Yorkshire day

I’ve taken a too brief tour of the area around Hebden Bridge today, and in particular, been to Heptonstall where, at last, I have found a church I can like. It’s one that’s crumbling, decaying, and mostly gone.


Isn’t that lovely? Nothing left but old stone, like the bones of the church.

It was also weird to see that the entire area was paved with grave stones. Everywhere you walked, you were walking over corpses.


Some of the tombstones were quite elaborate…and creepy.


You may have heard of this one.


We left to drive through pretty Yorkshire countryside, like these fields near Stansfield.


And then, of course…tea and cake.


I had to end the day with a talk. It went OK, I guess.


All thanks to Richard Carter and Maureen Brian who organized everything!



  1. Stacy says

    Beautiful pics. Thanks for sharing.

    Cool how that flower blooming on Plath’s grave looks flamelike.

  2. Athywren says

    Ah, god’s own country. Or, at the very least, it’s a very nice county to live in. Hey! If you find yourself near Hull in the next few days… keep going. I mean, it’d be cool to see you do a talk here, but I don’t think it’s worth the price. Seriously, hull is a typo that was never corrected, and I don’t think I could bear the shame if you experienced my home town.

    We do have more gravements though for you to explore though, so there’s always that to look forward to.

  3. johnharshman says

    I hope you have a chance to visit Hadrian’s Wall while you’re in the neighborhood.

  4. whheydt says

    My wife visited York (she was doing research for a book that never got written). She stayed at a very little hotel just inside Botham Bar.

    If you have the chance, go see the Jorvik exhibit & ride in York,

  5. JohnnieCanuck says

    Scenic but derelict monasteries are scattered everywhere across Britain. You can thank Henry for that.

  6. AsqJames says

    You’d probably like St Lukes, Liverpool too then PZ. Only, being as we’re enterprising and creative Lancastrians, we put our derelict churches to use for arts and other useful stuff.

  7. kreativekaos says

    Love the cold, raw, atmospheric feel of the stone church and cemetery. Reminds me of all those old, mood-laden vampire movies of the 1960’s and early ’70’s.
    Jolly ol’ England; pip-pip, cheerio, an’ all that rot.

  8. Artor says

    If you can make it to Nottingham, check out the tunnels. It’s like a city under the city in some places.

  9. peterh says

    You need to try Devonshire strawberries (may hap out of season for the fresh ones) and clotted cream. Preferably at Badger’s Halt.

  10. robro says

    Nothing left but old stone, like the bones of the church.

    Careful, you may have one of those aesthetic experiences that left T. S. Eliot an Anglo-Catholic.

    Everywhere you walked, you were walking over corpses.

    Isn’t that kind of true no matter where you walk? It’s corpses all the way down…not to be too grim about it.

    Some of the tombstones were quite elaborate…and creepy.

    Just the kind of thing the spousal unit goes to England for. That and the steely gray clouds. She likes the weather (believe it) particularly up north.

  11. says

    “Yorkshire Day”

    That would be the 1st of August, in actuality. :)

    And to commemorate, an old Yorkshire joke I remember my Grandad telling me back when I still lived in Yorkshire, many moons ago:

    A Yorkshireman’s wife passes away. He decides to have the words ‘She Were Thine’ engraved on her headstone.

    The widower calls the mason, tells him what he wants, and then goes to see the stone a few days later. He takes one look and sees the mason has engraved ‘She Were Thin’.

    The old fella goes off. “The ‘e’ missing! Where’s the ‘e’? Tha’s left the ‘e’ out lad!” The mason apologises profusely, and assures the old boy it’ll be right on the day.

    Day of the funeral comes. The mourners leave the church, head out to the graveyard for the internment. There, in the glow of the winter sun, is the pristine headstone. Upon it inscribed;

    “Eee, She Were Thin”.

  12. newenlightenment says

    They prettiness of the church is inversely proportionate to the zealotry of the congregation. Nice churches are filled with old ladies who don’t know what else to do on a Sunday. Ugly churches are filled with people who believe in God

  13. dancaban says

    Just wanted to say myself and daughter (biology student) enjoyed your lecture last night, she remarking “I wish my lecturers were that good!” Hope you enjoyed your stay in “Yorkshire” and loved your pronunciation of that word! Hurry back soon!

  14. Maureen Brian says

    AsqJames @ 7,

    Ah, but in Yorkshire we’re pragmatic. When a gale blew the roof off the church in 1847, we built a new one right beside it – functioning church plus picturesque ruin, two for the price of one.

    (I like St Lukes too but then I’m Manx really.)

  15. stewartlaw says

    If you’re near Durham, I recommend visiting their cathedral. It might just be the most beautiful building I’ve ever visited, and I lived in Paris for five years.
    Sure I’m an atheist but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate great architecture, even if it has been inspired by something I don’t believe in personally.

  16. pikaia says

    if you want to know about your personal failings you will find Yorkshire people very helpful.

  17. opposablethumbs says

    Beautiful photo, thank you!

    I like churches when they’ve been made into pubs or flats or night-clubs or community centres too :-) (got some of all of those nearby where I am – always nice to see lovely architecture put to good use).

  18. altfish01 says

    Many thanks for last night’s talk, excellent, we from Manchester thoroughly enjoyed it.

  19. madscientist says

    I like Venice better – most of the churches are being used for other things.

    As for the gravestone pavings – there isn’t necessarily a corpse under each. The stones could have been moved from another graveyard and the bones interred elsewhere – perhaps in the walls of the church, or a crypt, or a rosarium. Not that any of that matters except to people who believe ancient corpses must somehow be sacred.

  20. rq says

    Beautiful photos, I love old ruins and graveyards. So much atmosphere, and very peaceful.
    Glad you’re having a good time, too!