Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Peakirk wander

Not a walk this time - I offered to take some photographs of Peakirk village for my third cousin in NZ, and since I was feeling antsy and over screen-lagged this morning, I drove myself fen-wards.

The route I took was through Helpston, birthplace and burial place of the poet John Clare.  Then I followed the road to Glinton, where his first love, Mary Joyce,  died in a house fire at the age of 41.
Glinton Church
 She is buried near the church porch, under a plum tree, but I couldn't find the stone.

On to Peakirk then.
At one time the place was well-known for its wetland bird centre, but alas, that is all in the past.  It closed in 2001 and the birds redistributed among the other Wildfowl and Wetlands sites.

 The church is interesting - have you ever heard of St Pega? Nor had I  - but she was the sister of St Guthlac of Crowland, and died in 719 AD.  She had a hermitage in the area, and the church is dedicated to her.  The village name means Pega's Church.

It's a little tricky to find, hidden among the trees across the village green, and with no spire, just an open belfry, it's nowhere near as ostentatious as neighbouring All Saints in Glinton.
St Pega's church, Peakirk
Inside are some medieval wall paintings - one series representing the Passion of Christ is thought to be from the early 14th century.

There are two allegorical paintings - The Living and the Dead, and the Gossiping Women. These may be a little later, but are from before the Black Death of 1349.

There's a notice board with the history of the village.

I drove around then, trying to plan a walk, calling at the tiny village of Etton. We did the walk the following day

Enough was enough, so I drove back.  The level crossing was closed, so I had the opportunity to sit quietly for ten minutes, while 5 trains went by.

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