Castor, Church of St. Kyneburga

A gentle warm breeze wafted the scents of early flowers and the hum of bees across the calm spring morning of Castor..... but not on the 8thMay. Oh no, there was some rain followed by rain, further rain and supplementary rain. It wasn't exactly torrential but stair-rods came to mind.


In the cosy warmth of the café I waited for the host of mustard-keen EMMGers. Enter loyal Annie, prepared to brave the elements, and part way through the second coffee, Liz appeared, not to participate in the exhilarating events of the morning, but to lend moral support to any daft sods that had actually turned up! Bye Liz.


Annie and I set out and managed to get a couple of exterior views of the remarkable Norman church tower before bolting for cover. Inside we were not troubled by excessive light levels. In fact it was a bit of a challenge; nevertheless we managed to explore and enjoy this fine building. There are a few Saxon fragments and the Norman work enlarged in the Early English and Decorated styles make an interesting ensemble with some stylish angelic roof carvings. Michael arrived to join us after an earlier appointment.


The early carving showing clear Nordic / Anglo-Saxon influences is fascinating (if that is the sort of thing that interests you), and despite the dullness of the day, the East window still proved to be an exposure challenge for an overall interior view. Unfortunately I suffered battery failure, both batteries from fully charged would only take a couple of exposures before dying, so any attempt at multiple exposures to deal with the range of light values was doomed. I had to resort to the iPhone.


Lesson – it seems that I have been doing exactly the wrong thing with my batteries. After each use I have fully recharged them ready for next use. I am now told that they should be run right down and then recharged. Any advice would be welcome so that I can treat my new battery properly.


Externally there are some good general views and details to see; there is an information board about the Roman Praetorium on the site of which the church is built in close proximity to the Ermine Way Roman road.


Sadly it was not fit to explore the rest of the village, which has some pictorial merit, so when Annie and Michael left, I returned to the café for lunch.


On my way home I diverted to Collyweston and Easton on the Hill. The new visitor centre at Collyweston will be in the premises of a building company but there is no projected opening date. The exhibition and objects relating to the slate mining displayed at Priest's House in Easton will remain there. This, the church and the village, for which there is a published trail, could be a possible future visit for us.


I am sorry that it was short notice for this date but I was already committed to a daytime event on the 15th. Annie has helpfully made some suggestions for future visits, any other suggestions would be welcome and I will try to co-ordinate.

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