How I came to miss this when I made my Pastoral Peculiars book nine years ago is as mysterious as the thing itself. High on a windy ridge above the Northamptonshire village of Little Brington is all that remains of the church of St.John's. Built as a chapel of ease in 1856 by Frederick Spencer, 4th Earl of Spencer (1798-1857), it served those in the village who found the walk to the Spencer tomb-laden St.Mary in Great Brington wearisome. Altruistic as this may seem, it also doubled-up as a memorial to the Earl's first wife Elizabeth Georgina Poyntz, whom he married in 1830. A hundred years on and the church had fallen into disrepair and the body of it was demolished. At the request of the Air Ministry (wish we still had one of those) the tower and broach spire were kept as a navigational landmark. A friend also quite rightly thinks that the local hunt would've lobbied for its continued presence as a prominent marker in these steeplechasing acres. There's another pastoral peculiar nearby that a faulty camera memory card and glowering clouds prevented me from snapping, but you'll find more of the same here, and if I've read it correctly for as little as one penny. Now that is peculiar.
I am a designer, writer and photographer who spends all his time looking at England, particularly buildings and the countryside. But I have a leaning towards the slightly odd and neglected, the unsung elements that make England such an interesting place to live in. I am the author and photographer of over 25 books, in particular Unmitigated England (Adelphi 2006), More from Unmitigated England (Adelphi 2007), Cross Country (Wiley 2011), The Cigarette Papers (Frances Lincoln 2012), Preposterous Erections (Frances Lincoln 2012) and English Allsorts (Adelphi 2015)