Tuesday 6 April 2010

St Werburgh

A few weeks ago, I blogged about the Fauld Explosion
http://h-little-sealed-packages.blogspot.com/2010/03/strictly-no-admittance.html . The site of that explosion was outside the village of Hanbury, just over the border from Derbyshire into Staffordshire.

Hanbury is a small village about 7 miles from the town of Burton on Trent. The village church is named after St Werburgh, a Saxon princess who, in 1680, became abbess of the nunnery founded here by her brother Ethelred, King of Mercia. Werburgh died in 706 AD and was buried in the village; as a result of which, the church became a place of pilgrimage. Unfortunately, in the early 900s, when the Vikings became a threat, her remains were moved out of the village to Chester.

The church itself was largely rebuilt in the 14th century, had clerestories added in the 15th century and then the tower and south aisle were rebuilt in 1842. 

For those who, like me, haven't the foggiest what a clerestory is:

clere·sto·ry also clear·sto·ry (klîrstôr, -str)

1. The upper part of the nave, transepts, and choir of a church, containing windows.
(Free Online Dictionary)

...and now I know what they are, I can spot them quite easily in the photo.

The outside of the church is certainly impressive and I would have liked the chance to look around inside, but the memory which will stick with me most, is from walking towards the small graveyard at the rear. To the front, the church is quite enclosed, with a lane running by and cottages alongside, so as we walked round the side of the building, the view took me completely by surprise. The village is elevated, overlooking the Dove valley, and the church is perfectly placed to take advantage of that. It wasn't clear enough to make a good photograph, but we could see for miles.

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