Monday, 20 May 2019

Local History

We've studied a huge amount of British history over the years but I wanted to put it all into context for the children in terms of the history that we see every day: our local history. So while we know about the Saxons, for example, do we know that they lived right here, under our noses?! So this was my plan for this unit.

First we located a neolithic site nearby. It was in the meander of a river so made sense to settle there: water, protection, transport.

We spent a fortnight studying the history of our local town.

Loooking at Mercia and Danelaw and how near or otherwise we are to the border.

This is such a great book. It brings to life so many parts of our local history and what to expect.

The peoples of our local town and when they arrived.

A nearby Neolithic henge

Anglo Saxon terminology

Researching two local Viking invasions

Norse mythology


A study of local churches

First we visited our village church.

Lych Gate

Spire identification

It's a Gothic Revival church built in 1858.

Village history

Learning about Gothic architecture and how flying buttresses work.

Learning the origins of the names of local villages.

Maps through time of our own village

Local ruins of a Saxon church with a Norman rebuild, Gothic restoration and Georgian restoration.

Norman cobbles

Gothic ironstone pillars

Georgian brick restoration

Pre-Reformation niche

Learning about the history of our house

Our 3rd church visit - Norman with Perpendicular Gothic parts

Our 4th Church - a Gothic Revival 

Inside we identified a Jacobean altar in the transcept. 

For our 5th church I arranged a tour with a local guide. 10th Century with refurbishments, two added floors, and a rood screen (blocked up) stairway and tower.

From the top of the belfry we could see a dip in the ground where there used to be a Roman settlement...

...and an old motte and bailey mound.

We located some Commonwealth war graves.

Our 6th church was in the most beautiful secluded location on a hill.

It has a restored porch

Early English Gothic

And has had clear restoration work done on the chancel

Our 7th church is built with greensand sand stone from the Greensand Ridge.

It has a lych gate

Most of the church is new, excpet perhaps the tower which has Gothic battlements

The Boy drew an Early English church

And made an Early English dogtooth decoration and Early English pillars 

Panda Girl is very drawn to Perpendicular Gothic

We went back to our local church ruins when we realised it has a Mass Dial by the priest door!

Saxon carvings

Our 8th Church is mid-late Gothic with some Gothic Revival parts

We spent a good hour inside identifying the heraldry, fonts, and Gothic paint coming through the limewash from the Reformation

Our 9th church is in a secluded location also. The new porch partially covers an Early English lancet window.

The window tracery suggest Perpendicular Gothic

Our 10th Church has many dates of restoration. It has an original rood screen from 1400s.

Our 11th church was also Gothic revival. Its architect studied French Gothic so it has touches that are not otherwise seen in Neo Gothic churches in England. Its spire was take down for safety reasons so it now looks slightly unusual. 

Rose window

The village's orginal church was Gothic with beautiful Perpendiclar additions. It's now a heritage museum so we paid it a visit and did some local research.

We found a photo of what the Neo Gothic church looked like with its spire. Just beautiful!

Our 13th Church is Saxon! It has the original Saxon apse with a 1300 year old crypt!

One of the widest Saxon arches in Britain separate the nave from the chancel.

Graffiti from 1684!

Original Saxon windows which are identifiable by their semicircular arch with no point.

Pre-Reformation art showing through the crumbling limewash!

A Saxon arch using Roman bricks! Can you get any more awesome?!

Realising he could open a tiny door!

Identifying the steps as leading to the rood screen.

A stunning tabernacle with font leading into the foundations of the church.

Studying the tracery.