Is there anything drearier that an English graveyard on a gloomy, sombre afternoon? Such was this late October day in Northleach at the Church of St Peter and St Paul in the Cotswolds.
My wife and I had traveled first to Stafford, Staffordshire, UK, to do her family history research. Afterwards, we moved first to the Peaks District and then to the Cotswolds. One particular highlight she wished to see was the Wool Churches of the Cotswold. For those unfamiliar with the Wool Churches, they originated after the Norman conquest when wool merchants realized that the Cotswolds made a great place to raise sheep. The “Costswold Lions’, as the sheep were called, were known for their long-flowing fleece and proved to be so profitable that the merchants built stately homes and grand churches with their proceeds out of the now-famous Cotswold stone.
The Parish Church of St Peter & St Paul in Northleach can be traced to 1227 but was upgraded and expanded by the wool merchants in the 15th century. The cathedral-like appearance “of perpendicular architecture makes this Parish church of St Peter and St Paul among the more famous of the wool churches.”
For visiting the Cotswolds, we put ourselves into Tetbury, a nice location for what we wanted to visit. Of course, getting ready to drive in the UK from the US required practising mentally to drive on the other side of the road for about two weeks before our trip. In an earlier excursion, I terrorized my wife by almost side-swiping the vehicles parked on her side of the road. It was an easy half-hour drive to Northleach, successfully navigating the various round-a-bouts thanks to Google, and since it was a heavy overcast day, I did not have to worry so much about strong contrasts.
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