Autumn can conjure up a variety of different colours and heart warming scenes, and this past October has been more mellow and beautiful than most. And a lovely golden sunshine has illuminated everything that it has touched.
We have been staying in the ancient stables of the parsonage in the village of Henham in Essex. The cottage is lying next to a fine church built with use of flint stone. A fine square tower rises against the blue sky, and surrounding, the magnificent trees shed their leaves over ancient graves. Ugly gargoyles feature here and there, some almost completely erased.
The trees are most lovely this time of year, colours varying from deep dark red to pale yellow , gold, ochre, or sepia, a beautiful pallet. But it’s not only the colours that are like velvet to the eye, it is the shape and size of the ancient trees that attract the attention.
The architecture found in this village has always fascinated me, the thatched roofs, the variety of cottage styles, the village green, all make for a picture card scene. But that is only me romanticising because this village is also a vibrant and dynamic community and that has perhaps got to be of more importance for the people living here.
The village of Henham lies in rural England, in Essex. We visited there a few weeks ago to see Ian’s delightful grandchild, daughter, and son-in-law. For me it was also another first visit of the village and area and I loved it. Like I have seen in many English villages they are picturesque and peaceful, with many original houses intact or restored, and this village has a great deal of that to show. Above are; left: The old Village school building, right: a sign for the Cock restaurant, and underneath: the village church. This village church has six bells, I heard them (love the sound of church bells). There is a lovely write up with photos and a sample of the bells ringing on this website: http://www.henhamhistory.org/StMarysBells.html
To the left is Cedar Cottage
Listed buildings, some with thatched roofs, timber framed cottages some with casement windows, some of the cottages I recognised from the Henham website, these are Friar’s Cottage (above right), Cedar Cottage (above).
Wild Chestnut tree flower
It was also early spring, and we made a long walk along the fields and roads, there was plenty new growth to be discovered. The Blackthorn was in full bloom, the wild Chestnut tree just about to start opening its flowers, but I was sorry to hear that some of them were due to be copped down because of a disease. The Hazel already had its catkins, and the weeping willow already its leaves.
White dead nettle
Some of the wild spring flowers which were a joy to behold and plentiful.
Henham as a village dates back to pre Roman times, there is mention of it in the Anglo-Saxon period, saying that at that time the village was described as the little clearing on top of the hill. Apparently Henham is one of the highest lying villages in Essex. For more about the history of the place and the parish please visit their website at: http://henhamhistory.org
Certainly England has a lot to offer in well preserved historical buildings, it’s delightful to discover this. It was of course a delight to be taken for this long walk around part of the village and surrounding fields by Susie and Jared, and a very energetic little Phoebe. Thanks again for showing us such a nice welcome, lovely to share time with you.