01 April 2015

View from Breedon on the Hill

As a truckdriver back in the states there were many times I'd spot interesting things from the interstate (motorway) and think to myself that I should go see that up close.  The same thing happens quite often here only it's from the passenger seat of a car rather than behind the wheel of an 18-wheeler which makes it far easier to take little detours. One of those places happened to be a church atop a hill that can be seen from the A42 in Leicestershire in the village of Breedon on the Hill (sometime soon I need to write about the differences of villages, parishes, hamlets, towns, and cities but not today).

To delve into a bit of toponymy, Breedon is a combination of the Celtic and Old English words for hill so basically Breedon on the Hill is a bit repetitious! To be fair though, it is quite a hill and you can get some amazing views for miles in several directions so it's no surprise that it used to be an Iron Age hillfort. The church standing there now was preceded by a monastery (approx 676 AD) and a priory later on (1122), more of the history can be found here.

The quarry as viewed from just outside the Church grounds

The Jubilee Beacon

Interior of the church

A moss 'forest' on the stone wall

Manx Loaghtan sheep

The other thing we were fascinated by was the herd of the sheep that had 2 to 4 horns! Neither of us had ever seen these before and we spent quite a bit of time trying to get some decent pictures of them. As you can see from the photo above they weren't at all interested in our attention or posing.  Turns out they are Manx Loaghtan sheep and they are on the watch list of rare breeds.  

The mutts and I outside the roundhouse in the village

While Breedon on the Hill isn't exactly a tourist hot-spot, it does provide some interesting things to explore and very spectacular views.  After our visit I did more research on the church and I would like to make a return trip to look more closely at the artwork and carvings.