|Introducing the Patch - Church Yard|
Like a sentinel standing guard above the Ouse Valley, Holy Trinity church in Old Wolverton is an imposing and fascinating structure. Rebuilt in 1809 but the first to be built in England (and possible Europe) in the "Reformed Norman" style, but incorporating part of the 14th century tower, it is impressive to behold as it stands proud of the surrounding trees looking down across the ruins of an old village, and Norman motte and bailey castle, little more than a grass mound now, and then out across the cattle fields that make up the flood plains of the River Ouse, the view ending at the old tree lined canal in Haversham.
But as with all church yards it is the living inhabitants of the old grave yard and surrounding area that interests me, rather than the architecture, as impressive as it is.
Introducing the Patch - Church Yard
Before you even arrive at the church there is a small copse area (Red on the map), the ground is all nettle and bramble with some old in winter you will usually find a small tit flock searching through the uncovered leaves for a small treat or two, and an occasional Great-spotted Woodpecker can be heard high in the canopy calling out for a friend. It is also the only place I have heard (but not seen) Nuthatch in winter. In the summer it is a huge haven for hoverflies and other insects.
|The entrance to the small copse|
The churchyard itself (blue on the map) is a sanctuary for Robins and Squirrels, creatures that find a little safety in the less disturbed areas of the patch. in spring the flowers start to bloom and a small patch of native bluebells carpet the wilder areas. Butterflies use the peaceful nature of the graveyard to flutter about, collecting nectar and trying to attract themselves mates. and the odd Crow or Magpie will take up ominous resident atop the ramshackled old grave stones.
The aforementioned Motte and Bailey fields (green on the map) that half surround the church offer great views out across the Ouse Valley and some of the tops of the local trees, elders and sloe usually. In spring, summer, and early autumn they become the home to numerous Swallows and Martins as they cover the wires or hunt insects in an ancient aerial battle.
|Sheep fields and the top of the motte and bailey (church in the background)|
|Barn Swallow in flight|
|Red Admiral butterfly|
For more in the series see my Introducing The Patch page
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