February 19 – Shotley

Without Mikes camera (cell phone only)

Hello from 1066 – A Medieval Mosaic

It was not a very nice day but we have not been out geocaching for several weeks so decided we should go out anyway. Just after crossing the Orwell river just below Ipswich we turned towards Shotley. The view from under the bridge was amazing despite the fog so we stopped to take a photograph. Unfortunately, it was then we realised that we had no charge in the camera. That was going to put a damper on Mike’s activities for the day but it was too far to go back home so we had to use the cell phone camera. We were surprised at how well the few photos we took came out. The one of the bridge was amazing with the mirror image underneath.

When we entered St Andrews church at Chelmondiston a riot of colour met our eyes from the tapestry kneelers. There were four lovely stained glass windows in the chancel and sanctity all made by the same person. It is the 1960’s work of Francis Skeat, his only work in Suffolk. St Andrews was derelict but the 19th-century and was rebuilt by E.B. Hakewill in the 1860s. However, in 1944 a V2 rocket almost completely destroyed the church. It was rebuilt by Basil Hatcher in 1951. We could not find the cache but as we are the only ones to have trouble I think we were a bit off our game probably due to not having a camera. It was a busy piece of road considering it is such a little village and off the main road.

Next, we drove on to Shotley and Shotley Gate. At St Mary’s church in Shotley, there was another riot of colour from the tapestry kneelers all propped up on the pews. It also had a lovely wooden reredos with a decalogue and two paintings. The altar had very ornate wooden carved legs with cherubs. The list of the rectors dates from 1290 with Richard Leuebald. We collected the numbers and did our sums for the multi and as we started to walk across a paddock towards the final we realised we were not getting any closer. We worked out that the best way was to return to the car and drive around and finally we made a quick find.

We passed the road leading to St Michael’s church at Woolverstone on the way down the road but it was blocked by a road maintenance crew. On the way back they had moved and we were able to gain access down a long road which also led to the huge beautiful Woolverstone Hall which is now Ipswich High School. I grabbed the geocache before going into the church. The effect, when you walk in, is that of two churches side by side as the church was added to James Piers St Aubyn in the 1880’s. Heaton Butler & Bayne’s yellow stained glass windows of Saints Martin, Agnes, Margaret and Augustine were installed as a memorial to Archdeacon Henry Berners and his wife. The octagonal font had four lions around the base and an ornate wooden steeple as a font cover. There was also an ornately carved stone piscina and sedilia and some wonderful tiles on the floor. Each part of the church had different tiles. There was a lovely statue of St George and the Dragon.

St Peter’s church in Freston was not open and the geocache was quickly found and as it was mid-afternoon we decided to stop at the Suffolk Food Hall near to the Orwell Bridge. It is a lovely rustic-style market which includes gourmet food and wine stalls and a chocolate shop as well as butcher, and bakery. It looked like a nice place for a cup of coffee and something to eat but we were served by a surly lady who would not make eye contact and we did not feel very welcome.

After that, we headed back over the bridge and went to Trimley where I was sure there were two church micros. However only Trimley St Martin showed up on my GPS. When we arrived, there were two churches there separated only by a cemetery. Neither of the churches was open but we made the first find easily. Then, determined that there was another one I looked at the geocaching app on my cell phone and sure enough the second geocache showed up. Very strange. Trimley St Mary geocache was a multi so we soon collected the numbers and after a short walk found our way to a tree near a building site. It looks like another 100 houses are being built here. Luckily although I could hear voices I could see no one so I was able to retrieve the cache without any problems.