We Could Almost Be Abroad……

IMG_3447Where in the world have I been for the last couple of days?  Well, looking at this photo you might well think it was somewhere outside Britain, (unless of course you recognise it.)  A little chapel on a continental lake, perhaps, or a remote place of pilgrimage to a church rescued from an inundation?

Well, it’s in the Midlands.  It’s Normanton Church  and is all that was left standing above water when this valley was flooded in the 1970s to form Rutland Water, a reservoir providing water to the East Midlands.  It’s a surprising sight in quite an odd place.

It’s hard to put my finger exactly on why the place feels a little bit peculiar; but I think it’s to do with the newness and neatness of the environs.  It’s obviously not natural; it has that inauthentic faux feeling of a golf course, or the sailing ponds created out of the quarry pits beside motorways, pretending it blends naturally into the surrounding environment.

It’s pretty though, and on a sunny day we had a pleasant walk along the tarmac path which, according to the information, is 40km all the way around.  Its popularity with cyclists is evidenced by the hangar like size of the cycle hire franchise.

My curiosity as to its history could only be satisfied once we got home and consulted Mr Google: the information boards along the path were devoted exclusively (and disappointingly repetitively) to the osprey which have been introduced to the area.  It’s almost as if we should believe that it has always been there.  This made me even more curious to know about the engineering and the controversy of its creation.

In the meantime, I quite like the incongruity of the stranded church with all the stones banked around it, and it’s odd proportions because its base is flooded.

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