Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Archery laws and Gray's Elegy.

Dentist day and hooray, no major restructuring needed. Just one filling and the usual shot blasting and industrial polishing.
As we had a bit of time between our appointments we went for a wander.

The parish church, dedicated to St. Lawrence. Isn't he the patron saint of North American rivers? Unfortunately it was locked but we did find some graffiti by the south door.

No dates but I wonder what significance the pattern of holes held. But what there was, in abundance, was

these grooves, carved in the stone by the door, some had been filled in with modern cement, presumably to inhibit corrosion. They are not unusual on old churches but I don't recall ever having seen so many.

They were caused by medieval archers sharpening their arrowheads as they waited to practice on the butts, archery practice being compulsory, being made so by
"Anno tertio HENRICI VIII. (AD 1511-12).
STATUTES made in the Parliament begun and holden at Westminster on Wednesday the Fourth Day of February, in the Third Year of the Reign of King HENRY VIII. CAP. III An act concerning Shooting in Long Bows."
Lots more details at this link.
In the churchyard the bulbs are already pushing up through last years dead leaves.


Beneath those rugged elms, that yew tree's shade,
Where heaves the turf in many a mould'ring heap,
Each in his narrow cell for ever laid,
The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.

From Gray's Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard.

I thought that perhaps a raven perched on the tombstone would have been more appropriate but had to make do with an old wood pigeon. At least the jackdaws were squabbling over nesting rights on the church tower.

Watch this space............

1 comment:

Geoff and Mags said...

Hi Both
Good to see you yesterday, we'll have to have a rain check on sharing that drink, we decided to push on to the other side of Gnosall as the weather wasn't too bad. Keep well, see you again soon.