Monday, October 12, 2015

Dedham Vale

With a forecast of cold easterly winds and cloudy skies, we were not hopeful for our second expedition by bicycle.  However, Sunday dawned bright and clear, although there was a chill in the air out of the sun.

This time we headed west out of the station and were soon bowling along towards Dedham, a pretty little town that we know well.  This whole area is known as Constable country.

We, of course, always appreciate a fine church.  This is Stratford St Mary, a village almost obliterated by the A12 running right through it.

The church is covered in flint, and it features lettering in flushwork, all around its base.

We spotted this gargoyle, high above us.

We rode through rolling countryside; everywhere trees just on the turn into autumn colours.

Lunch was taken in the sunlight near this splendid church.  This is Stoke by Nayland, one of the finest Suffolk wool churches.  It stands on the highest land for many miles and totally dominates the landscape.


Another remarkable gargoyle, this time in use as a water spout.  We noticed the brick being used as a facing material mixed in with the flint.  This appears to be Roman brick, although the source for it is not known.  Colchester is not very far away.

As we rode across country, it struck us once more how remarkable our own village is in retaining its services.  On a Sunday in our village there are three or four places to have tea or a snack, not counting the pubs.  Two different food shops are open, along with a hardware store and many nick-nackeries.  In these Suffolk villages, however, only the pubs were open.  Several times we saw houses called "The Old Post Office" or "The Old Bakery", but we were mystified as to where they bought their food.

This is the old Guildhall, just opposite the church.

Eventually we reached Bures, our destination, on the Sudbury branchline.  We sat out in the sunshine
in the garden of the pub, enjoying a cup of tea..  It's the time of year for this shawl, which drew some comment at the demonstration day at Paycocke's on Saturday.


1 comment:

LizM said...

Wonderful scenery again.. And yes, you are lucky to have several shops in your village - I hope they are well patronised, to encourage then to continue.