Wednesday 1 August 2012

Bolton Percy churchyard

It’s ten years since the garden was last in the public eye. I return to maintain it every month. Every time I go there I am uplifted by this beautiful place. Today it is particularly weedy after the rain. I will spend the next three hours zapping the weeds with my knapsack sprayer. In three weeks these weeds will be dead, but by then more will have germinated! I hate this intermittent maintenance, but have no choice. I am half an hour from home.

My knapsack sprayer is an
essential tool in this garden!
The church
I used to pride myself that I maintained the garden in two hours a week, every week of the year. This is well below the standard time for such maintenance. I once overheard a visitor say, “Two hours a week, what does he find to do in two hours a week?” Clearly he was not a gardener! In the same vein, I was recently greeted with, “Hello, what are you doing here?” I think the villager thought the churchyard had looked after itself for the past ten years!
Bolton Percy has fine pre-reformation church. Here, in Cromwell’s time, a local Roundhead, a member of the great Fairfax family, married a lady Cavalier. The medieval church, surrounded by grass and trees is beautiful. At blossom time, the huge lime tree booms with the combined hum of a thousand bees. I do not look after this part. ‘My’ garden is across the road. I sometimes see folk walking away perplexed. I imagine them thinking, “that Roger talks a lot but, as a garden, it’s not special”. They have not looked across the road! Church and garden are always open (perhaps leave a small ‘thank you’ in the collection box)

Bolton Percy church - the millenium stained glass window
It’s a ‘must’ to see the fine millenium stained glass window. It’s modern art, but gaze in for a few minutes and country scenes pop out. I can see a cow in the second segment up from the left. I’d be interested to know how many different scenes you can see? 
Even without my weekly attention, the garden looks lovely. Over the years I have had much joy from visitors’ delight. Once, a lady, emotionally overcome, was in tears. On the other hand, I am sometimes deflated by “What a shame! Isn’t it overgrown.”


  1. It looks beautiful, and a haven for wildlife. I've looked at the stained glass window and can almost see a stoat and a rabbit, but they disappear again just when I think I've pinned them down!

    1. I have to admit I cannot see much in the photo. In the real thing dozens of images spring out at you. Children gaze in and continue to find things for at least ten minutes.

  2. Is that the church that has a massive sundial in the churchyard? The garden does look lovely.

    1. no sundial as far as I know-not in my part for sure.

    2. It's in the churchyard part - a great big pillar of limestone with a sundial at the top. I think it may even be listed.

    3. Brenda agrees!Another reason to come to Bolton Percy.

  3. Roger,
    Do you know if this churchyard has a directory of the deceased? I'm from the U.S.A. and am wondering if any of my Preston family is buried there.

    By the way, wonderful work looks amazing!

    1. Hi spooky Jen!
      Thanks for your compliment.
      If you google Bolton Percy cemetery burials I think you might find something helpful. If not get back to me here and I will try and find you a local contact.

    2. I think the sun dial in the church yard was raised in Elizabethan times by the then Rector Edmund(?) Bunny . I seem to remember reading somewhere that it replaced a Crucifix at a time when 'papist' imagery was under attack.

  4. Hi Roger, I took an elderly friend to see the graveyard this week but we couldn't open the gate on the road side, is there another entrance or is there a secret to getting the gate open, it was all overgrown around the edges?
    I have to admit thought that the perfume drifting over the wall as you approach was wonderful and made it all the more frustrating not being able to get to take a wander.
    We will be coming to see your own garden on the NGS open day 14th July.
    Regards, Sandi

  5. Dear mr. Brook
    In 1989 I visited some friends in York and they took me to the splendid churchyard in Bolton Percy. By making a digital photoalbum of that year I found your blog on internet and I was really surprised to find so much information about you and the yard.
    If you are interested in some pictures of that year I can send them to you, but I need your e-mailadres then.
    Do you still have a garden of your own? I would like to admire that also!
    I saw that we have the same birth year.
    I like to hearing from you,
    friendly regards,
    Roely Dekker
    The Netherlands

    1. I have just sent a private email Roely - and the answer of course is yes please!
      Come to see my own garden or the churchyard anytime if you are in the area
      Other readers might like to know that on Sat 2nd July Bolton Percy has an Open day and I am doing a guided cemetery tour My own garden is open second Sunday in September this year

    2. Roely, You might be interested in my recent post using famous professional Marianne Majerus's old pictures. Even better the link to her own website with fifty odd Bolton Percy pictures


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...