Eyeworth, Bedfordshire: Puritanical winds and rain had stripped the limestone walls of their medieval ornamentation

A thunderbolt from heaven had struck the village church half a century earlier. After it toppled the tower, the parish plugged the gap with a tiny turret. The pitifully crowned building looked oddly bereft – a stag without antlers, a unicorn without its lance. Odd enough in appearance to entice me off the high street – the only street – down a grass track, where an elderly man in a loose orange T-shirt was strimming back the vegetation, “makin’ it better for tomorrow’s funeral”.

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