Thursday, 22 March 2018

First crocus


After a week or two of bizarre weather, alternating between snow and bright, springlike sunshine, the spring bulbs might have been forgiven for shrivelling up and retreating underground again. These crocus (crocuses, croci?) in the centre of Bingley were putting on a brave show. 

The stone structure in the background is the old Butter Cross and market buildings. Bingley was awarded a market charter over 800 years ago, which gave townspeople the right to hold a market. They would have congregated around the Butter Cross, which indicated where the market was held. Fresh local produce - butter, eggs and milk - would have been laid out around the steps of the cross. The cross itself possibly dates back to the 13th century although the roof over it and the adjacent hall came later, in 1753. These ancient structures have been moved around the town as development occurred and new roads were built. They are now in the open area at the centre of town near to the Bingley Arts Centre, and a regular market is still held beside them to this day. See here for an interesting article about the history of the butter cross and market. 



5 comments:

  1. Many years ago I read a book by Edwin Way Teale in which he followed the Spring northwards from Cornwall to the north of Scotland. Nowadays he could do it by reading blogs from various parts of the country. First crocuses here showed over a month ago.

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  2. Oh, I was thinking the ancient market goers would have seen the crocuses, but sigh, the actual market used to be somewhere else. Glad to know that...and I do appreciate seeing such a field of crocuses!

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  3. A lovely setting, and very pretty flowers!

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  4. Hi Jenny - love having the extra info on the butter cross - those market crosses are wonderful to see in towns. Crocuses yes ours are out - and still coming ... but I'll see the country change as Spring starts to arrive ... love the beds of crocuses, and yes swathes of snowdrops, let alone the scatterings full of daffs - cheers Hilary

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  5. I've seen Snowdrops and Aconite this week but no crocuses yet.

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