Friday, 2 December 2011

Kirkharle - Part II

We're continuing on with our visit to the hamlet of Kirkharle, which started yesterday.

The latest big thing at Kirkharle seemed to be about recreating one area of the grounds in the manner it was designed by Kirkharle's most famous son, one Lancelot Brown AKA 'Capability' Brown.  He was born in Kirkharle and worked as a gardener for Kirkharle Hall.  Although Croome Court  is listed as his first commission, he apparently designed the gardens for Kirkharle Hall even before.

We went for a stroll up to the old church and found a marker along the way for "This Unfortunate Gentleman",

a Richard Loraine who was 'barbarously murdered' by Scottish raiders is 1483 as he was returning home from church alone, following his private devotions. 

I thought it was a shame, but frankly loads of folks were victims of the Border wars over the centuries and I wondered why this fellow was chosen from the many to be commemorated. 

Inside the church much became clearer and a little internet research explains that Robert de Loraine, one of Richard's ancestors, came to England with William the Conqueror just over 400 years before this unfortunate gentleman's death. 

However, it wasn't until a couple of hundred years after his passing that the Loraine Baronetsy was created, in 1664, and it became extinct with the 12th Baron's death in 1961.  

There were vicars at Kirkharle for longer, but then they don't have to rely on producing male heirs.  I thought it interesting that the 12th Baronet was "true to his King" given that at the time of his death, and of his birth, there was a woman on the throne.

Wikipedia has links to the gardens and grounds associated with Capability Brown.

It is an impressive list of amazing places.   Most amazing to me is how many are still in private ownership. 

We both found the little church charming - it still apparently has services once or twice a month in the summertime - and enjoyed the countryside that surrounded it.  I didn't have the impression that this was part of what was landscaped by Brown, but perhaps the rolling hills around here were what inspired his work.

Vivien was amused by my reference to the 'typically English sun'.  It might be watery and not very warm, but at least it's photogenic.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Fascinating history and what a sweet church. Kirkharle looks worth a visit when we are next in that neck of the woods.