Saturday, 6 June 2009

We`re back....

Hello..we`re back again from visiting my Mother in East Anglia. It was lovely to see her, and visit some of her favourite haunts and ours too. The weather was lovely sunny and hot, so we were blessed. The first suprise we had when we arrived and opened the gate, was this little head popping up from the huge fir in the middle of the grass, a mother pheasant and her ten newly hatched chicks!

She`d been to the garden before, probably from the woods and fields across the road from Mums house, and fed at the bird table, and obviously thought it would make an ideal nursery for her little ones. They were so gorgeous, running around the garden, and scaling the huge heathers in the borders. We saw them for two days, then they all disappeared, so we think she took them back to the woods to a more natural environment, but we were so pleased to have had the chance to watch them.

Mum lives just outside Beccles which is a lovely little market town, set beside the river Waveney. It was granted a charter by Elizabeth I in 1584, and is depicted in the town sign.
It has a beautiful church, St. Michaels which has a seperate bell tower that soars to nearly one hundred feet, and contains a peal of bells. It was built away from the main body of the church, as it would be to heavy to be so near the cliff edge.

The south porch is huge, and very elaborately carved.

I thought the gardens around the old gravestones were very pretty, with the peach roses and poppies against the grey of the stones.

In this part of the country, the churches are mostly left open for everyone to enjoy them, which I think they should be, but of course you can understand why some are locked up.

The church is huge inside and has a lovely carved rood screen

and a beautiful stained glass window. The mother of Admiral Nelson, Catherine Suckling married the Reverend Edmund Nelson in this church.

The sucklings lived in Roos Hall, which is in Beccles, its supposed to be the most haunted mansion in the country. A phantom coach and four horses, driven by a headless man, is said to clatter through the garden on Christmas eve. There are said to be strange markings inside known as the `Devils footprint`, and the pale face of a small girl is said to have been seen peering from the topmost gable window. In the grounds there is an oak tree that stands on the site of a gibbet where many local criminals were once hanged, and is now haunted by the souls of the victims. Also, the apparition of a white lady is supposed to circle the oak at night. It is said that walking round the tree six times will conjure up the devil....lots of exciting tales then, but something that is certainly factual is that Elizabeth I stayed here when she visited Beccles to present the town charter. And that my grandfather worked as a gardener here for some time.

Having looked round the church, we walked down Northgate, a lovely street that leads down to the river and out of town. It is lined with beautiful Georgian houses, very elegant, with lovely secret gardens you can glimpse over walls, and through gates.

Some have twisty chimneys, and interesting little windows..

some have the river Waveney at the end of their gardens

and others have a distinct `dutch` feel to them.

and this one was the first home Pete and I shared together with my daughter Rachel. It was divided into two flats, and we had the top one, and the attic window at the top was Rachels bedroom, with lovely views down to the river. In the summer the swifts would nest under the eaves, and would `scream` up and down the street, I think thats why we love them so much.

We walked to the bus station square, which is lined with lovely old beamed houses, painted pretty suffolk pink, and hung with pretty hanging baskets, and took the windy little road to Puddingmoor..

This road runs nearer the river, and the houses are just as pretty, I love this grey and white flint cottage, the garden was a riot of cottagey flowers, and we were lucky enough to see a painted lady butterfly, theres been reports in the papers that theres been a huge migration of them.

These poppies were beautiful too, it was so nice to wander around idly in the sunshine,

We walked down to the quay, where the willows draped over the water, and the ducks quacked

And lots of little boats were tied up...theres several boatyards here, where people hire boats for their holidays

We walked around the green, where this splendid chap was `cock a doodle doing`...

then the girls turned up....we also saw a pair of Egyptian geese with their five chicks, but I didnt manage to get a photo of those. It was a good start to our holiday.


Piecefulafternoon said...

Another lovely walk - another lovely tale. And those pheasant babies - so cute how they like to dig into their mother's feathers and hide. My favorite of the houses was the flint cottage - though all the others were wonderful too.

pwl said...

Thank you so much for the lovely stories and pictures. I've only been to England once, and we did very little sightseeing. We've promised ourselves that next time we'll rent a car and tour small villages so that I can look at the churches. I'm especially hoping to go to Wiltshire - near Minety, and perhaps Surrey. If I'm lucky, I may even meet some distant cousins. :)

Pat said...

On my only trip to England, I was only in I truly enjoyed this photo-journey of a nice village there. Thanks for taking the time to post this.

Ramblings From Spain said...

What a lovely post, and full of the best bits of Beccles! It brought back a lot of memories, and including so many things that I never get time to do when I visit... I look forward to more! x

Dena said...

Thank you for the wonderful, pieceful walk today. I always look forward to your next venture. I loved the baby pheasants. We have a male pheasant who adopted our neighborhood. His colorings is absolutely breathtaking.