Monday, 19 October 2009

How are the Poor of Kingsdown doing?

Periodically I get this urge to look along the under-cliff at Kingsdown. It has the feel of somewhere that a major rarity will turn up. Before I went there I decided to take a closer look at St John's Church, Kingsdown. For whatever reason it doesn't get into James Anthony Syms series of books.

I haven't had a closer look before because it looks a comparatively modern building, less likely to be holding little historical gems than many of the village churches around. In fact it tells the history of the village to some extent. Kingdown is or rather was a fishing village, and probably had more influence in former years. The Church was built in 1850 for the local fishermen and it was funded by a local boat builder, William Curling. The "Gothic style" building, was built from Kentish rag cost £4,500 and has an imposing view over the sea. William Curling also built the school (now the village hall) and the rectory.

The bell tower, with two bells is a dominant feature feature, although I haven't heard them in operation. The whole of the exterior and grounds are well kept and if a little characterless.

The interior has quite a few interesting inscriptions and an organ that was refurbished in 1994.

I found these two stone scrolls fascinating. It really puts the change in the value of our currency into perspective!

I wonder if the current inhabitants of Kingsdown benefit from these benefactions. I would commend the little guide book to any visitor, it was written by David Powell, when a 12 years old, and it is very well written and informative.

The real problem with the Undercliff is that it seldom fails to disappoint, and so it was to day. There were a few Rock Pipits on the rocks near the start of the pat and two Stonechats, but the hope for Black Redstart failed to materialise.

Each time one of the Stonechat popped up among the large rocks there was a split second of hope that it was something different, but also it never happened.

Of course Stonechats are well worth looking at in their own right, after all a Pied or Black-eared Wheatear is no better looking really..............................but wouldn't one be nice!!!!!

As I got back to the car the Kestrel that had been hovering was taking a rest siting on a telephone pole.
He really didn't mind me getting close. He even leant forward to show me his best side for a portrait.

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