In the background of the photo above stands the village church with its distinctive saddle-back tower. Lets start off by having a look in there.
The church was built in the middle of the twelfth century, probably just after the castle and with the same skilful masonry and view to permanence. It has been added to over the centuries and needed extensive renovation during Victorian times but even so much of the original work can still be seen.
Right in the centre of the aisle stands a large and ancient font, though the lack of carving on two of its four sides suggests that it may have once stood in a corner with the undecorated sides against the walls. But what on earth are those three carved faces on the font anyway?
Don't ask me why. Maybe someone was just fond of cats. But there's also a rather nice stained glass window with a more usual Biblical theme.
Shepherds encountering the Angel, a memorial to Fulk Greville Howard who, along with his wife The Honourable Mary Howard, supervised the Victorian restoration. Out in the churchyard there's what looks like a Celtic cross....
but it's just a bit too perfect and well preserved to be really ancient. And indeed, closer inspection reveals it to date from 1880 and to have been erected to the memory of Greville Theophilus Howard.
The Howard family name crops up all over the village (they owned the castle too in case you hadn't guessed) and the building above, "The Hospital Of The Holy And Undivided Trinity", was built by Henry Howard between 1609 and 1614 as almshouses to accommodate widows who lived in the local area.
And to this day the building fulfils the same function. But lets have a bit more of a wander and enjoy some more of the village and its gardens...
Just one more thing to show you...
...in medieval times life was rather different from today and trade took place not in shops but at outdoor markets and annual fairs which were held even in small settlements like Castle Rising. All that's left today is the old Market Cross standing in a green space which is where the market and fair were once held.