East Carlton: being thankful

Bringhurst is a nothing more than a hamlet really, although this beautiful carved sign above a cottage doorway did catch my eye. Who were RS and ES? This way of celebrating the inhabitants of the house seems so much nicer than, for example, a craze in (probably) the 1970s of combining two christian names to form a word, so Duncan and Margaret would  become ‘Dunmar’.

01 above door

Research prior to visiting  East Carlton had highlighted it as a Thankful village – a term I was previously unfamiliar with. It refers to villages where all those who went to war returned, therefore the village has no war memorial; however I was keen to see inside the 1778 church as I had read about a plaque that celebrated the seven men who achieved this feat. Despite the fact it’s Sunday – the church is locked. A disappointing visit and it has to be said that I am finding the rural nature of some of these sites rather limiting, particularly the small parishes.


I do discover later that East Carlton was once the home of the Palmer family of Huntley and Palmer biscuit fame.



  1. Hi P

    Really interesting – I’ve never heard of that phrase either – how interesting. I wonder how many ‘thankful villages’ are on the route? Reminds me of your lost language project ……


  2. Hi T – depending on which source you read, there are only between 31 and 51 thankful villages in total, so it is probably unlikely that there is another on our route. I suppose if the village was relatively small, as was this case, then there was more chance of a small handful of men going to war and hopefully all returning. I like the phrase a lot.


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