One of the benefits of looking for a property to buy is that we visit places we’ve never had cause to visit before.
One Sunday afternoon, Best Beloved and I tootled along the western edge of the Lake District National Park, seeing what we could see.
There were lovely views across West Cumbria toward the Irish Sea, the Solway Firth and Scotland. Along the feet of the fells were hidden hamlets, quiet rural views, and winding waterways.
Our northernmost stop for the day was the Church of St. Michael and All Angels in Isel. The sign states that the present church dates from c1130, and is built on a Pre-Norman site.
It isn’t a grand building, but it is a welcoming one.
Settled into the curving bank of the River Derwent, the church is surrounded by impressive sandstone monuments and gravestones.
A beautiful resting place for generations of local families.
Swallows nest in the porch and swoop about catching insects. The body of believers at St. Michael & All Angels have kindly provided benches for resting and reflecting, and watching the swallows.
Just to the north and a little further downriver, Isel Hall dominates the ridge above.
Known for its c1400 Pele Tower and sunken gardens, the hall is a private home and has very limited opening times.
Victorian renovations didn’t destroy the clean Norman simplicity of Isel’s church. Nor have recent floods caused irreparable damage.
We’ll have to plan a second visit to Isel, in the spring.
Rumour is that the graveyard will be covered in bright, twirling daffodils. A sight to see.