CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE. THOSE IN GROUPS ACCESS GALLERIES THAT CAN BE VIEWED FULL SIZE.
Recently, Barry and Owen Chislett-Bruce, of New Forest Chimney Sweeping & Repairs, cleaned out our chimney and removed the wood-burning stove in order for us to enjoy an open fire next time we run out of oil. Barry recommended Richard at Gordleton Barn to supply the iron basket to hold logs in the grate.
Today we visited
Unfortunately Richard did not have one small enough for us, but we enjoyed browsing in the barn, which contained
mostly wooden artefacts
and one large wood burning stove standing beside a pair of brass scales.
Lampshades were conveniently placed throughout
this interior reeking history.
Fascinating doors, like this one that would no doubt interest Robin Cochran who makes excellent contributions to Norm Frampton’s project, are propped up around the place.
Quirky objects like this mask, possibly an off-colour Green Man,
and a sculpted face perhaps inspired by Salvador Dali, are found in unexpected corners.
Outside in the yard stand various items that may be considered enhanced by a patina of rust.
As it was a fine, warm, day, we continued on a drive through the forest.
Such was the overnight rain that it has added to the ponies’ drinking supply, being particularly helpful in lying in roadside gullies so that, like a human drinking wine with a meal, they can slurp up the water which then drips from their mouths and trails back into the ditches to provide another sup.
The drinker above stopped to observe the photographer for a moment,
while another watched from the other side of the road.
Moving on, we discovered
This church was built in the early 11th century, but there is some speculation that it is much older because three Sarsen stones have been discovered in the foundations. Neither, situated as it is on the top of a hill, is it very near Boldre. The parking referred to is nearer than the parishioners’ one further along the road.
The building itself, entered through a kissing gate,
is surrounded by an extensive graveyard,
most of the older stones of which are so weathered as to be barely legible.
An exception is this memorial to an 18th century vicar and his wife, who, like everyone else, needed to be pardoned for their repented transgressions.
Jackie was particularly intrigued by the name Jules Joseph Hyacinth Duplessis and the less exotic, to modern ears, of his wife Louise Fanny. They warranted a marble column which bears a legible inscription. The other two sides name their one year old daughter; and a woman whom we assumed to be Jules’s first wife.
Most graves were marked with stones, but Mary was graced with a stone casket.
Some of the windows were particularly interesting. Through one could be seen the light pattern on an inside wall from a smaller light.
On enlarging the photograph, it should be simple enough for those comfortable with mirror writing to decipher the inscription on this beautifully etched glass. The second picture shows an older window on the other side of the church. I longed to enter the place of worship to gaze at this work of art from inside. Unfortunately, like so many of our churches today, it was firmly locked, denying entrance to nice people like us as well as nefarious thieves and vandals.
A wild garden has been planted around one area. We could see snowdrops just beginning to break the soil, and vowed to return to see this a little later.
No trip through the forest would be complete without at least one animal blocking the road. This duty was taken on by a drowsy donkey at East Boldre.
This evening we dined on smoked haddock, fishcakes, sautéed potatoes, leeks, and peppers, and Jackie’s trademark piquant cauliflower cheese. She drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Bordeaux.