Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England

Church on Sunday



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.

Trick of the light

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.

Window and light

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.

 Jenkin Chapel

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


Author: uphilldowndale

Watching the rhythm of rural life, from the top of a hill in northern England. Having spent most of my life avoiding writing, I now need to do it! I am no domestic goddess, but if I were expecting visitors to my home, I would whisk round with the duster and plump up the cushions and generally make the place look presentable. I hope that by putting my words where others may see them it will encourage me to ‘tidy up and push the Hoover around’ my writing. On the other hand I may just be adding to the compost heap. Only time will tell! Pull up a chair, sit yourself down, I’ll put the kettle on.

13 thoughts on “Church on Sunday

  1. Wonderful shots, Uhdd. I really like the shot of the stained glass window with the tree reflection, but my favorite shots are of the cemetery with the long shadows.

  2. Fascinating entry and photos 🙂 The history got me googling as well, and I found this to be interesting:


    The book that they took the excerpt from seems to have been signed by E.J. Ollerenshaw (relation to the person on the gravestone, possibly?) Amazing how one thing leads to another online!

    • And also in that link is Ozias; Ozias Dale is listed as a farmer. It was a small community.
      I’m also amused by the description
      ‘SALTERSFORD or JENKIN CHAPEL is a small fabric, built in the most dreary part of this mountainous district; it takes its name from its situation, near Jenkin’s Cross, and was built about the year 1739, by subscription’
      They must have visited on a rainy day!

  3. Thanks for a really interesting entry and wonderful photos. xx

  4. Thanks for a lovely, evocative post. Looking across the moors I’d have thought that was a sturdy farmhouse, although I’d have wondered about the tall tower! I explore old cemeteries too, and always find the tiny tombstones most poignant. Then there are the stones that can no longer be read at all. Dust to dust.

  5. HI, I came to you via an Artist’s Garden and love the posts here and the fabulous photos. I am so impressed with your lapwing shots – how in the world did you get them?

  6. Beautiful pictures, and one of the reasons I have something for you on my blog.

  7. thank you for such an interesting post! i am fascinated by old churchyards & the history they hold!As this is part of my job also, i do know that nowdays stone masons charge by the letter, have done in these parts for as long as records hold , 1864 – it was only those with money that could have decent memorials. beautiful photography too.

  8. That chapel looks amazing. I’m not religious but I’d be tempted to drop in if I was passing and a service was on, just to drink in the atmosphere.

  9. I drive through Kettleshulme on my way to my home town of Macclesfield – still my home town though I haven’t lived there for nearly 40 years. I’ve never seen this chapel though so must stop and explore sometime this summer. Oh, I’ve just followed the link and it’s in Saltersford, that’s why I haven’t noticed it. So next trip there’ll be a detour.

  10. Pingback: Top Chapel « Uphilldowndale

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