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Saturday Snapshots In A ‘Royal’ Village

This week’s Saturday Snaphots were taken in Newton Regis, which claims to be the most northerly village in Warwickshire, and if you think they don’t look very seasonal that’s because they were taken back in April, when my elder daughter and I were testing her SatNav by deliberately getting lost…
I love stumbling across places and discovering they have the most amazing history, and Newton is no exception. It’s a lovely little village and is, apparently, ‘royal’ twice over. It is supposed to have been given its regal title (regis is Latin for king) by Henry II in the last half of the 12th century, but later it became known as Newton-in-the-Thistles, which I think is much better. It’s an incredible name, and makes me wonder if thistles were especially plentiful in the area, and if so, why? I know Eeyore ate them, but are there really any creatures which munch these prickly plants, or are they used for anything? The local football team are called the Thistles, which is a nice link with the past, but doesn’t answer my questions. Generally speaking, dates appear to be a little vague, but it is thought the village reverted back to being Newton Regis in honour of Charles I, who prayed at St Mary’s Church on the night before a battle at Seckington, which is just down the road – and the village has also been referred to as Kings Newton, so it all gets a bit confusing really. And, should you wonder, the name Newton seems to mean ‘new settlement’ – tun or ton is Old English for an enclosure or homestead.
 
Anyway, ‘quite settled’ describes how Elder Daughter and I felt as we sat in the sunshine by the tiny, triangular village pond, and watched the ducks, who seemed happier on dry land. We admired a timber-framed, thatched cottage and the Queen’s Head pub, then (deciding that exercise was good for us),  wandered along the road, past the Old Post Office (now a private house)  and a gateway to a farm, to St Mary’s Church, parts of which date back to the 13th century.

It would have been nice to look inside the building, but it was locked, so we explored the churchyard,   but we felt it was a sad reflection on the way life has changed. Once upon a time churches were always open, providing sanctuary and solace for those in need, and allowing visitors to browse at leisure: now many are kept shut up as a precaution against theft and vandalism.

For more Saturday Snapshots see  Alice’s blog http://athomewithbooks.net/



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Author:

I'm a former journalist and sub-editor who loves needlework, reading and writing, and is still searching for the Meaning of Life, the Universe and Everything. Until I find the answer I'm volunteering at an Oxfam Book Shop and learning about Creative Sketchbooks!

42 thoughts on “Saturday Snapshots In A ‘Royal’ Village

  1. Love the photos. Your telling us that you were checking SatNav by deliberately becoming lost reminded me of my husband using the GPS function on his new camera while we were at the Desert Botanical Garden here in Phoenix (roughly south central in the state). The GPS listed the photos as being taken in Yuma (roughly 150 miles away on the California border) and even further away in Palm Springs, California. I hope we never have to depend on that to get us anywhere!

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  2. I love it!You'd have an interesting journey following the directions! Fortunately my daughter's SatNav was not like that. Her boyfriend got it for her, because her sense of direction is even worse than mine, and we worried that it might take take us up some narrow farm track, or miles from where we wanted to go, but we were quite impressed.

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  3. Edgar,sometimes, as I've said before, we English don't appreciate what we have. I am such a terrible traveller I am always reluctant to go abroad (with the exception of Paris) but there is so much to see and learn here in the UK, with lovely buildings, and beautiful towns and villages (and even the ugly ones have a tale to tell), and an amazing history and myths and legends. Even in the local area there are places to enjoy and admire, so I don't have to go far afield, which means I am very parochial,but I don't care!

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  4. There's a Newton Burgoland just over the border into Leicestershire, which is another great name I think. I've passed through, but never stopped there, so I'm aiming to visit in the near future – I'm being a 'home tourist' in my own little corner of the Midlands.

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  5. We live right on the edge of Staffordshire – Warwickshire and Leicestershire are just a short hop, skip and a jump away, and Derbyshire is quite close as well, so I'm hoping to get out and about and do some exploring in the 'local' area.

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  6. Very few places seem to leave churches open these days, which is sad, because they are always interesting to look at, and I think they should be used as much as possible, not just for services.

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  7. Thank you for your comment. It is a lovely little village but, like so many villages these days, seem to be quite isolated with few facilities, which must create problems if you live there, I suppose.

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  8. If I was braver about driving I'd take our campervan and go travelling, and just take off following signposts to places with interesting or odd names! But I'm much too scared to drive it (it's very old and heavy), and The Man of the House likes to plan where he is going.

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  9. I put some pictures from Paris up last week, but I may put up some more of the Flower Market near Notre Dame, which is very pretty and smells beautiful, and there is a bird and animal market there as well, so you can hear all the birds singing away… but, sadly, you can't photograph sounds and smells!

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  10. I've got a list of other villages I want to visit, plus places in Birmingham and Coventry. I've decided that since I can't get a job I'll do things I enjoy – and I enjoy exploring, even if I don't like travelling!

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  11. What a lovely little villages. It's nice to be able to just go (without a real plan) and see where you wind up. It's a shame that times are such that the churches can't be left open any more….

    Here's my Snapshot.

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  12. It is nice to be able to wander off. Newton is only a few miles from Tamworth. When I was working as a reporter I used to go out to lots of the villages on jobs – fetes, golden weddings,etc. I ways promised myself I'd go back and take a proper look at them, now I can.

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