During my recent visit to the lakes, I visited St Bega’s Church in Bassenthwaite Cumbria, (http://www.visitcumbria.com/cm/bassenthwaite-st-begas-church/). The building is pre-Norman and it was amazing to touch the ancient arch, constructed out of rough hewn stone and know that it had been built prior to the Norman conquest of 1066.
As explained by the above link, the church inspired one of Tennyson’s greatest poems,
“Lord Alfred Tennyson stayed at Mirehouse in 1835 while he was writing his poem ‘Morte D’Arthur’ and St Bega’s Church inspired the opening lines:
‘…to a chapel nigh the field,
A broken chancel with a broken cross,
That stood on a dark straight of barren land,’.
A small distance along the shore you will find a simple open-air theatre erected by the Tennyson Society at the place where it is thought he composed much
I have just returned from the Lake District (Cumbria UK) which explains my lack of posting over the last 4 days. We stayed in a lovely cottage just outside Keswick and spent most of our time walking and, in the evening enjoying the delights of the local hostelries.
I had fun on the first morning. Being first up I took a refreshing shower. Having finished I reached for the door. Being blind I felt around but no obvious way of opening the door could I find. I ran my hands along the rubber seal which holds the 2 halves of the shower door together but could ascertain no way of opening the dratted shower other than employing brute force and given our accommodation was rented this was not a particularly appealing road to go down! Eventually I discovered a knob in the middle of the door which, when pulled released me from my confinement, (on entering the shower I had pulled the doors shut manually so had not noticed the elusive knob)! Anyway no harm was done and the time spent stewing in the shower meant I barely needed to use the bath sheet which I had placed just outside my prison (sorry shower).
While in Cumbria we visited relatives staying on the Lingholm estate, (http://thelingholmestate.co.uk/house). The estate was built in the 1870’s by the architect Alfred Waterhouse and the author Beatrix Potter visited regularly in the last decade of the 19th century.
Prior to enjoying our evening meal I wandered down to the lake (which is fed by Derwent Water). The profound peace of the place was broken only by the gentle lapping of the water and the convivial conversation of my companions and I.
Lingholm is a magical place to visit and I can understand why Beatrix Potter returned for 9 consecutive years.
Cumbria is a wonderful part of the UK and is well worth a visit but beware of the showers …!