A short 5-10 minute stroll from High Bank’s gate are many historical riches waiting to be discovered, including the 12th Century St Bartholomew’s Church, the remains of the-motte and-bailey castle built before 1051 and many 16th Century black and white buildings.
The leisurely rural stroll is a tranquil pleasure in itself, past some beautiful examples of black and white buildings and steep enough to help walk off any breakfast indulgences. This leads to a view that makes every step of the climb worthwhile, a stunning vista of the rolling landscape, with the breadth to take in three of England’s finest Counties.
A thoughtful bench beside the great churchyard Yew Tree allows you to sit and contemplate a landscape that probably hasn’t changed all that much in the 8 or 9 centuries since the Church was built.
The 12th century church is highlighted in Betjeman’s book of Churches as a must see, it certainly rewards exploration with box wood pews and beautiful stained glass. A few yards away is the relatively modern detached tower dating from the 14th Century that lends a great beauty to the scene.
Heading west through the grave yard lies the remains of the Motte-and-Bailey Castle, which we are reliably informed is one of only three or four such castles built before the Norman Invasion (most arriving after.) Though admittedly no longer in any condition to make a home, nor to protect anyone from the invading Welsh, it still makes a fascinating addition to the village walk, and being even higher uphill than the Church, offers ever more spectacular views.
For such a small village Richard’s Castle has a treasure chest of Architectural and landscape riches.
Temp 7c. A little rain after a prolonged period of sunshine.
Time for G&T