Sunday, 26 February 2017

A walk from Werrington Church

More new territory covered in this walk, with us venturing a few miles north of Launceston. A dry with sunny periods sort of day but, as we were in the aftermath of Storm Doris, the wind was quite strong in unsheltered parts.
Our starting point was Werrington Church and our just-under-five mile route took in fields and lanes in two river valleys, those of the Tamar and one of its tributaries, Tala Water.
Werrington church, dedicated to St Martin of Tours, originally stood within Werrington Park next to the Manor. When the manor was owned by Sir William Morice, much to the anger of the parishioners, he had the church pulled down in 1743 so that he could extend his bowling green! Sir William Morice's act of demolishing the Medieval church and the careless way he transferred the churchyard remains considerably outraged the parishioners. According to local tradition, a curse was placed on the Morice family, Sir William died childless and within 30 years the estate has passed from the family.
A tiled panel on the wall of the lodge to Werrington Park. I don't think it signifies anything other than being attractively decorative.
A plaque that piqued our interest. Keynotes Education? Turns out that it was, quite simply, the business address of an educational supplies firm. But what a nice place to work.
Another old chapel by the wayside. This one was the Bridgetown, Werrington Bible Christian Chapel. It's been closed for a while but it didn't look as if it's been converted into a dwelling (yet). A few more years and the contribution that chapels like this made to their local communities will be lost.
Druxton Bridge over the Tamar. Mediaeval with some later additions. Apparently it was sketched, but not painted, by Turner. I don't think that the tree is going to get under that arch without a struggle.
Wild daffodils on the river bank. There were lots of these coming into bloom at various places throughout our walk. These, combined with the snowdrops, make walking t this time of year very pleasant. What's next to look forward to? Bluebells at the end of April.
A Silver Birch growing out of a dead Hazel stump. It's interesting what the drive for survival produces.
I just can't walk past an old oak tree without wanting to tie a yellow ribbon around it.
Across the way from a trudge across a waterlogged field was Polapit Tamar House. A Grade II Listed Building, now converted into high-end apartments, it was built in 1866 for the Coode family who owned lots of the land hereabouts. The original structure (right side, in the picture) dates from 1866 and the remainder (left side) from 1903. It is said that Mr R C Coode commissioned the extension for his daughter's twenty-first birthday; its principal room is an oak-panelled ballroom with ornately carved chimney-pieces. Try as I might, I can't find out the origin of the name Polapit, although centuries ago it was known as Poolapit.
Tala Water - Bude Canal aqueduct - stonework detail
After a little scrambling from the road, I managed to get this shot of part of the Bude Canal as it was taken over Tala Water in an aquaduct. The canal was built in the 1820s to carry sea sand and lime inland for use as fertiliser and the original canal system spanned 35 miles reaching just outside of Launceston. The canal closed in 1901 when competition from the railway, bringing cheap manufactured fertilisers, made it uneconomical. Today, roughly 2 miles of canal remain filled with water and make a very nice waterside walk from the centre of Bude. At this part of its route, it is reduced to a barely discernible indentation.
A pleasant and relatively benign landscape looking south east towards Dartmoor. Jump back two centuries and the scene would have been much more animated. In the foreground the Bude Canal would be busy with traffic and, in the distance, the mines of Dartmoor would be producing a pall of steam and smoke. And let's not forget that, at that time, farming was very labour intensive so there would be many people, and animals, working in the fields.
St Martin of Tours taking a tour around the outside of the church?
A lofty but rather bare interior. There are, however, some very interesting stained glass windows but the photographs I took didn't come out well.
A fairly typical but rather featureless Victorian barrel ceiling. Nice carpentry but a few carvings would make it more interesting.

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