Apart from messing up the planning, and losing the destination the meteorological office had promised rain this afternoon, but failed to deliver (bless them). It was dry all day, and sunny for most of it. I've been forgiven for getting home late. So things went pretty well. Two more churches have been ticked off. The bike is thriving on it (even if I'm not) and the annual mileage is starting to look a bit more respectable.

The full size version is here

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