Today I visited Buncton Chapel, a tiny, twelfth century place of worship which apparently, is still in use. Although distant views of it can be glimpsed, it is completely hidden behind dense woodland from the nearest road. I had to leave my car by the roadside and follow a footpath which snaked down through a wooded hollow and up again to pastures and the Chapel itself. After passing underneath arching old hollies and following a woodside hedgerow, I found the Chapel, appearing suddenly under oak trees.
I was surprised to find the door unlocked. Inside everything was still and simple, in gently faded sandstone. Someone had arranged straw-dried grasses in a vase at the chancel. The only colour was from the kneelers, arranged neatly on the pews in bright vermilion, yellow and blue.
A robin was trapped inside. Sitting high on a rafter, he cocked his head and eyed me carefully. As I set up tripod and camera, facing towards the alter, he flipped silently down to sit momentarily on the topmost tip of the cross. Afterwards I opened the door wide and he made his escape. As I left, there he was, sitting on a gravestone, watching me intently, then zipped quickly into the hedgerow.