Walking in the World

Tag Archives: Hadleigh

Meat & Two Veg


Hadleigh’s greengrocer and butcher shop always has a nice array of seasonal treats. I walked up from Thundersley to meet a friend for coffee this morning and took a bit of time on the way home to see what was on offer. Our weather is extremely mild at the moment, but the skies are grey and dismal so this bright display was a welcome sight.

10 Nov 2015





I am loving our autumn — crisp, sunny days, with leaves just beginning to turn. It feels good to be outside, and I’m looking for any opportunity to be out and about. No big adventures today, just a bit of shopping and a few errands, including my annual pilgrimage to Moore’s Shoe Repair to have my winter boots reheeled. Knowing that I have kept my favourite boots going for 17 years by keeping them heeled and conditioned is very satisfying to my inner spendthrift. While we were there, I took advantage of being in Hadleigh to take a better look at one of the window displays across the road.

Teddy Driver

Is this cool or what? When I went in for a closer look, the shop owner said they had gotten it from Taiwan, and apparently it garners a lot of attention. It certainly catches my eye every time we drive past! (And the Teddy Bear driver fits so well with my current creative obsession….)

29 Sep 2015

Meet the Clangers


Look who appeared on a post box in nearby Hadleigh — the Clangers! For those of you in other parts of the world who don’t know about Clangers, you can read about them here and experience them here.


They seem to be universally loved by the great British public, though personally I find them incredibly annoying – I think it’s a cultural thing. I accept that I am in the minority here, and I have to admit they look pretty cute in this display. Many thanks to The Craft Club for their yarnbombing efforts and for bringing so many smiles to Hadleigh!Clangers2

11 Sep 2015

Cast Iron Cross

Iron Cross

Walking through Hadleigh en route to a business meeting, I passed by the Church of St. James the Less (which I’ve shown you before), and noticed an unusual grave cross in one corner of the church yard. Made of cast iron, it doesn’t give any information about the person whose grave it marks, but it stood out amongst the other markers which were all made from stone.

A brief search online indicates that iron crosses in the USA (particularly in the southern states, I assume) mark the graves of Confederate soldiers, but here in England it is simply a choice with  no particular symbolism attached. In its own way simple way, I found it unique and beautiful. This one was made by Etna Foundry in Glasgow in the late 19th century.

06 Aug 2015

Sacred Ground


I decided to combine business with pleasure (again), so after dropping my boots off at the shoe repair in Hadleigh this morning, I wandered over to the old church in the center of town. I’ve passed it a thousand times, I’m sure, and while I often appreciate it in passing, I’ve never stopped for a visit. I thought I’d just wander through the old graveyard, take a photograph to document my visit, then walk home. As I rounded the corner, however, I met a man who greeted me like an old friend and invited me in. How could I refuse such an offer? His unexpected welcome had a touch of sparkle to it that made me curious and reminded me of of the real reasons for this walking project. I accepted his invitation and followed him inside.


I quickly realized that this little church has history, the kind of Real History that boggles my California born-and-bred mentality. Built 1000 years ago on the site of an even earlier church, it once served the inhabitants of our local Hadleigh Castle, and has been in continual use through the centuries.The Church of St James the Less is welcoming and seems to have met the challenge of combining traditional worship with the needs of a modern congregation, and the congregation members I met clearly treasured their heritage.

My guide didn’t try to make it anything it wasn’t, but pointed out some of the beloved and respected features, including this Saxon cross carved into one of the stones in a doorway.


And this medieval fresco that dates back to the 12th century, one of a number of such wall paintings that were discovered during restoration work in 1856, of which two remain today. Amazing!


He also invited me to pray. The invitation was just hesitant enough to feel absolutely sincere, “You might want to light a candle for someone, or just pray for peace,” he said. And I did want that very much. I have been needing such a place in my local community, and I suspect I will drop in frequently, to rest in the timeless sanctity of this beautiful church and to light a candle to accompany my prayers. Truly, this is sacred ground.



17 Jan 2015

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