Why did I need to go on this hike today? Well for one thing, I told them I was going. I am a person of my word. If I say something I mean it and if I tell you I will do something I will. For another thing, the sun was actually shining. In case you do not know or cannot appreciate the significance of this I will explain. I live in the UK. This means that the sun NEVER shines. Ok, to be fair it shines three days a year. But this is simply not enough days in the year for me to fulfill my sunlight quota and replenish my vitamin D levels. I was born on the West coast of the USA and I need my sunlight. Needless to say I needed to savor the rare and delicious sunshine on this fine day.
|The Hole in the Wall: Pubmaster. I just loved this lantern.|
Reluctantly and determinedly I got up way too early and got ready to go. We were going to Hebden Bridge a cute little town on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales. The drive was leisurely as we wound our way past idyllic landscapes made even more perfect by the delicious sunlight pouring down on them. Hebden Bridge was delightful. We had a nice lunch outside in a park. We strolled along the river. We admired architectural details, ducks, and dogs.
|Tiny hillside cemetery on the way up the hill.|
We climbed a small hill to go explore the little town of Heptonstall. It was adorable as well. It had its own tiny museum, the place where Sylvia Plath was buried, and a fascinating church ruin. The old medieval church ruin sits majestically at the top of the hill nestled amongst the gravestones of the long dead. Just at the other end of the small cemetery in the same churchyard is the newer larger church that is still used. The ruined medieval church began its life in the 1200's and its stones bore witness to the many changes it saw during its lifetime. The roofline was clearly altered, raised to match the new nave that was added. The arches and windows were updated to be a bit more gothic. Many churches have changes made to them through the centuries, but what made this church unique was the fact that it had two naves side by side. When the town was prospering and growing in the sixteenth century the church was made larger to accommodate the growth of the town. The walls and aisles were not just widened, an entire second nave with a new north aisle was added alongside the first. I have never seen a church with two naves like that before. It was fascinating to think about and gorgeous to behold.
|The flowers growing among the stones mark the division between the two naves of this church.|
In case this was not evidence enough for you that this was a fascinating church I have another oddity for you. The south entryway into the church seems to have been roofed with old gravestones. I'm not sure at what point in history that decision was made, but I suppose they were a handy material as there are lots of them lying about the church yard.
|Note the writing on the gravestones now acting as roofing material.|
In the newer cemetery we did not find Sylvia Plath's grave. The weeds were quite troublesome to wade through in much of the cemetery and we eventually gave up our search. I did see a headstone with RIP on it though. I don't believe I've ever seen one outside of cartoons.
We walked back down the hill climbing on a few nice boulders on the way down. We sang some songs about rocks, mostly meant to be about rock and roll, but we giggled anyway. Then we ended our day back along the river in Hebden Bridge eating ice cream. It was a lovely way to soak up some sunshine. If my luck holds I may read in the sunshine tomorrow.
|Sunset over Leeds|