Today I escaped for a bit. The weather was good, I had nothing pressing, and rather than fiddle with blog posts and other stuff, I decided to go for a decent ride. I had to pop up to the farm shop at Packington Moor, so rode out to Whittington first, aiming to get something to eat at the village cafe, which used to be open Sundays. Sadly, it isn’t anymore, and dejected, I headed down over the old ranges to the canal through the woods, climbed back up the A51, calling in at Hopwas Church on the way.
Cutting down Knox’s Grave Lane, back up to Weeford, then over to Hints and back to Canwell, Footherley and Stonnall. Not a long ride, but with a tortuous headwind and periodically heavy showers it was a bit of a challenge. Enjoyable though, and the scenery was great, as was the riding.
Hopwas is the most curious, lovely church in all of Staffordshire. There, I said it. Yet what gazetteer or guide breathes it’s name? Who ever mentions this delightful country church?
Sitting in the shadow of Hopwas Hays Wood, high on the hillside, it gives the air of a country farmhouse, with white and timber gables, chimney and leaded pocket windows. Built in 1881 and designed by John Douglas of Cheshire, it’s a building that, to the best of my knowledge, is unique, and in a beautiful spot.
If you get time over Christmas and fancy a look, do go. Right in the lee of the wood, there’s plenty of good walking and cycling nearby, and even a couple of decent pubs. It really is worth a visit.