Tuesday 12 March 2019

Moravians and More

It's endlessly surprising what you come across in this richly various country of ours. The fine Georgian building above is the Moravian church in the village of Ockbrook, near Derby (yes, I've been on my Mercian travels again). The Moravian Settlement there is one of only three in Britain, and dates back to the 1750s. The Moravian Church itself, however, had its origins in the 15th-century Bohemian Reformation, and is arguably the oldest of all surviving Protestant sects. Being keen on missionary work, the Moravians still have a worldwide presence, not least in the Caribbean, where they were the first Protestant missionaries to minister to the slave population. The motto of the British Province is 'In things essential, unity... in non-essentials, liberty... in all things, charity', which seems fair enough.
  The Ockbrook settlement (which includes a large and thriving independent school) is a charming little enclave of handsome red-brick Georgian buildings, including some commodious houses, one of which has a box-hedge maze in its front garden.
Other highlights of the weekend included a visit to the inland port of Shardlow, a survival from the canal age, and one of only two recognisable canal ports in England (the other being Stourport). More handsome Georgian red-brick buildings, many now converted from industrial to residential use. And a walk around Elvaston Castle Country Park, the gardens and grounds of a grand neo-Gothic house (by James Wyatt) in what is now a Derby suburb. And now I'm back in storm-lashed Surrey, with the hatches battened down.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Mr Ness, yes, this is a wonderful old country you got yourself her and I sure am trying to learn more abut it. I've been watching that TV history program with that woman called the Phenomenal Cunk. Did you see it? Whaddya think as a guide to the history of your bedazzled isle? I think she gets some of her facts wrong, but I would still nail her, if you don't mind me expressing a personal opinion.