Sunday, 28 June 2020


St James Ruscombe, an impressive tower

St Lawrence  Waltham St Lawrence

There is an almost triangle of fields, woodlands and polite roads bounded by the A4, M4 and A404 in East Berkshire, just west of Maidenhead.

I first discovered this area on a frosty December day last year. Last week sought it out once more, for a churching jaunt.  

I was accompanied by puppy, sketchbook and my newly acquired Pevsner  - The Buildings of England: Berkshire.

First call was paid to St. Lawrence church in the village of Waltham St Lawrence. 

You enter under a huge yew tree. The place was full of peace and perhaps the promise of rain.Of course the church was closed and so a thorough inspection outside revealed much flint and stone although Norman origins can be enjoyed. Inside is mostly Victorian we gather. I made a drawing of what I thought must be the vestry window.

Leaving the church to your left is the Bell Inn with C14 timber framing and a farm house to your right. There is much Elizabethan and Jacobean brickwork adorning the houses throughout the village.

A couple of miles west, towards Twyford and we are in Ruscombe and the delightful St. James Church. 

St James'  has an impressive brick tower, C17. 

Inside, so Pevsner's inventory suggests, there are many marvels we can enjoy some other time: These include some restored paintings, C13 and restored in the late C19.

Both St. James and St.Lawrence are set in peaceful church yards where gravestones proudly welcome you to sit and ponder.

An almost triangle?

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Thank you very much for your comments - Tim