The decorations are stored away in the loft for another year, the cards are being recycled and the tree has been turned into chippings for the flower beds.  Christmas 2019 is done.  What is in store for 2020?  I’m not one for making resolutions – I’m not very good at keeping them, but this once, I have made a firm promise to myself to be more appreciative and aware my surroundings.

This resolve is the result of a recent visit to the nearby village of Ripley to attend an event at the castle.  As I passed by the ancient village church, I realised that I had never been inside – in spite of having visited and passed through Ripley countless times since early childhood (it’s true what they say – familiarity very often does breed contempt). I had a little time to spare and as they were advertising coffee, on this occasion I did go inside – I ended up spending more than a couple of hours there and never got to the castle!  This obscure little 12th century church is steeped in our history, from the tombs of the lords of the manor – the Ingilby family – who’ve occupied the Castle for over 800 years, to the ancient weeping cross with its knee holes for pilgrims to pray (the only one in existence in the UK) and the holes in the church walls – made by musket balls.  Oliver Cromwell executed Royalist prisoners, captured at the battle of Marston Moor (which took place a few short miles away) against these walls.

And so, Perhaps you would like to join me from time to time as I explore the moors, dales, castles, abbeys, towns and villages that make up the amazing landscape of our wonderful county of North Yorkshire.

Appreciating God’s Own County

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