Saturday, 17 October 2009

Winifred Holtby, Rudston

Winifred Holtby was born in Rudston and was a writer. Her bestselling novel, South Riding, was written using Rudston as a backdrop. She was born in 1898 and died at the young age of 37 in 1935 and was buried in the churchyard. Sadly, she knew she was dying when she wrote the book and it was published after her death.

I read the book years ago but, sadly, can't find my copy now. It is back in print so I might be tempted. It gives a good view of life in 1930s England and her writing is superb.

Added later : Thanks to Rosie, I have a new copy of South Riding.

Rudston Monolith

Rudston is one of the oldest inhabited villages in England and lies in the Gypsey Race valley. There are square and round barrows with numerous Neolithic and Bronze Age burials. Unfortunately, many of the excavations were carried out in the 19th century and due to the methods of "archaeology" used, little remains of the content.
Rudston is also famous for its Monolith. It is believed to be the tallest standing stone in England, Weighing 40 tons and standing 25 feet tall with a similar length believed to be buried beneath the ground. It is 6 feet wide and 2 feet 3 inches wide at its base. The top is now covered with a metal cap to protect it from the elements. It is believed to have been brought from Cayton Bay, situated on the coast 20 miles away - around 4,000 years ago, for some religious reason. It may have once supported a cross of some description, which has long since, disappeared.
At least this time I remembered to take a photo of Alan to give a size reference.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Boynton - Turkeys before Thanksgiving

We spent 5 days just outside Bridlington on the East Coast of Yorkshire at a small village called Boynton. The local church is a fine Georgian building, probably about the fourth to be erected there with elements of the previous buildings - except the first which was built in the 11th century. From the photo of the interior, you can see that the altar is not at the end of the church, but set in a space with rather fine pillars enclosing the chancel. Behind this, a railing separates the mortuary chapel of a local family - the Stricklands.

So what about the turkeys?

William Strickland sailed to America with Cabot in the 16th century in search of gold. They didn't find gold but it is claimed (though I can't find anything to support the claim) that came back with the first turkeys to appear in England. So proud of this were the Stricklands that they adopted the turkey for their coat of arms in 1550 and a turkey appears on their monuments in the mortuary chapel.

The Lectern was actually installed in the 1930 in memory of Major Fred Strickland who was an engineer and involved in the development of motor car engines.

The family seems to have been populated by 'characters', including one who became a geologist in the 19th century and travelled as far afield as Africa and Asia in his search for fossils, only to be killed in a railway cutting near Gainsborough when he was too absorbed in the rock formations to notice the approach of a train!
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