Its Saturday…. so lets have another Virtual Day Out

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Sunderland Point, River Lune, Morecambe Bay, Lancashire

On the northern shoreline of the River Lune Estuary, where it exits into the wider Morecambe Bay, are these Salt Marches.  At high tide they flood right up to the houses you can see above.  This twice daily phenomena of tides make Sunderland Point rather unique.  It is part of the mainland, not an island, but only assessable between tides.

To be strictly accurate, Sunderland Point is actually the tip of this peninsula.  It is the village that holds the name of Sunderland.

I love this location both for its history and it natural beauty.  Sea Birds,  including lots of Waders feed on these marshes.  As each tide arrives it drives the birds towards you, a great experience to witness.

But let me explain the history.  Sunderland was developed into a coastal Port for the City of Lancaster which lies upstream on the Lune.  It was thought that this would avoid ships having to navigate the tidal river, so speeding up turn round..  Here they could be beached and loaded or unloaded directly into carts at low water.  The Harbour as such was built in the early 1700’s.  Fortune didn’t favour Sunderland and before the end of that century the port  was largely redundant.

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Silent Sunday…… Two Churches in one small Location

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Saint Peters Church, Heysham Head, Morecambe Bay, Lancashire

Heysham is a rather quaint old village, on a headland, that juts out into Morecambe Bay.  On the top of that headland is this 11th century Church of Saint Peters.  A distinctive Bellcote tower with two bells, an equally distinctive Anglo Saxon Doorway and the solid Stone Slate roof create a solid character. The origins are indeed 11th century, but study the building outline you can soon detect the additions and extensions added over the following centuries.

Saint Peters is still  Hesham’s  Village Church….. but only a few yards behind the Church, and even more prominently locate on this exposed headland, are further signs of  even earlier religious occupancy.

The most dramatic are the tombs (or graves) that have been carved out of a sold rock.  Known at times as the Martyrs Graves and by others as the Pilgrims Graves, they lie on the highest point of Heysham Head.  Exposed to all the wind and weather that Morecambe Bay can deliver from across the Irish Sea…..possibly the same winds the assisted Saint Patrick on his journey from Ireland.

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Dating these stone hewn graves is problematic.  Let me try to explain.  These graves rest beneath the shadows of Saint Patricks Chapel.  Possibly built in either the 6th or 7th century and attributed to Saint Patrick.  However,  historical records still find it hard to be definitive on the exact date of Saint Patricks death, a time arround 490ad is very likely. Whatever that date is, it is still 100 or more years before the Chapel was built.

Saint Patricks Chapel has not worn as well as Saint Peters.  The chapel is now a ruin… all be it, ruin with a great outlook.

As with most religious locations across the UK, they are usually on the sites of much earlier places of worship or spiritual importance.  Various archaeological digs have taken place to try and discover the heritage of this Heysham location. Excavations arround the Stone Tombs did discover artifacts and tools, these would indicate that this site was occupied over 12,000 years ago.

One thing is for sure, no matter the legends and mysteries, these twin Religious ‘settlements’ capture the imagination of any visitor, and with a bonus view over Morecambe Bay, that must lift the spirits,

Please Remember to ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

21st February

(C) David Oakes 2021

Wave like… just like the Ocean

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The Saltmarsh at Stanah, on the Wyre Estuary, Lancashire

I have been accused of wasting time on many an occasion…usually when I am lost in thought, just gazing at something or even nothing.  Sometimes, it is because that something, is rather mesmerising (and some including me say soothing). As autumn colours the reeds and grasses over the Saltmarsh, they move and sway just like the ever-changing waves on the sea.  Rise and fall and a flow just like an incoming tide. Just like the oceans the wind dictates the speed and drama.

So why not let nature sooth away some of today’s wows…

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

22nd September

(C) David Oakes 2020

 

…….. Up the Creek

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Dawn…. the high spring tide creeps soundlessly, over the marshes and up each narrow creek here at Skippool Creek on the River Wyre Estuary, Lancashire.

Peaceful…and if I recall correctly, only the call of the Curlew echoing across the water.

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

22nd August

(C) David Oakes 2020