I’ve just pitched my tent inside the ruined church at Burrow Mump. This does, at first glance, sound like an irresponsible thing to do but it is not as bad as it seems. There is plenty of evidence that sheep graze the inside of the roofless nave and the church was always this way – it was never finished, it never did have a roof. I will of course do no damage and take away other people’s rubbish as well as my own.
I also checked with some locals and they all encouraged my overnight stay. The first person even helped me put my tent up as it was rather windy and the second one, April, a local pagan, told me about some of her experiences with the Mump. At the end of the day (and it was the end of the day) I simply couldn’t resist taking this opportunity to sleep in/on such a special place on the Michael line. April said that once, while walking with friends, she looked up at the Mump and saw flames shooting out of the windows and roof. They all watched this whilst walking and assumed that some kids had lit a big bonfire in the church. On inspection later there was no evidence of any fire at all.
We talked about the incredible ‘energy’ or atmosphere that emanates from the Mump and its long history as a place of worship. April also told me of visions of white robed figures and of a friendly spirit called Andrew that hangs out here. She thinks that he would find me amusing, I do hope he says hello.
I did not cover as much distance today, mainly because I spent quite a lot of time mooching around churches. People on the levels seem very easy to talk to. I have had an interesting conversation with a man repairing a church organ; he was a keen walker. Another chap informed me that the path I was on led to the former house of the richest man in Somerset, when he died he left £50,000 to his cook : ‘that got ’em talking’, he said. I also met a group of church ‘recorders’ (nerds) that record and document every last detail of each church, there were about half a dozen of them. One even offered me a cup of lukewarm coffee from her flask; I politely declined.
I must thank the Westmancott family for looking after me so well last night; bath, food, laundry, bed, drying my damp tent and sleeping bag – and even a beer- what more could a tired walker want.
Time to wait for Andrew………