On a grubby dark day with no bird movement, a walk in the woods seemed a good idea. A favourite local wood is by Waldershare Park, beyond the church.
Apparently the original house (seat of the Earls of Guilford) burned down in 1913, but the painting shows what it looked like. The church survives, however, supported by the Churches Conservation Trust, and is well worth a visit as it combines a typical East Kent nave with two spectacular side chapels, dedicated to members of the Guilford family. Among the many memorials is:
In This Vault is intended to lye The Honourable Peregrine BERTIE second Son to Mountague, EARL OF LINDSEY, Lord Great Chamberlaine, of England; who was Volunteer at the famour Seige of Arras, in the Yeare 1654 under Marshall TUREN, and afterwards a Captaine of a Troop of Horse, in the EARLE OF OXFORD’s regiment, when KING CHARLES the 2nd was restored. His Father Mountague attended KING CHARLES THE FIRST, in all his Troubles, and in his Imprisonment in the Isle of Wight, and, at last, was one of the 4 Lords, who were loyall, not only unto, but after, Death; by attending his sacred Majestie to his Grave and giving him Xtian Burial, at Windsor, after his barbarous & horried Murder.
The churchyard holds two large yewtrees overshadowing the church itself.
The path from the church towards the park leads down to the wood, which has obviously been well managed in the past, and holds sweet chestnut (both standards and coppiced), an avenue of limes, a plantation of spruce and occasional oaks and Norway maples.
The dry leaves and fallen branches on a springy deep layer of leaf litter are a joy to walk on, and there are the first signs of autumn fungi starting to appear.