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Thursday Doors

Thursday Doors Gilmorton

Gilmorton is an ancient village in South Leicestershire with a population of about a thousand souls. When William the Conqueror commissioned the Domesday Book in 1086, the village had just 140 inhabitants. The name means “Golden Town on the Moor”. Now, the nearest moor is at Bradgate, 20 miles to the north. The fields around the village are as flat as a pancake.

We went for a walk with some friends from the village and I noticed the plethora of little people, gnomes.

This is the strange gateway to the churchyard. Look for the gnomes at the very top of the pyramid
Magnified magnificent gnomes
Here is a gnome on top of a Royal Mail pillar box. He is even wearing a Royal Mail hat.
This green door has a fancy portico, upon which there are some gnomes on display. And another on the window sill.
A closer view
Spot the gnome

Apparently there is an activity called “gnoming”, where gnomes are stolen/ taken from their gardens and photographs of their adventures are sent back to their owners. Occasionally, this makes the national news, especially when the prodigal gnome returns home (“Gnome at Last”).

In France, there is an organisation called the Front de Liberation des Naines de Jardin (Garden Gnome Liberation Front). Activists kidnap gnomes and release them into the wild or even more bizarrely, hang them from a bridge in a mass suicide pact.*

In the 2001 film “Amelie” (starring Audrey Tatou), her father is bereaved and to cheer him up, she gives one of his garden gnomes to a friend who is an air stewardess. She sends him photographs of his gnome in exotic locations which he has never been able to visit.

Wikipedia says the practice began in the 1970s when Henry Sunderland took two of his own garden gnomes, Harry and Charlie, to Antarctica where he photographed them in the snow.

Enough of gnomes, more doors:

White House Farm (1801) used to be one of the half dozen active farms in the village. Only two remain.
This is Gilmorton Farmhouse, rather splendid with white pillars and iron arrow fencing
Naturally, farms have farmyards, accessed by wide white gates.
The Old Homestead

Finally, I thought that the brick lettering above this shop was more interesting that the door beneath it.

Clayton Willey Grocer – who needs a sign writer when you have brick art like this?

Merry Christmas to you all!

*Talking of mass suicide pacts, those of you with a Netflix subscription can check out the True Crimes series of the Burari Hangings – gruesome, but just a few miles from where I worked at the Medecins Sans Frontieres clinic in North Delhi four years ago. Well worth a watch.