Silent Sunday….. Revisiting a Favourite Old Derbyshire Church


Holy Trinity Church, Ashford in the Water, Derbyshire

Holy Trinity is a typical old English Village Church.  It has stood in the central position of the village since 1205, and as with so many of our old churches, is reputedly built on a much older site of worship. The Tower is one of the oldest parts of the original church still standing.  Square and stout, which it needs tr be as it houses the 7 Cast Iron Church Bells. 

I did say this was one my favourite village churches, perhaps because of it surprisingly spacious, yet intimate and welcoming interior.



Holy Trinity is one of the few Churches that still display examples of Funeral Crant’s of Maidens Garlands.  Maybe so few exist as they are so fragile.  A wooden hoop decorated with either wild flowers or paper flowers.  Often a Handkerchief  or glove of the ‘maiden’ being remembered were also attached. In Holy Trinity you will find 4 Crant’s hanging  above the north aisle, safe in perspex domes.

Here is a little more information on Crant’s…


One thing is for sure…. when the 7 Bells in the Tower ring out across the village and surrounding countryside,  no one would miss the call ( not such a Silent Sunday then ) !


Relaxing on a Sunday or busy planning the week ahead…..

Please Remember ….

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

17th October

(C) David Oakes 2021


Silent Sunday…… Off to Church


St. Peter’s, The Parish Church of Alstonefield, Staffordshire

High on the edge of the Staffordshire Moorlands, close to the border with Derbyshire, is the village of Alstonefield and its 12 century Parish Church.  Built in the mid 1100’s, like so many of our ancient Churches it stands on a much earlier religious site. Alstonefield was a large and rather prosperous country Parish.  I am told there are over 700 marked graves which span 5 centuries of Alstonefield’s history, an indicator to the onetime size of this Parish… I also understand that there are many more graves lost to time.

For over 1000 years St. Peter’s has served the Parish. During those times it has endured the many perils of Plaque, Religious unrest and Civil Wars, yet it still stands firm.  The dark interior is simple, yet at the same time mysterious, not spooky but with an unreal fee hard to describe but very much felt…. maybe its the spirits of the those gone before. 

Its Grade 1 Listed Building status should ensure that St. Peter’s it will stand for many centuries more.  




We should never ignore our old Churches, they have seen much in their lifetimes and can tell us much about our past.

As always on this Sunday and everyday of the week….

Please Remember ….

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

26th September

(C) David Oakes 2021



Silent Sunday……. Off to Church


Saint John the Baptist, The Parish Church of Cirencester, Gloucestershire


Wherever you are this Sunday…..

Please Remember ….

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

19th September

(C) David Oakes 2021

Silent Sunday…. Another Abbey Re-Visited


Melrose Abbey, Roxburghshire, The Scottish Borders

Reflecting on past trips, Melrose and its Abbey came very much to mind.  I guess I have to own up, I have always found these ruins of a once great Abbey rather special.  Maybe because of its surroundings in the Tweed Valley,  over shadowed by the mellow Laidlaw Hills.  Maybe because it is also part of the busy border town of Melrose itself a town of great character.

Founded in the 11th century this Cistercian Abbey played an important community roll.  Perhaps most importantly in the Famines of the 12th Century when the Abbey fed many thousands of people across the Borders.

As with so many of our Abbeys up and down the UK, we have to blame Henry VIII and his policy of dissolution of the Monasteries in 1538 for their destruction.

Ruins they may be, but what remains is still a lasting testament to the craftsmen who built these massive structures so long ago.  Skilful stone masons and hard labour in a time of limited tools and perhaps equally limited knowledge of building knowhow.

Significantly the importance of Melrose is perhaps underlined, as this was the place selected for the return of Robert The Bruce’s Heart.  Robert The Bruce was King of the Scots from 1306 till his death in1329.  His place in Scotland’s history firmly established when he led the First War of Independence against England.

A simple Plaque marks the spot

If your travels take you to Scotland and you have a chance to explore the Border Region (which is a must) then Melrose should be placed very high on your to do list.  You will not be disappointed and if you do just take the opportunity to stand, pause and imagine.

Wherever you travel near to home or far away once more normal times return…

Please Remember ….

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

29th August

(C) David Oakes 2021