Heritage Open Days

A bit late to the party, I was only recently introduced to Heritage Open Days, which are a ‘festival of history and culture’, according to the aforementioned website. In other words, they are an opportunity to be given a guided tour or see books and other treasures which are normally not available to view – and all for free.

Certainly, we experienced both at St Oswald’s Church in Methley, a village southeast of Leeds. In short, we learned about the Lancastrian presence in this part of the world, including the battle of Towton in 1461, as well as the building of the church and its artefacts. I also saw for the first time a man dressed in a full suit of armour and learned other aspects of life in the Middle Ages.

Medieval stained glass window

A number of other people were dressed in Medieval finery – or rather mostly peasant attire – and were displaying paraphernalia that would have been common at that time. I was particularly intrigued by the some spoons, which I took to be replicas made of plastic. However, they are actually made of cow horn.

Why don’t we use such now? Apart from being carved, at high temperatures horn can be moulded into all kinds of shapes (there was also a bowl made of it, remarkably found in a charity shop), so it is a useful material. And of course it must be naturally BPA free.

About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
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9 Responses to Heritage Open Days

  1. Murtagh's Meadow says:

    The window is lovely. I have never seen cow horn used this way, fascinating

  2. clarejk2014 says:

    Heritage Open Days are a great opportunity to visit fascinating places and learn about them. I’d never seen spoons made out of cow horn before, maybe we could learn from previous generations. I think it would be so much better to use a natural, sustainable material than plastic for everything.

  3. gaiainaction says:

    Great opportunity given to us all this Heritage week. I also love the medieval stained glass window, it’s beautiful. Cow horns, yes a good idea but I was just thinking that these days they won’t let the cows grow their horns, maybe I am wrong. It would be a good source of material, and easy to grow and harvest.

I love to read about your own experiences and any other feedback you have, so look forward to your comments below.

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