I saw my first snowdrops of the year down yesterday then today every patch of grass in the village had its display. It’s as if there a hidden cue to flower at the same time. But they’re not a native British plant. Originally from southern Europe they were introduced in the 16th century. Snowdrops are undoubtedly pretty little flowers but taking them into an house is said to bring bad luck.

The church in the photo is All Saints, the old parish church of Great Ayton until 1877 when the new Christ Church was opened because of the increase in population of the village. All Saints is a Grade 1 listed building dating from the 12th century. A nave and tower to the left of the door were demolished in the late 19th century. The churchyard is a bit of a tourist attraction as it contains the Cook family grave where is mother was buried. James Cook of course was killed at Kealakakua Bay in the Hawaii Islands.


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