September 21 – Our trip up to Swavesey, Cambridgeshire

A couple of church micros at Madingley and Dry Drayton

Hello from 1066 – A Medieval Mosaic

We got up early this morning to tidy the house and to pack the car with all our stuff as we were leaving our housesit in Deal and heading to Swavesey in Cambridgeshire. We left about 11.30 for our two and a half hour trip. Most of the way was on motorways which while quite stressful is definitely the fastest way to travel. We made good time and only had a couple of busy spots, one before the Dartford tunnel and another going around London. I don’t have to remember to pay the Dartford tunnel toll as I have an automatic payment set up. I actually managed to do a bit of crocheting on my never-ending blanket on the way.

We were going to arrive in Swavesey a bit early so we went off track a bit through Madingley to get a couple of church micros. St Mary Magdalene church is a lovely little church with a square font and lots of wall monuments. The wall monuments are in alabaster and marble and mostly to the Cotton family. It also had a George III Royal Coat of Arms in Coade stone by Coade and Sealy of Lambeth which was particularly lovely.

Madingley Hall is right next to the church and is now owned by the University of Cambridge and is currently the home of the Institute of Continuing Education. Thomas Walter Harding purchased the Madingley Estate in 1905 and he sold it to the university in 1948. The Madingley village sign is very special and displays the arms of Thomas Walter Harding with three martlets, two bees and the motto means “Through difficulties, I rise.”

After taking the wrong turn at Madingley and driving back the way that we had come for a couple of miles we finally turned around and headed to Dry Drayton. The GPS on my phone decided to stop working, hence us going the wrong way. It took her quite a while to reconnect and find our position. Either that or she was just away on a tea break which she seems to do from time to time. Also just lately she has been changing her voice to a very computer generated American accent and giving directions in miles and yards instead of n metric which the phone is set to do.

St Peter and St Paul in Dry Drayton was a very open plan church with a double monumental brass under glass under the chancel arch. It had a nice altar cloth and a triple sedilia in the sanctuary and a lovely stained glass window of St Peter and St Paul above the altar.

We arrived at Swavesey just after three and David and Bev showed us around the house and introduced us to Charlie, a very shy female cat and Buzz the Degu. Buzz is a lovely creature who loves to be tickled under the chin through the bars of his big cage. The cage is full of exciting things like a wheel, ladders, paths, places to sleep plus toys. He particularly likes toilet rolls and wrapping paper to shred up. He rattles the cage with his teeth when he wants to be played with. Bev showed me how to let him out without picking him up and he loves to run onto my shoulders and let me stroke him. Also, he has a big ball which he goes inside and he runs around the floor in it. Very cute. Bev and Dave left before five with Mum and set off on their long journey north. We got all settled in and look forward to our week in Cambridgeshire.

Our last church micro at Dry Drayton was our 900th church micro so we are now in the top 200 in the country which is excellent going for  27 months. With all the church micros around here, we should reach 1000 in no time. Our total number of caches is 6497.