Moseying Around Minstead

Did you know that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was initially buried in the garden of his house…in an upright position? Admittedly, it’s not something that ever crosses my mind either but today I was sitting on a wooden bench facing the grave (mark 2…) of ACD in the churchyard in Minstead village, Hampshire. According to popular opinion, his initial burial was in keeping with his spiritualist beliefs. Does anyone know why this is so – the reason spiritualism is linked with vertical graves? I’d love to know.

Arthur’s bagged a great spot. Beneath a shady oak in utter peace and quiet, next to rolling fields.

The grave of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Whoever placed the pipe there, it’s a fine gesture and certainly raises a smile.

Minstead churchyard

For once, I hadn’t come out on a day’s hike but more to put in some practise with recording audio which I’ll shortly be adding to some of my blog posts. I figured that a churchyard would offer me the peace and quiet I was seeking for my first recording. So – today – I’m just meandering and striving to look professional whilst mumbling into a mic…

Another gravestone in this churchyard has been defaced…by none other than the grieving widow herself. On her husband’s passing in 1842 the loyal Mrs White requested that the words “faithful husband” be inscribed on his gravestone. The village gossip soon put her straight on a few things, however, and the word “faithful” was rapidly removed.

A faithful friend. A father dear.
A ***** husband lies buried here.
In love he lived. In love he died.
His life we craved, but God denied.

The village pub is called The Trusty Servant and has an unusual sign described thus “It is a figure, part man, part porker, part deer, and part donkey; with a padlock on his mouth, and various other symbols in his hands and about his person.” The mind boggles.

The Trusty Servant pub sign, Minstead

Before rushing home with my precious audio (I still had to work out how to transfer it to my computer and edit) I headed towards Furzey Gardens where the cashier enquired if I would prefer an adult pack or a fairy pack. Still not sure how to take that one.

The fairy pack is a definite winner for kids. The idea is to find lots of miniature items hidden throughout the gardens. Which child does not have an endless fascination for treasure hunts, elves and fairies?

fairy door, Furzey Gardens

Fairy times, Furzey Gardens

garden fun




And just when I thought I’d gone a whole day without an encounter…


Regular readers of my blog will know that cows hate me. For more evidence, visit Save Shorty, Mad Cows, A Naked Man And His Brazen Hussy and Grumpy Old Men, Crazed Cows And Indulgent Skippers In Keyhaven

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  • Chloe Greene

    Always love your quirky take on the countryside Karen and the things that you notice. And I always learn something too.
    I bet you were a highly imaginative child.I used to place my little pottery animals in hedges convinced that they came to life at night. :)

    • karenguttridge

      I think I was caked in permanent mud and scratches from the age of four! I had dens…and dams and knew where all the secret fairy glades were…