July 3 – Only nine miles to go today, on nice flat ground. We walked through farmer’s fields, with both green and amber waves of wheat:
An imaginatively decorated stile at a tuck shop with snacks for hikers:
A herd of cows was unusually interested in our presence, lining up along the fence as we walked by. I sang for them, “the hills are alive, with the sound of mooo-sic.” They were very appreciative. I could tell. They gave me a standing bo-vation.
We even got to see a flock of sheep getting their summer shearing. Sorry for the unflattering image of the farmer.
Before we knew it, we reached Ingleby Cross, and it was only 1:30pm. Way too early to try to check in at the B&B. What to do? We saw on the map that there was an old priory just two miles up the road, so we had lunch and decided to walk over. Unfortunately, it was two miles of walking along a busy highway where the cars were all coming from the wrong direction, but we got there alive!
The Mount Grace Priory was built in the 1300s for an order of Carthusian monks. Carthusians are solitary contemplatives, who do not eat meat. They lived here for a few hundred years, until King Henry VIII closed down all the Roman Catholic churches in 1540.
Unlike other orders that lived communally, each monk had his own two story apartment, with a bedroom, a study, a prayer room, a workroom upstairs, and a walled garden. Servants brought in food twice a day. Pretty sweet deal.
The property also had a manor house and some lovely gardens.
So, now we are at our B&B, Mount Bank Farm, which is a duck farm! Do you think we’ll have duck eggs for breakfast?