Monday, 20 February 2012

Stretched Shadows at Keswick Church

I had seen the slender round tower of All Saints church, Keswick, from a distance on a number of occasions, and had often wistfully remarked, "we must go and see that sometime". Well, yesterday that time arrived. And, oh, what a beauty awaited us! First, the long path and a clear blue winter sky; the tower glimpsed through the trees. As we drew closer, I could see a ruined chancel and a strangely truncated Victorian nave. Bounded by a spindly iron railing fence, the low light stretched the shadows, as the church appeared in full view

I sit here now, reading my Mortlock & Roberts ('The Popular Guide to Norfolk Churches. No.2 Norwich, Central and South Norfolk', 1985), and read about how Sir Henry Hobart ordered this diminutive church to be robbed out for materials to rebuild nearby Intwood. 

In 1893, John Henry Gurney paid for the site to be restored, and a private mortuary chapel was built. For me, another element of significance was added to this poignant and enchanting site when I realised that the eye-catching monument at my feet was a memorial to my friend's mum.

This is a place I want to return to; a place I need to see in different seasons and lights. You don't have to be spiritually enlightened to feel that this is a special place.

~ Munro Tweeder-Harris, Esq. ~


  1. When I was 12 or 13 a social studies teacher had us draw out the footprint of several great churches in England. That, together with the history we learned of them, made me want to look at old buildings and churches whenever I can find them.

    1. Dear Joanne,

      You were very fortunate to have an inspirational teacher. Every church is unique, and in some way, wonderful. Thanks for commenting here.