From Riga with Love: A Voyage to Europe’s Forgotten Frontier

The past bears a heavy legacy in Latvia, one of three Baltic states, including Lithuania and Estonia, that were only granted independence from Russian rule in the closing decade of the 20th century. Little known in much detail to Western Europeans, Latvia, for a large part of the 20th century, languished behind the Iron Curtain…

The House at Heaven’s Door: The Lost Priory of Stone

The rain lashed our faces as we made our way hastily towards the steps of the house, seeking shelter. Once through the door, we were taken down a flight of steep steps twisting their way below ground, underneath the house. The Undercroft Hidden away from sight and sound, a large vaulted undercroft lay waiting, its…

The Church that Refused to Crumble: The Miracle of Pershore Abbey

First Sight We waited with excitement for our car to crest the hill between us and Pershore. A moment later, our patience was rewarded with a magnificent view. The abbey church of Pershore stood confidently in the valley before us, the small Georgian town of Pershore wrapping itself around the abbey grounds. Red brick houses…

The Lost City of Gogyrfan: Uncovering a Landscape of Legend

I felt rather overdressed as we struggled up the steep earth bank, the sun scouring the early morning mist from the hillside. As we placed our feet on the dark brown earth, we were merely brushing the surface of an ancient landscape more composed of myth than physical reality. The Wrong Hill Finally, after a…

The Beating Heart of a Dead Man

The main high street to St Alkmund’s church in Whitchurch, Shropshire, was steep and we were relieved to have finally reached the top. Excited and flushed from our brisk walk we placed warm hands on the cold iron handle of the church door and twisted. The scene which greeted us was filled with light cascading…