On 3 April the snowed had melted enough for me to join Michael Rudd on his guided walk along the River Greta to Brignall Old Church. It was a delight to enjoy the sunshine and feel that spring might really be emerging at last in Teesdale. This was one of a series of guided walks that the Museum is running to accompany our exhibition Rokeby: Poetry and Landscape. Michael read extracts from Scott’s epic poem Rokeby transporting us back to 1644 and the adventures and exploits of the characters of Scott’s poem. With the aid of illustrations we explored a number of artworks and viewpoints including the engraving of Brignall after Turner’s watercolour study. Sadly Turner’s watercolour was lost in a fire and Michael read a moving piece written by the famous art critic Ruskin, lamenting its loss.
We followed the path down to the edge of the River Greta to marvel at the Scotchman’s Stone capture by John Sell Cotman in his detailed watercolour. This large rock which has fallen from the cliffs above has sat on the river bed for hundreds of years. The base of the rock has been scoured and cleaned by the water and smaller rocks that crash against it whilst the top of it covered with an intricate layer of lichen and mosses. Heading back up the path towards Brignall Old Church we explored the ruins of the church that was dismantled to provide stone for a newer church. We wondered around the graveyard looking at the old and weathered gravestones before heading on towards the new church at Brignall and heading back to the Morritt Arms.
Why not join us on one of our other guided walks or pick up a pack of walking leaflets from the Museum’s shop, pack a picnic and a flask of coffee and undertake your own walking adventure?
Emma House, Keeper of Fine Art