As you will all be aware by now, I live in Beetley Village. Most of this area is an extension of the original Saxon hamlet, now referred to as Old Beetley. This is just over one mile from our house, and although part of the parish, has a distinctly separate identity. With the fine weather still gracing us with its presence, I decided to leave early today, and take Ollie for a longer walk than usual, including an excursion to Old Beetley, to see the church of St Mary Magdalene.
Some of this walk is on country roads, so Ollie had to be on the lead. He really doesn’t enjoy this, as you can see from this photo. His tail is not curled around his back. A sure sign that he is unhappy.
The current church dates from 1320, built on the site of a church that would have stood there since Saxon times. Like most local churches, it is rarely open. Services are only held on the first and third Sunday of each month. At other times, the building is locked. It is tucked away behind some modern houses, and the graveyard surrounding it has many old gravestones still intact.
The tower was enlarged during the 16th century. It is still one of the tallest structures in the area, and can be seen from all around.
Continuing on to the village crossroads, I came across this memorial bench, surrounding a young tree. Jude will appreciate the inclusion of a bench this time, even one that is quite recent, as it was erected in 2013. It is slightly wonky, as it is not placed on even ground. The photo is level, I assure you. The house opposite is one of the few remaining old houses, as most of the substantial properties to be found there are relatively modern.
We made our way back across the fields of the farms that surround this area, using public footpaths to avoid the roads that cause Ollie so much distress.