Monday, 23 May 2011
A Thankful Village
Did you know that Cundall (set near the river Swale, just east of Ripon) is one of the rarest villages in England? How so? Well, it is a Thankful Village - a village whose men and women all came home safely from the First World War. Of course, such villages were unusual in having no war memorials, though they often dedicated a monument of some kind in recognition of their gratitude.
Arthur Mee (whom I mainly know as the editor of a children's encyclopoedia, a phenomenon now almost rendered extinct by the internet!) first coined the term 'thankful village'. He idenified only 31 such villages in England. Others in Yorkshire are Catwick (near Beverley), Cayton (near Scarborough) and Norton-le-Clay (near Ripon).
Cundall is also one of a number of villages around the area to boast a Saxon cross. The church, which was restored in 1854, sits on an interesting series of mounds near the river, a site which has an intriguing feel of antiquity about it.