Late this morning, I drove up the Avon Valley to the pretty riverside town of Fordingbridge. I arrived twenty minutes early for my appointment, so I took the time to turn down a road that was new to me, just to see what was there. Church Street. A road of old and interesting houses, a little bridge over a stream rushing eastwards towards the river and then, in front of me, the beautiful old Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin. I parked and walked about for a few minutes. I soon had to go on my way, but was pleased to have made the diversion. A corner of this lovely town that needs time to explore another day.
Looking towards the little bridge and the centre of the town
This fine house was the former vicarage of the church, which is just across the road.
A memorial cross, dedicated to a former vicar who served the parish for thirty years, stands outside the main door to the church.
There were a few tombs left standing in the churchyard, but many of the original slab gravestones had been removed from their grass graves and lined up along the wall of the graveyard. I expect there was a good reason for this, but the result looked rather sad.
The Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin was originally built in 1086, ten years after the Norman Conquest. The Normans updated the church in 1150. The tower was built later and still houses eight bells plus the Sanctus bell, but the church has apparently changed little since the sixteenth century. There was a renovation by the Victorians in 1840, when the interior was changed. The flintwork of the church exterior would have originally been covered with a layer of plaster.
Living in the beautiful New Forest, I am a married late-fifties woman, a recently retired teacher and the mother of grown up boys who have flown the nest. I share my days with cats, dogs, ponies and the wildlife all around us. Starting this blog is a chance to explore woods, fields, lanes and heath with my camera. A chance to share the simple pleasures of my country life.