June 20 – A Day Out Geocaching with Alfie

Around Combe Martin, Berrynarbour, Lee and Ilfracombe

Hello from 1066 – Medieval Mosaic

We started the day by going to the Combe Martin church, St. Peter Ad Vincula. As we have Alfie with us one of us goes into the church while the other stays outside with Alfie. He seems quite keen on having a look inside the church too but it is not animal day today. I collected all the numbers for the multi and soon found the cache nearby.

The dedication of the Church of England parish church to St. Peter ad Vincula (“St. Peter in Chains”) is derived from the ancient Basilica of San Pietro in Vincoli in Rome. It is a Grade 1 listed building and quite amazing with its 14th-century carved wooden rood screen and pulpit. Also with lovely stained glass windows ranging from Medieval to modern. The building is made from a rose coloured sandstone with a magnificent 99ft tower. It has a wagon or cradle roof and some fantastically carved pew ends. One of the special features which we see sometimes in English churches, including this one, is the Green Man which is a pagan symbol of everlasting life.

Next, we went to Berrynarbor, a little village near to Combe Martin. It has ‘A Fine Pair’ geocache which is a cache where a red phone box and a red mail box are within 100 ft of each other in the village. We parked in the car park and I walked over to the letterbox and the mail box standing side by side but the GPS was still showing 60 metres away. That is weird. Anyway, we followed the GPS and found the correct ‘fine pair’. It is the first time that we have seen two sets in one village and so close to each other. I walked off towards ground zero and just as I approached the area, a lady asked if I was geocaching. It turned out that her daughter is the CO. It took me a few minutes to find it but I did. Then we went to the church which was closed but we collected the numbers and the coordinates were soon worked out. The coordinates took us to near to where we had parked the car but despite an extensive search twice we never did find it. We really persevered as we hate to miss out on church micros.

Nearby we visited a village called Lee which goes right down to the sea again. Basically a long road with houses down each side of the road. The church micro here was an earth-cache so there was no box and no log to find and it was all about the weathering of the rock cliff immediately behind the church. We sat on the beach with Alfie and had our lunch as it was such a lovely day. After lunch, we took Alfie for a paddle which he really enjoyed. He is really well behaved and happy to sit and watch the world go by. He had an operation on his legs about eight weeks ago so we are being very careful that he doesn’t walk too far or jump and hurt himself. So Mike lifts him in and out of the car using his basket. He seems very happy for us to lift him.

Our last visit of the day is a church in Ilfracombe. It is a huge church with a big WOW as you walk in. I saw the Green Woman on a pillar. The roof is amazing with its decorated angels and fine ceiling bosses. It has stained glass windows with one medieval right through to modern including some Kempe windows. It is an ancient church rebuilt in 1321 but dating from well before that. The font dates from 1160. There were workmen putting up scaffolding around the outside of the church and inside the church there is one area that has had substantial water damage to the walls and the stained glass window. This appears to be an ongoing problem with many buildings in the UK because of their age and sometimes with the churches it is because their lead roofs get stolen and it is only noticed when water starts pouring into the church.