Le Viroin

This is a photo taken just a couple of days ago at our Scout camp on “Le Viroin” not far from Olloy-sur-Viroin. The track leading down to the camp is quite bumpy and care is needed when driving but finally you arrive at the end, one could also walk. However, one never quite know where these camps are HAHA… This is the river Viroin as it snakes it’s way down through southern Belgium and into France before throwing itself into the Meuse…

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The ruins of Crèvecoeur

As the story goes… the castle was overrun. The knights fought to hold of the invaders but they were too many. Their wives cared for the injured and dying locked in the tower. When they heard that their husbands were dead to avoid being captured they decided to jump to their deaths from the top of the tower, hand in hand.

The ruins of Crèvecoeur (heart break) Bouvignes near Dinant, Belgium.

 

Muck Wenlock. It’s Parish church and Saint.

Much Wenlock Parish Church is dedicated to the Holy Trinity and is a place made sacred by lives and prayers for more than 1300 years. The first church on this site was Anglo-Saxon, built probably about AD 680.
The present nave pictured below was built in 1150 by the cluniac monks of Wenlock Priory.

St. Milburga

Mildburh was a daughter of Merewalh, King of the Mercian sub-kingdom of Magonsaete, and Saint Ermenburga. She was the older sister of Saint Mildrith and Saint Mildgytha. the three sisters have been likened to the three theological virtues: Milburh to faith, Mildgytha to hope, and Mildrith to charity.

Mildburh was sought in marriage by a neighboring prince, who resolved to have her for his wife, even at the cost of violence. Mildburh’s escape took her across a river. The prince, in hot pursuit, was forced to desist when the river miraculously became so swollen that he was unable to ford.

Mildburh entered the Benedictine monastery of Wenlock, Shropshire (now known as Much Wenlock). the nunnery was founded with endowments by her father and her uncle, Wulfhere of Mercia,under the direction of a French Abbess, Liobinde of Chelles. Milburga eventually succeeded her in this office, and was installed as abbess by St Theodore.

Educated in France, Mildburh was noted for her humility, and according to popular stories, was endowed with the gift of healing and restored sight to the blind. She organised the evangelisation and pastoral care of south Shropshire.

She is said to have had a mysterious power over birds; they would avoid damaging the local crops when she asked them to. She was also associated with miracles, such as the creation of a spring and the miraculous growth of barley. One story relates that one morning she overslept and woke to find the sun shining on her. Her veil slipped but instead of falling to the ground was suspended on a sunbeam until she collected it.

She died on 23 February 715.

There is evidence that Saint Mildburh was syncretized with a pagan goddess. According to medievalist Pamela Berger, “this saint was chosen to fill the role of grain protectress in Shropshire when the ancient pagan protectress could no longer be venerated.”

 

 

Cottage

This little ruined cottage is in Scotland, in a small hamlet called Balbeggie not far from Perth. A French soldier from the battle of Waterloo lived here until he was in his nineties. He died here but I don’t know where he was buried. Fascinating piece of history…

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