Out on the moors is a little chapel, built to serve a parish of scattered dwellings and tiny hamlets.
Built in 1773 it’s as unfussy as the landscape that surrounds it; as with most churches these days it was locked, but if I squeezed up close against the window, I could see part of the stained glass window in the chancel, but I couldn’t lose the reflected tree from the frame, but I like it the rather surreal effect.
I’m a total sucker for the kaleidoscope colours of stained glass (well any coloured glass with light behind it will do, hence the blue sherry bottle in our bathroom widow)
Inside it is furnished in sparse and utilitarian style, with the original box pews. This view, from one side to the other and to the fields beyond, coloured shadows on the wall from the stained glass windows.
The grave stones, carry wonderful names, long since faded from fashion, names such as Absalon and Ozias, and the tragedy of child mortality at the time, child after child aged months weeks or days old.
If stone masons charged by the letter for the beautiful copperplate script, no expense was spared, for it seemed as though it was important to state the name of the hamlet from whence you came each Sunday to worship, as it did your Christian and family name, with hamlets such as Kettleshulme, Saltersford it must have added a fair bit to the bill,
I suspect it was a pretty humble farming community, so I reckon there must be many more graves with no stone.
You can read more about the chapel here, services are on the third Sunday in the month at 3pm, so it said on the sign, but don’t take my word for it if you’re walking from afar. Today is Mothering Sunday, I’ve written about that before