But I've gotten ahead of myself . . . Today's adventure began with a drive to the picturesque village of Widecombe-in-the-Moor, which lies in the very heart of Dartmoor National Park. As we drive along in through the mist and rain all I can think of is "Heathcliff, oh, Heathcliff, where art thou Hearthcliff?" This is a landscape of love, longing and dark romantic fantasies.
The church was badly damaged in the Great Thunderstorm of 1638. Legend says it was caused by a visit by the Devil that left 4 parishioners killed and 60 more injured.
Besides the amazing grave stones, one of the highlights of this church for me is a folk art sculpture of the legendary "Old Grey Mare" and her riders that was constructed by an 82-year old retired sailor named Harry Price. Hailing from Drewsteignton, Mr. Price spent two-years building his sculpture, which has many moving parts, entirely from scrap (recycled) materials. It was originnally exhibited at the 1959 Widecombe Fair.
Today, the Old Church House that was build around 1540 to hold parish festivities or 'ales' is held by the National Trust and leased, in part, to the village as a community hall. It also holds a National Trust gallery that sells wide range of crafts including beautiful wool blankets and pillow . . . which Gypsy and I purchased.
I should say that I was a bit disappointed when we were planning our English adventure not to be staying here at the Castle . . . but after visiting and experiencing the "hushed" atmosphere and the dark and staid public rooms, I became absolutely convinced that Petunia was right in choosing Highfield House instead!