I had reason the other week to visit the Church of St Mary and St Barlok, near Ashbourne in Derbyshire. I do not visit churches very often but I do find them intereting. The church is very old, it has its origins in Saxon times and has been little altered since the sixteenth century. It is a fascinating church and well worth a visit. If you are a George Eliot fan there is a strong connection as her father and paternal grandparents are buried there. Try as I might, I cannot find out anything about St Barlok. St Mary is the mother of Jesus (just in case you wondered. I knew his mother was Mary, I suppose I should have realised she would be a saint).
Adjoining the church is the Old Manor, which is owned by the National Trust and is apparently available to rent as a holiday home. Because I am a dull sort of person, before setting out on the journey I had carried out a bit of research into the area and found that the Manor has a rather nice knot garden. So, as is my usual habit, I dragged an unwitting party of people around the garden before we could go for lunch.
It was an unexpected element to the day and an extremely pleasant one. The Knot Garden is a real joy and if you are out that way it is worth checking the opening times and stopping off.