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My country road, Linda's challenge

Updated on May 30, 2015

The Photo

Thanks Bill and Linda
Thanks Bill and Linda

The 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)

The walk

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.

All saints church in Mattersey goes all the way back to the 12th Century
All saints church in Mattersey goes all the way back to the 12th Century

The start

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!

Another journey

The settlers came from around here
The settlers came from around here | Source

Further along

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

At the end of the road is a ruin that speaks so much of History
At the end of the road is a ruin that speaks so much of History

The 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

In Conclusion

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.


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    • lawrence01 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawrence Hebb 

      3 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      Sorry I missed your comment earlier. Finding those 'old' country lanes can be priceless, they have so much to offer, even the ones in the newer places like America and New Zealand have so much to tell us. Glad you could join me on this walk.



    • lawrence01 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawrence Hebb 

      3 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      It can turn the most mundane of walks into an unforgettable experience. Sometimes just let the imagination wander.


    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 

      3 years ago from Orlando Florida

      I love walking in the "Old Town" of a country. As I walk down the narrow cobble stone street, I imagine myself back hundreds of years in time. The United States does not have many places like that.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Definitely an interesting way to take off on just a simple path.

    • lawrence01 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawrence Hebb 

      3 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      Glad you enjoyed the hub. I loved writing it.


    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      3 years ago from Oklahoma

      Very interesting take on this challenge. Great hub!

    • lawrence01 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawrence Hebb 

      3 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      Thank you for the comments. It was fun to write. Some of the characters are my heroes so it was fun to be able to at least mention them.

      Glad you liked the story


    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 

      3 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      Very interesting hub with some hints at history. The journey through the tales was great. Enjoyed a lot and learnt some new things. A great response to the challenge.

      Voted up and interesting.

    • lawrence01 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawrence Hebb 

      3 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      So glad you joined us on this little walk. There are so many places we walk through without thinking or noticing but if we stop for a moment they tell us so many things.

      Glad you enjoyed it

      Have a great weekend


    • lawrence01 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawrence Hebb 

      3 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      Somehow I knew you'd enjoy this journey. Even writing about the 'lane' brought back some great memories for me and the chance to pay a visit to some of my heroes was something I just couldn't pass up.

      Glad you enjoyed the stroll with me.

      Have a good weekend


    • lawrence01 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawrence Hebb 

      3 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      Really glad you enjoyed the stroll with me. I went to Bible college in Mattersey (it was in the old manor house that was a rather modern 19th century house compared to the rest of the village) and used to walk down that lane at least four or five times a week.

      Glad you enjoyed the journey.


    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      3 years ago from Washington State, USA

      Lawrence, I had so much fun reading this. Thank you for allowing me to walk with you on this journey. What a delight!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Great response to the challenge, Lawrence. A touch of history and whimsy...I was walking with you on a great trail and I loved every minute of the journey.


    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Wow, Lawrence! you hit thi challenge out of the ball park. What a different but interesting take. Thanks for the journey and history lesson. Voted up.


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