St Peter’s Church, Cogenhoe


Our expedition to Lyveden New Bield and Fotheringhay

It wasn’t actually raining when forty of us, aged 2 – 80+ from across the Benefice gathered at the Bus stop in Short Lane! But by the time that we had arrived at Lyveden it had set in nicely.

We walked up from the site of Thomas Tresham’s Old Bield to get the feel of the move to his Summer or Banqueting House. Fortunately, these days, we don’t need to move out of our houses to fumigate them each year! Or trudge up a long hill to eat a tasty meal.

After a brief introduction to the history of the house the children started work on their booklets which, after 45 minutes, had more or less dissolved into Papier Mache. They were a surprised and more than a little disappointed that the New Bield had no roof! However they were able to explore inside and note the religious symbolism of the building.

A wet and bedraggled crew met outside on the grass and half decided to return to dry off in the coach; it was surprising how early we felt the need for a sustaining mouthful of lunch!  Those who had managed to retain sufficient body heat and energy set off for the garden, enjoying spiralling up the mounds and attempting to conquer the Labyrinth. On our return to the bus we were greeted by an atmosphere akin to a Chinese Laundry with wet clothes drying on the racks and condensation completely covering the windows. Paul, our coach driver, was amazing!

We proceeded from Lyveden to Fotheringhay where it had, temporarily, stopped raining. We were able to walk around the Church, observing how big it would have been in 1500 when it would have been double the present size and have had a College attached. We were also able to observe, with a bit of scrambling and some ‘leg-ups’ the gargoyles on the south side of the church. As the rain caught up with us we went inside to complete a ‘church trail’ and do some rubbings. An intrepid band finished the afternoon by mountaineering up the Castle mound which is all that is left of the building where Mary Queen of Scots was beheaded. Evie was very put out that Ann would not go with her to the castle!

It was amazing how much we dried out on the return journey to Cogenhoe. In spite of the appalling weather we had a very sociable day with everyone getting on really well together; the coach was a ‘buzz’ of voices old and young.