Little Stretton

The warmest day so far. A tiny church dating from Norman times. A churchyard full of celandines. The occupier of the house next to the church brought us cups of tea and showed us inside the building too. Then he told us the tale of the green bicycle murder which took place in 1919.


Another church – Shangton, Leics

Shangton is now a tiny village, and was depopulated in the seventeenth century,  probably at the time of the Enclosure Acts. The church is visible from the quiet road leading to the village.

IMG_2913The churchyard is pretty small, and it’s not easy to get a wide view. This is a photo taken from the vantage point where I did the sketch. After about an hour we were feeling the effects of the chilly breeze, but were able to find a sheltered spot for coffee – and the sun came out as well.


I took the sketch home and finished it with the help of the photograph, and the black and white version below.Version 2



Clumber Park

We met my son, Dan, and his two kids for a day at Clumber Park, in Nottinghamshire. The drive up was one of the wettest ever, torrential rain and loads of surface water on the A1. The Park is a huge estate owned by the National trust, once the seat of the Dukes of Newcastle, before the mansion was demolished in the 1930s. There’s loads of space to walk or cycle, as well as a lake and the longest double avenue of lime trees (tilia) in Europe.

The church of St Mary the Virgin is a rather blocky Gothic Revival chapel, dating from 1886.  Interior of Red Runcorn stone, exterior Steetly ashlar with Red Runcorn dressings. I had to look that up!  We took the opportunity to sketch the church after Dan had left.



My sketch took 30 mins and I used 5B pencil

A portrait and a church

The portrait of RLS is copied from a print of a painting by Girolamo Nerli (1860-1926) which is in the National Gallery of Scotland.




The church is in a village called Wadenhoe, by the river Nene. It dates back to the thirteenth century and some parts are of Saxon origin.  The church is situated on a hill above the village and river.



I like drawing churches because of the interesting shapes and irregularities, and because churchyards are usually very peaceful places to sit.