The Essex Churches Site

 

THE ESSEX CHURCHES SITE

home - index - latest - e-mail
links - small print - about this site
Norfolk churches - Suffolk churches
www.simonknott.co.uk

St Mary, Aythorpe Roding

Aythorpe Roding

 

Click on the 'play' symbol in the second image to see all my photographs of this church as a slide show, then click on any image in the slideshow to see it large in a new page.

Alternatively, if you don't have flash enabled, you can go straight to the set for this church on flickr.

I veered eastwards from the forest entering the emptiest and most remote area of Essex. No villages for miles, just hamlets, fields and the occasional farmstead. The road to my next target would have meant a five mile ride, but I spotted a half-mile bridleway, of which there are lots in this part of Essex. It would cut three miles off the journey, so I took it. It was a farm track, deeply rutted, and it took me down the side of a barley field to copses in the distance, the hysterical yellow of acres of rapeseed in full flower beyond. At first, it was just about cycleable, but then it wasn't, so I pushed my bike for about ten minutes or so. As I approached the country lane at the far end of it I thought there was something vaguely familiar about it, and then I realised what it was. Ah, I thought to myself, I'm entering East Anglia again. Now I was on hedged lanes through rolling fields of barley and rapeseed - profound green, intense yellow. The road climbed, and over the rise I saw a spire. I headed down a track for half a mile or so and came to one of the most remote churches in Essex, St Mary, Aythorpe Roding.

It was locked, there was no keyholder notice. An inexpressibly lonely place. The church itself is a poor little thing, its wooden spire shot through with woodpecker holes. There were no notices of service in the porch, and so I expect it has fallen into disuse. Redundancy beckons, and perhaps it will be left to go quietly back to nature. It might just as well be left open, in which case it would at least serve some purpose to passing walkers, pilgrims and strangers. And yet there was something very special about just standing in the churchyard, in the silence. It felt like nothing had happened here for a very long time.

Simon Knott, May 2014

               

 

Amazon commission helps cover the running costs of this site

 

home - index - latest - e-mail
links - small print - about this site
Norfolk churches - Suffolk churches
www.simonknott.co.uk