Sunday, 6 November 2011

A Walk Around St Chads Church

To take advantage of today's sun, following the scuppering of yesterday's planned outing due to the bad weather, I decided to take a walk around the ground of St Chads Church in Far Headingley, Leeds. I really liked the gold fish gate to the entrance of the church itself.

There were two information boards telling you about the wildlife in the graveyards. Interestingly, they share a similar nature demographic as the graveyard down the road at St Michaels. It seems that the redwings visit both graveyards in the winter, on their trip down from Scandinavia. Early this year I watched a number of redwings spend a good few days in St Michaels graveyard, before heading down south.

This is my favourite image of the day. The light catching some of the leaves makes them look really bright green in places. Also, you can see the red holly berries piercing through the green on the top right of the image (click on the photo and zoom in to take full advantage of the colour).

Above is the Garden of Rest which has a message at the entrance saying it is a place for contemplation. Much of the graveyard is slowly deteriorating, as you can see in the image below. This is quite similar to St Michaels. I am assuming there isn't enough money to maintain them nowadays. The fronts of both graveyards looks fine, i.e. the part that faces the street and entrance. However, venture further in and you can see that they require a lot of work and care. Nevertheless, I find the higgledy-piggledy gravestones and creeping undergrowth much more interesting than a well manicured cemetery.

I found this strange switch panel out at the back of the church, near the boiler room (well, it was near some cellar entrance where a sound of humming machinery was emanating). I think it must have belonged to an organ. While you can't tell from the image, it did have buttons which had the word 'pedal' and 'soft', etc, printed next to them.

I like this stone detail on the church (see below). It says anno dom and a date which I can't work out. I don't think it's the date of its consecration though (1868), as I typed that into a Roman numeral converter (how fab that we can can do that online) and it definitely wasn't that date.

I had a really nice stroll around the church. You get the sense that you are soaking up the social history of the lives of all the people interred there. Also, they are peaceful, relatively secluded places where one can - just by taking a few steps away from a busy high street - get away from the buzz of traffic and contemplate the fragility of life.

I only saw magpies and wood pigeon's though - pretty much everyday cemetery birds in Headingley. I didn't get very good shots of the whole of the church, due to the position of the sun in the sky, shading caused by trees, etc. However, I did get a nice picture of the spire against a lovely crisp, blue autumn sky (no photoshopping done here!).

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