GMS Notes No. 39. September 2011

Val_NDW_walkThis week Val and I set off on our North Downs Way walk. We arrive back in Dover on 4th October. So far friends and family have sponsored Val for in excess of £700. The money raise will go to the Teenage Cancer Trust and to the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign. Our daughter and granddaughter will be accompanying us for the Surrey section of the walk.





Wildflower of the Month


A couple of years ago I featured white clover on this page. This month I am featuring red clover (Trifolium pratense), a separate species. Like its cousin it is a leguminous plant and therefore able to fix nitrogen from the air into nitrate in the soil. This makes it a valuable fodder crop and as green manure.

The tiny florets also produce nectar making it valuable as a food source for bees. The largest producers of clover honey are the USA, Canada and New Zealand, where it is popular for its mild floral flavour.




Forge Cottage thatch

Thatching_1I put a photo of the new thatch on the roof of forge cottage in the April Notes. Here is a photo of the last occasion it was thatched, in 1974. The thatchers are John Catherick and Lee, who I believe is the one on the roof.









I would be pleased to hear from anyone who can give me any more information on this subject.


Last Month’s Meeting

Viilage_walk_4On a day which seemed to epitomise our summer this year we assembled in St. Martin’s Church. After a short introduction from me we walked around the church looking at points of interest, including features from the eleventh and fourteenth centuries and the modifications made by Butterfield (there - I nearly wrote Butterworth again. I believe I made that mistake in the church). We also admired the seventeenth century stained glass window which had been spared by Butterfield. Peter Hambrook’s knowledgeViilage_walk_3 of the church proved invaluable.

We then took a gentle stroll down Cherry Lane, looking at the different architectural styles of the housed and comparing one or two houses with old photographs. As a bonus Reg Coleman took us to the back of Ivy House so we could see the early features.

By this time the rain was beginning to fall so most of us went home while a few who lived in that direction managed to make it to the Leather Bottle.

The Norman Manor House at Walmer

A couple of Sundays ago Audrey, Val and I joined the Council for Kent Archaeology on a visit to the Norman Manor house. Although I have walked through Walmer_Churchthe churchyard a couple of times I have not given much thought to the high flint wall behind the church. It therefore came as a surprise to discover that it was part of the ruins of a Norman manor house.

First we visited the church. It was built about 1120, as was the manor house. Unlike St. Martin’s, the Church of Blessed Mary of Walmer had not been extensively altered since it was built. Naturally, there has been some alteration, but it looked much as it did when it was built and very much as St. Martin’s might have been in Norman times.Walmer_Manor_House_ruins_ewduced

The yew tree standing outside the church has been assessed by a leading yew expert, Allen Meredith, to be about 1,400 years old.

Church and manor house were built by the son of Roger de Auberville, one of the Companions of William of Normandy. The d’Auberville seat was at Westhanger. In 1273 the d’Auberville lands passed by marriage to Nicholas Criol, Lord of the Manor of Great Mongeham.

The site was bought recently by two local residents who have tidied and stabilized the remains.

If anyone is interested I have the archaeology report of the house. It is well worth a visit. (by appointment only).

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