Stoke Albany: a revelation

 

This is the last village in the northern section of the walk (going from the north to south). At this point it was becoming quite difficult to differentiate between each village, they are all stone built, attractive and well-kept. Yet again the church becomes the main focus. The stone frontage features a sundial and quite a lot of historic, stone carved ‘graffiti’, although much of it is hard to deciper. Fortunately unlike East Carlton the church was open and I was able to photograph the ancient wooden plaque above the vestibule door that asks for men to scrape their shoes, and women to removes their stays.

Inside, the rows of pews all feature individual needlepoint kneelers (hassocks) presumably hand sewn by the people of the parish; it would be interesting to find out who instigated this and how the patterns were selected.

Having struggled to find points of interest or connections between each location, there is a realisation that one common thread that does unite each village is the sense of community – whether to celebrate their war dead, sewing for a common cause or the trust in the free range egg honesty box!

On further reflection – I’m aware that I have photographed lots of references to individuals, either on head stones, war memorials or plaques, and my additional research into specific villages has also started to highlight individuals; this could be a way forward – to celebrate ordinary people and their connection with the environment. Perhaps the piece could also evoke or include some sense of community spirit?

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