Thursday, November 18, 2010

All Saints Church, Breadsall, UK

Today I walked 6.5 miles, from Derby to Darley Abbey and then on to All Saints' Church in Breadsall. The south side is the oldest part of the church, some stones dating from around A.D. 1150. The porch itself dates from around 1250. A Saxon church may have stood here earlier, around the year A.D. 1002. In 1914, women suffragettes set fire to the church, destroying the roof and interior woodwork, in protest over the lack of women's rights to vote.

The rain managed to hold off while I was out today, though the grey cloud cover cast a dreary pall over everything I tried to photograph. I stopped at Darley Park for tea on the way back, then went back to the hotel for a much needed nap.
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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A rainy walk to Markeaton Park

I took a five-mile walk this morning. My first stop was the Orangery at Markeaton Park.

It was closed for the season, but a friendly couple told me about a tearoom just beyond the park at the Home Farm.

A cottage near the park entrance:

Around the corner was the Home Farm, where you can order your Christmas Turkey or Goose.

The rain was coming down hard at this point, and I was cold, so I was glad to find the tea room. Inside a nice fire was going in the stove.

I had a pot of tea and a scone with jam and butter.

I then headed back to town and bought some books at Waterstones, and an egg and cress sandwich and some crisps at Tescos.

Back in the room I peeled off my wet layers -- jacket, down vest, and sweater--and hung them up to dry, and polished off my lunch. Now I'm about ready to bury myself under four layers of blankets and look at the books.

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Christmas Pies

Mince pies from the Derby Market Hall, and a pot of tea. I hope Dan gets here soon! I'm not sure how much longer I can hold out, just looking at them!
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Early morning delivery at The Seven Stars

Early morning delivery at the Seven Stars Pub, Darley Abbey. It was a real pea-souper fog this morning, when I went out to the Welsh Learner's Circle meeting, and the thick fog continued well into the afternoon. Made me glad for any chance to be inside and warm today--learning Welsh in the Quaker Meeting House, having a coronation chicken sandwich in the tea room across from Derby Cathedral, shopping for books in Waterstones and WH Smith, and buying yarn in the Market.
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Monday, November 15, 2010

A walk to Darley Abbey, Nutwood Nature Preserve and Derby

I'm in Derby, England for a week. Today I walked about 7 miles to Darley Abbey, Nutwood Nature Preserve, then to the Derby Market place, then back to our hotel.

I began the walk by crossing the footbridge to St. Mary's Chuch and walking down to the River Derwent.

The footpath followed the river alongside playing fields.

It eventually led to a country lane alongside a field.

I briefly wondered if the footpath to Nutwood Nature Preserve went across this field (note the bull!) Thankfully, it did not, especially after seeing this story in the local news yesterday.

Instead, the lane took me into Darley Abbey Mills, then over the toll bridge by the weir. A weir is a low dam used to create a millpond, which then provides water-power to nearby mills.

At the other end of the bridge was the footpath to Nutwood Nature Preserve, located on a bend of the river. Across the fields you can see the steeple of All Saints Church in Breadsall, a parish which is mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1087.

I walked into the village of Darley Abbey, then up through Darley Park, formerly the grounds of an Augustinian Abbey in A.D. 1146, and later, in 1727, the home of William Evans , builder of the cotton mills at Darley Abbey.

The only remaining parts of Darley Hall (built in 1727) are the stables and terraced garden, now a tea room. I stopped to warm up with a cup of tea. The weather was sunny and warm enough to sit outside.

I then walked into the village, past the Abbey Pub, the only remaining building of the medieval abbey. This building may have been a guest house for travelers and pilgrims during the 13th century.

The now abandonned cotton mills have quite a few broken windows, no doubt prompting this sign on one of the buildings in the village.

I continued up to St. Matthew's Church on the hill. This is where the Evans family and mill workers attended church.

On my return, I passed St. Matthew's School. The headmaster's residence was the section on the left, and the headmistress's residence was the section on the right. The classrooms were in between.

The three story cottages below were built by the Evans to provide homes for the mill workers.

The return path to Derby went along the river, under St. Alkmund's Way and several other bridges.

In the city centre, I passed Royal Oak House and went up into the Market,

and found a craft store where I could buy more watercolor paint.

By that time, I was pretty weary, so headed back to wait for Dan. It gets so dark early here -- the sun sets around 4 p.m.

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Sunday, November 07, 2010


Out on a walk yesterday, and the morning snow was just beginning to melt and drip from branches. These droplets couldn't decide whether to be ice or snow at that particular moment.
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