Tuesday, 9 June 2009

A lighthouse and a Windpump.

On the day we took Mum back to the village she was born, we drove on to Happisburgh on the coast. It has this lovely red and white candy stripped lighthouse, set amongst the fields. It was built in 1791, and was originally one of a pair. The pair formed leading lights marking safe passage around the treacherous Happisburgh sands. Its privately owned now, but does open its doors on certain weekends.

We parked in the village, which is lovely, full of pretty flint and thatched cottages.

Once again, like most of the villages in Norfolk, it has a lovely village sign.

We walked up to the church, St. Mary`s, which is on a mound above the village. The tower soars high into the blue windy sky, and is 110 feet high. There were lots of Jackdaws flying around the top of the tower, calling their persistent `jack jack` call, and landing on the arched window in the bell tower.

It was lovely inside, bright and airy, with fabulous stone arches and a nice carved rood screen.

The stained glass window above the altar was beautiful, in glowing colours, and the painting on the altar so pretty in gold and blue..

I thought the detail of the lilies, and the angel were so beautiful

There was also a nice statue of Our Lady..

We sat in the porch on the way out, as there were two swallows nests, and the parents were flying backwards and forwards feeding the young, which kept popping their little fluffy heads up

The wind was distinctly cool as we walked round the church to the grave-yard. You could see for miles down the coast, to other churches in the distance.

Amongst the village grave-stones, are the graves of sailors drowned in accidents off the coast of Happisburgh. The most famous being The Invincible which was wrecked offshore in 1801 with the loss of 400 lives. Many of the dead are buried in a communal grave. After this sobering thought, we went back to the car, and drove on down the old coast road, much prettier than the more modern `quicker` one. It twisted and turned past pretty cottages, and farms, and beside the lovely marshes, till we arrived at Horsey.

Horsey staithe is a lovely little remote spot, set amongst the marshes, where cows stand knee deep in lush grassy meadows, and swallows fly and dip above. The windpump was built in 1912, to pump water out from the surrounding land, so that it could be used for agriculture. It was used till 1943 when it was hit by lightening. It is owned by the National Trust now.

The dyke running beside it leads to Horsey mere, a windswept broad which is only open to the public Spring to Autumn.

Its a delightful relic from the past, and very evocative of the Norfolk landscape.

Behind the windpump was a nice little dyke, edged with irises, and reeds

and also lovely views across the marshes, I could just imagine as it was falling dusk, and a thin mist rising, and the moon sailing overhead...lovely

and perhaps not so lovely, is this wind turbine miles away at Ness Point in Lowestoft, it stands at 413 feet, higher than Norwich Cathedral, and was the first commissioned wind turbine in Suffolk, and the largest in Britain....interesting to see the old and the new together...its named Gulliver apparently! After all this excitement, we went into the little National Trust shop cum tea room, and had large mugs of hot tea, which were very welcome after the cool wind outside, surrounded by the lovely NT gifts, lavender sprays, jars of jam, cookies and many more tempting things.


Ramblings From Spain said...

Yet another evocative and interesting post, full of charm and a sense of history, so glad you all had a fabulous and full day out! x

Linda B said...

What a lovely trip. I feel as if I had been there with you. Thanks for sharing.

Piecefulafternoon said...

Interesting trip - again. It was wonderful. I was thinking about the wind pump - I wonder if the people of that day thought it was about the ugliest thing on the landscape - I guess time puts a different perspective on things - as we now see them as charming.