Sunday, 20 June 2010

All Saints, Crondall

Regular visitors will have noticed that the bike hasn't had very many outings recently. Things have been a bit hectic around here, and although we've managed a few short evening rides there hasn't been a long weekend outing for several weeks.

Considering that it has hardly moved from the shed for four weeks I thought the bike did very well today. It was running very smoothly and keeping up a good speed for almost the whole day. That positions me nicely to make some self-deprecating comment about my own performance after a few weeks without a long ride. However I'm not going to do that. Partly because it would be a bit of a cliché, but mainly it's because I actually think I did quite well.

The ride covered sixty miles in total, to visit the 41st church on my list.

I doubt if even its closest friends would describe All Saints in Crondall as one of the prettiest churches in England. It has an impressive tower, and an interesting history. There's quite a lot to see inside, including a Saxon font, an unusual brass memento mori (below), and some crosses inscribed in the door frame by crusaders. But the exterior is a bit of a mish-mash. I have to say though, that the guide book is one of the best I have seen at describing the church, and placing its history in context.

Getting there was a bit tricky. The challenge when I head south is always to avoid a lot of suburban sprawl and busy roads. There are decent routes through, but it's not easy to find them. This time I went out through the edge of Bracknell, then Finchampstead and Fleet. It's not unusual for me to get a bit muddled in Bracknell and today was no exception. In the process I discovered a new route that avoids some of the busiest parts. That should help in future.

Coming back I used the tow-path of the Basingstoke Canal to get back to Fleet, and then followed a slightly different route home through Wokingham.

It was a glorious day for a ride. The morning was a little grey, but the afternoon was sunny. I had a following wind on the way out, but it had stilled by the time I was heading home. It wouldn't be right to expect more than that.

All Saints, Crondall - memento mori

“You earthly impes that here behold this picture with your eyes
remember the end of mortall men and where their glory lies"

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