Signs of Life in the Graveyard
The Monday Photo
I visited Shalstone church last week to find the graveyard full of snowdrops. Snowdrops like moist soil and light shade, which is why they were doing especially well by the hedge on the South side of the churchyard.
The latin name for the common snowdrop is Galanthus nivalis. They are found across the UK but are not a native plant; their natural range is mainland Europe. Although a wild flower, there are many variations sold for the gardener.
I have a few in my garden and like the ones in the graveyard, they are in clumps. The clumps get a bit crowded after a few years but they can be divided after flowering, so long as you replant them straight away.
Shalstone’s church of St Edward the Confessor’s was rebuilt in 1862 in the Gothic Revival style by Sir Gilbert Scott, all except the North aisle which dates from 1828.
Some say that the columns and responds (half columns at the arcade ends) of the North arcade may be as old as the 15th Century, but have been recut. There are monuments from the old church; one, a brass to Susan Kyngston, is dated 1540.
I think the church is usually open, though I didn’t have time to look inside. It’s nicely proportioned and restrained in design and there are nice carvings on the columns of the South arcade.
Snowdrops are a welcome sign that spring is on the way, so we will all be able to get out and about in North Bucks, looking at the churches and all the other interesting places we have here.
I’ve already featured many of them here on the NBW, but I won’t be running out of subject matter any time soon; there are over 200 place names in North Bucks!
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