Saturday, 7 May 2016


On the far side of the church of St Mary with St Leonard (and how did these two get together I ask?) there are fields, those wonderful things full of crops, wildlife and a variety of chemical pesticides.  This one was full of Rapeseed and as I wondered what caused folks to call it that I was taken by the huge swathe of yellow that can be seen here and dotted all over the nation at this time.  The crop is ready for gathering as far as my ignorant eye could tell and soon will be found standing in plastic containers on supermarket shelves waiting to help you burn your dinner.
While there I met a chap dogwalking for a living and we chatted while the black Labrador dropped his ball at our feet and demanded we kicked it for him to chase.  The other two dogs settled down happily until the chap in the picture appeared as his large dog had run off leaving him puffing behind as the dog wished to meet his friends.  How easily that could have got out of hand but they managed to control all four well.  I noted how he kept the dog on the leash as he wandered over the fields.  What great places for dogs these fields are.  My friend at work told me she had a Labrador that always stayed on the path until they entered fields of Rape then he would go mad jumping around in the crop.  This annoyed her as the dog became covered in green sticky stuff that took effort to clean. 

There was an amazing number of wee beasties wandering around under my feet as I walked.  This surprised me as I thought all the chemicals poured into these fields killed the worms and other creatures leaving the fields almost dead.  The butterfly's passed regularly but refusing to pose for my camera, I have several blurred pictures if you wish to see them, and what is more I have never seen the two colourful ones I tried to capture before so that is a pity. 

This astounding building goes back to the 16th century (that's 1500's to you and me) and there is some thought that this may well have been the vicarage at one point for the church.  Though now divided into two houses it is in typical Essex style, the middle section being the original Hall with two wings attached at either end.  Both wings have been developed differently at various times.  The area is dominated by a large Hall which I missed as it was hidden behind trees and this small area has this building and one or two 19th century erections next door and opposite what once was a row of cottages for the workers now renovated into one expensive house.  On the corner stands an empty pub which also dates back possibly to the 16th century. 

This is found between the windows on the far side of the building and appears to proclaim this was once an Inn.  Being just of the main road it is likely this area developed because of the travellers heading north and requiring food and drink and whatever as they did so.  Therefore two pubs would not be unusual but why does there appear to be no information regarding this?  Is there a dirty secret somewhere?

On the main road this row of cottages keeps the famous weatherboarding that once dominated many buildings in Essex.  The county was basically a huge forest and in times past Kings did not wish it to be spoilt so they could hunt there.  However Essex folks still managed to live being quite perverse and rebellious by nature and homes when built had to be made of local materials, wood being the most common.  The Hall was probably built of a wooden frame with plaster walls, this would surely be better.  Something about the side of the building attracted me as it spoke of places from my childhood, or maybe I'm just daft.

I love blue flowers and came upon this in a woman's garden as I headed north.  No idea what it's called but you will know.  Clearly in spite of the masses of traffic behind me this woman takes a lot of care of her plants and likes a well stocked garden. 


carol in cairns said...

The blue flowers are irises and lovely specimens indeed. We call rapeseed, canola.

the fly in the web said...

I do like those Essex hall houses and look forward to more of your investigations as the weather improves.

Lee said...

Here is the answer to your question, Mr. Ad-Man: "Rapeseed (Brassica napus), also known as rape,[1] oilseed rape, rapa, rappi, rapaseed (and, in the case of one particular group of cultivars, canola), is a bright-yellow flowering member of the family Brassicaceae (mustard or cabbage family), consumed in China (油菜: Mandarin Pinyin yóucài; Cantonese:yau choy) and Southern Africa as a vegetable. The name derives from the Latin for turnip, rāpa or rāpum, and is first recorded in English at the end of the 14th century. Older writers usually distinguished the turnip and rape by the adjectives 'round' and 'long' (-'rooted'), respectively.[2] Rutabagas, Brassica napobrassica, are sometimes considered a variety of B. napus. Some botanists also include the closely related B. campestris within B. napus."

I never use canola oil...I only use extra-virgin olive oil and/or butter.

They're lovely old buildings...and once again, your photos tell the stories. :)

Dogs never tire of chasing their balls, do they?

Adullamite said...

Carol, Iris's! I am no good at flower names.

Lee, Fantastic! Canola would be a more thoughtful name!

Dave said...

Fields of rapeseed are so vibrant. Remember when they genetically modified it and said that there was no way it would move from the original fields and self seed. What do we see alongside many roads and motorways.....umm looks very similar to rapeseed to me. I like the bit about Roman bricks in your previous post. I will look out for these in future.

Lady Di Tn said...

Here in the south of the USA we call those little blooms Dutch Iris. Canola oil can be used in tractors so why make food in oil that can be used in big machines. Yuck. Love the old buildings and the history that goes along with them. I had to LOL concerning the voting post. You do have a sense of humor Mr A. It would have been an interesting event if you could have had a pint in those old pubs of yesteryear. Too bad they were gone. Black Labs are wonderful animals but none are as smart as my Maggie. Peace

Adullamite said...

Fly, Essex houses are good but half that one would cost near a million I guess.

Dave, I always believe government experts! The Romans built villas around 200-300 AD and this area is dotted with them everywhere. They were down your way but the building material may be different. Interesting to hear what you find.

Lady, Aye they used fields of Canola to drive many buses round here. However at one time so much was planted there was not enough wheat being planted and crops were low!

Kay G. said...

Yes, the rape grown here is called is called that because it was first grown here in CANADA. Is that right? Heck, I don't know, but apparently farmers get more money for growing the grain for canola oil so we see it more and more now.