Monday, 28 March 2016

St. Ethelburga's Church, Givendale, East Yorkshire. Easter Sunday 2016.

 (The map reference shows the pin about 200 metres to the left - the site is at the junction towards the right. )

Sunday 27th. March.
Very windy day.
Set off for Sledmere House, knowing that, as today was Easter Sunday, we would encounter huge crowds. Sledmere enters the spirit of Easter providing many activities for children, egg hunts, crafts etc. The house itself presents a floral display, which is much anticipated by those with a flower arranging interest and others who just want to see some flowers so early in the season. We will visit later. Today we collected our "gold cards", had some lunch, then left to explore local villages.
We travelled to Fridaythorpe onwards to Garrowby and found ourselves, eventually, at Givendale.

Givendale sits high on the edge of the Yorkshire Wolds near the open vista of the Vale of York. The hills are steep and intertwined, small fields giving way to wooded hills. Evidence that snowdrops were abundant made me make a mental note to visit here again next season. Amazingly, this is our first visit to Givendale, an area known for the richness of fauna and flora. However, my attention was caught by the wonderful sight of a small church, sitting on a steep slope, surrounded by trees on all sides except the south. Below, in the valley bottom a small lake wound itself around the contours of the steep hills. The sun lit up the stone fabric which contrasted with the green of the adjoining field and the burnt umbra hues of surrounding trees, still not yet in leaf, save for the dark shiny green of clinging ivy. Driving past, I parked up and explored. St. Ethelburgas is a beautiful, tiny church. It is well maintained and was open for meditation, or just to look and marvel. Inside a large Norman looking arch crosses the main aisle towards the alter and a typically stained glass east window. Though it has an ancient history the building itself is relatively new being rebuilt in 1849. More history here.

Setting up to paint was problematic due to the high winds gusting about us. So I used my sketchbook, and stood to do the drawing.
The obvious view to draw or paint is from the south.
This shows the church sitting in the steep hillside. However, this would not allow the campanile to be seen. While walking down a steep track I saw this view through some vine covered trees. The fence had been damaged and I was looking down on the church. It seemed to be framed by the trees. It is not a view most would do I think. I thought it indicated how tucked away it is while at the same time giving a good view of the bells.

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