My country road, Linda's challenge
The other day I read a hub from Billybuc that was absolutely awesome. It was his response to a challenge laid down by 'Carb Diva' and as i read it something in me just 'clicked' and I knew I had to put something together.
The challenge was really quite simple
“Your prompt is this photograph of a country road. Perhaps you have walked this path many times; do the colors, sights, and sounds of the autumn woods bring you peace and contentment? Or, is this a place you have never been before; what lies beyond the bend in the road?
This was copied and pasted from another hub. (if it's not allowed then please let me know and I'll take it down)
There was a saying in old Europe that all roads lead to Rome. every path is a different path to the same destination.
But sometimes it's the walk itself that is the destination! The walk down a country lane that takes in the beauty of nature in all it's splendor. Spring with the first buds on the trees as they come back to life after the long sleep of the winter.
In England there can still be frost on the ground in the mornings and a crisp feel in the air as the day slowly warms up in the early spring. and as i write it all takes me back to one of my favorite walks that even now, thirty years later I still remember walking that country lane with affection.
It was like stepping into a time machine and re-emerging in different periods in England's history suddenly the past comes alive and you're transported back to a different time with different values and outlook on life.
At the start of my favorite walk is the small village of Mattersey in Nottinghamshire. Nestled between the Derbyshire dales and the Yorkshire moors Mattersey with a population of 700 (in 2000) it's the kind of village that has a village church (pictured) pub and a post office. So far off the beaten track that if you get four cars at the junction in the village it's a traffic jam that will be talked about in the pub for days!
It's said the John Wesley would ride up and down the country reading his Bible on his horse and would stop to preach at every opportunity. As I pass the old church I wonder "Did Wesley stop here?"
Back when Wesley was alive the way of doing things was if an aristocrat family had three sons then the first one (who would get the title) would go into the Army, the second son would be educated and would be helped into business to make a fortune for himself and the third or the least able one would be sent into the clergy as at least then he could be guaranteed an income.
So there they were in the 1750's with a small congregation 9even the peasants didn't really want to be bored by a boring priest) with a congregation of maybe five on a Sunday, but on Wednesday Wesley would arrive and preach anywhere in the village that would let him, and sometimes when no one would let him he'd do it on the tombstones anyway!
Imagine the situation on Sunday with five in the congregation, Wednesday Wesley comes and things change and the next Sunday the poor vicar is harassed as he's got five hundred in the church on Sunday and none of them know how to behave!
The day I remember was in the late summer, the pub was open. A family were outside having a meal. The kids had fish and chips but Mum and Dad had the pub specialty, Bangers and mash, the kids have cokes but Mum and Dad have a bottle of chardonnay between them, it kind of reminds me of what the scene would have been for weary travelers at the pub eating when all of a sudden a commotion breaks out over the road. Someone's been thrown out of the church so he's using a tombstone to preach to the people, next thing the local priest comes down all of a panic as the whole village is there hearing this man preach, the priest isn't there to support as he's only ever had a parish of around five to ten, now he's going to have a parish of hundreds and he's going to have to work now!
read all about it
As I walked further down the track, it's like walking backwards in time. The tall trees give way to open fields, the farmer's crops are in the field, carts are passing, people moving to and from market, but on the road here families are moving.
Off to a better world, a new world across the globe. The journey is a long one, it's dangerous too. Bandits, Pirates and sickness are just a few of the dangers of this journey, but the rewards are also great, freedom. Freedom to be whom they want to be, freedom to worship God in a way they want to worship, no having to bow to the papists that were coming back to rule the nation. Freedom to be whom God has called them to be.
This journey was one that would go down in history as one of the most famous journeys to take place. It was from a village just a few miles away that the Pilgrim fathers set out. Did they pass through here on their way to Plymouth and the Mayflower? Did they pass this way? Did they stop and pray near the church? What about having a meal at the pub on the way, W=England at that time was very different to the England of today>
The final destination
Further down the track the lane stops at a gate beyond the gate are some ruins, from the look of the ruins you can tell that it's an old church, or something like that. The arches are what give it away.
The lawns are manicured and the whole area looks so pristine except for the ruins, what kind of story do they tell!
The first time I went there I wondered what the ruins saw? Were they a result of Henry and his getting rid of the Monasteries? What did they see?
Over to the left there was a wooden plaque of sorts. On it was some of the history of the place. The "Priory" was it turns out from even before then, going right back to the twelfth century, right back to the time of Richard the Lionheart and Robin Hood! Did Robin or even Richard come here? The tales the road can tell
Back to a lawless time
The country lane I talk about is called Priory lane. It's in the village of Mattersey, a real village in Nottinghamsire. The Priory is real, the Pub is real and so is the church. The characters were real people in their time, but did they come to Mattersey? That's for you to decide.
Hope you enjoyed the story.