We went in search of Snowdrops at Baddesley Clinton last Thursday afternoon. It was dull and gloomy but at least the drizzle which had started on the journey stopped as we pulled into the car park.
I spotted a lovely legend on the Baddesley Clinton website that tells of the snowdrop becoming the symbol of hope when Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden. Eve was giving up hope that the freezing cold weather would ever cease when an angel appeared and changed some of the snowflakes into snowdrops. Each year the appearance of snowdrop flowers provides proof that even the coldest of winters will eventually end as Spring arrives.
Snowdrops are also know as Fair Maids of February, Snow Piercers, Candlemas Bells and Purification Flowers. It is thought that they may have been brought to Britain in the 15th century by monks as they are often found in churchyards and monastery gardens. They were planted in the latter to provide flowers for Candlemas Day.
".... Brother, joy to you!
I've brought more snowdrops; only just a few,
Cheerful and hopeful in the frosty dew
And for the pale sun's sake."
From "The Months" by Christina Rossetti
"Thou first-born of the year's delight
Pride of the dewy glad,
In vernal green, and virgin white
Thy vestal robes array'd"
First view of the Church of St Michael and Snowdrops
St Michael's dates back to the 13th century
The whole of the churchyard was covered in a wonderful snowdrop display.
A few Primroses and Daffodils were also starting to flower.
Lichens on twigs and gravestones. I think the orange coloured one is Xanthoria parietina
We had a quick look round the church. Some of you may remember me mentioning before Nicholas Brome who murdered two people during his life time - his father's murderer and then in 1485 he killed the Parish priest in a fit of rage when he caught him "chockinge his wife under ye chinne". Throughout his life he paid various penances for these murders and he is buried standing up under the entrance at the church South door so that visitors to the church will walk on his head when entering.
This Altar Tomb contains the remains of Sir Edward Ferrers (1465-1535) and his wife Constance (daughter of the above-mentioned Nicholas Brome)
The East Window
Ancient gravestones covered in moss
Sheep in the parkland - no lambs yet!
We popped into Baddesley Clinton briefly to look round the walled garden. Baddesley is a medieval moated manor house which was home to the Ferrers family for 500 years. I must go into the house on one of my visits this year as it has a wonderful history and contains several priest-holes.
Hellebores and Lungwort on sale in the shop and
the flowers on this white Scilla were covered in honey bees.
There were some interesting books displayed in the second-hand bookshop but the presence of B meant I resisted the temptation to browse and buy!
A lovely selection of miniature irises flowering in one of the borders.
No cake this time!
Just as we reached the car it started to rain again so we were lucky that it held off whilst we walked round.
Male Eastern black redstart looking for a mate
5 hours ago