As readers will know I’m currently writing the sequel to my Robin Hood novel “Loxley”, in which I’m very much trying to place the legend in its time – and the time of origin in Robin Hood is highly debatable!
So anything even vaguely medieval is of great interest to me.
Last week I visited Burnham Deepdale church in Norfolk and found the gem described below – a real indication of how the labourers in the fields spent the year.
So take a look. And if you haven’t read “Loxley” yet do follow the links on the pages above.
In my walk blog yesterday I mentioned our visit to Burnham Deepdale church on the Norfolk coast.
Within is an early Norman font, one of the oldest in England. In 1797, this font was broken and taken away to Fincham Rectory for repair. It remained there for some forty years before being returned to the church. The font is made of Barnack stone from Rutland.
What I find interesting is that the carvings show the farming year from the point of view of a medieval labourer. It offers a fascinating glimpse of the past and the way people lived. There are also some wonderful fragments of medieval glass nearby. This is a church well worth a visit.
My pictures don’t do the font justice, so if you are in Norfolk please do go and have a look for yourself. Do click on the pictures to bring them up to a larger size.
The carvings depict:
January – drinking from a horn
February – Feet up by the fire
March – Digging
April – Pruning
May – Rogationtide banner
June – Weeding
July – Mowing
August – Binding a sheaf
September – Threshing
October – Grinding corn
November – Killing the pig
December – A community feast.
It all reminded me of the poem from the time of the Peasant’s Revolt:
When Adam dalf and Eve span
Who was then the gentleman?
When Adam dalf and Eve span,
Spur if thou wilt speed,
Where was then the pride of man
That now mars his meed?