In this blog I will take you the many Churches and Churchyards I have visited while on my Church Crawling tours, you will see the photos from the churches through out the United Kingdom that I have been to. There are Tabbed pages that list the counties with the churches & cemeteries that are featured in the Blog. There is also a one with Google maps showing the churches I have visited. The church explorer is published at 21:00 hrs each Saturday
I have to prologise because I did not go anywhere this week for a couple of reasons but I'm still not happy about going out places but in a couple of weeks they are allowing places of worship to open again so I will endeavour to venture out then but I do have a couple of blogs I can write before hand.
This is a place I forgot I visited back in 2012. I did have a specific purpose which was to visit the grave of an Airman Killed in a crash near Wallingford back in 1944. It's a story I had heard about and after seeing the cairn in memory to them at the junction of Andrew and Wilding roads in Wallingford I thought it would be good to find theirs graves sometime. I knew one of them was buried at Brookwood Cemetery and found out Sgt Andrews was buried at Kerry in Wales. After finding out where the place was my wife & I went out for a drive one day when we were on holiday.
St Michael & All Angeles looked like a typical church you would find in Wales
In the square near the church you can see the village War memorial
There were two men from the village who are named on the Memorial Sgt F/E J F Anders RAF is the person who dies near Wallingford and was buried at his local church
Now I did not take any photos of the church apart from the weather vane on the porch. I think the fact the church was locked and I had left my wife with the dogs was the reason
I did walk around the back looking for his grave and came across this Commonwealth War grave of Private Price Charles Evans in the overgrown grass. It was the first slate headstone I had seen
I realised there was a cemetery nearby so went there to look for the grave I was after
The cemetery held the more recent burials
I soon found the Grave of Sgt Andrews
I felt I had put closure to my quest in finding the two RAF heroes. When you hear the words "Greater Love has no man than he lays down his life for his friends" it rings true.
This was the first church I have visited in three months and I was not expecting it to be open but then I needed to phone a church warden to arrange this and as things are at the moment I felt I would be asking a little much. Not much I can find on the church other than "St Mary Magdalene was built in 1855 to a design of Gilbert Scott." The entry door in the porch had a notice telling people it would be open for Prayer from 12am-1pm for personal prayer as as it was around 10am I did not think I should hang around to go inside so if you would like to see the interior then click this link that takes you to a fellow Church Crawlers Web Site Oxfordshire Churches.
From over the boundary wall at the roadside you can see the church is built in the mid 1800's being typical of that time
The village War Memorial is the first thing you pass after coming through the gate.
From over in the North East side of the churchyard gives a good view
There was not a lot of room to get a shot of the east
so I took another useing the wide angle lens as well
Going around the South side to the West end
Finally back around the South side
If you look over to the left as you come in the gate you see an area that seems to be made into a patio where a tree once stood
to the right a bit you can see over to the east end of the churchyard
Where you cannot miss these two huge tomb chests which are unusual in their design, not something I have seen before.
Carry on past and you come to the South side
Where there are some graves near the boundary wall, the building you see is the church hall
Above an unusual cross now fallen over and left safe.
Right the churchyard on the South side looking West
Where you can see a few family tombs and plots
Along to the West end of the churchyard
Where you go around to the North side.
Right a last look along the South side of the Churchyard
and a final look at the two chest tombs
Just as I was going back I noticed the Commonwealth War Grave of Private F.R.Bosbury who dies ages 18, it was almost hidden under the Yew tree but is remembered. RIP
Till Next time stay safe and have a great weekend
We are gradually coming out of lock down and on Monday the 15th Churches will be open for private mediation. I am hoping to get out and visit some again and bring you new churches to see so I will start by showing you one of the last churches I visited before the crisis started. Some history on the church off Wikipedia. "The Church of England parish church of Saint Peter was built in the 14th century, from which time the Decorated Gothic east window of the chancel survives. In the 15th century the nave was rebuilt with Perpendicular Gothic windows. The south door and porch are 16th century and the chancel arch may have been rebuilt in the 18th century. Until the 19th century Wootton was part of the parish of Cumnor. The first vicar of Wootton was appointed in 1885. Wootton was united in a single benefice with St. Helen's, Dry Sandford in 2000. but once again became a single parish benefice in the Abingdon Deanery in 2018.
The sculptor Oscar Nemon (1906–85) and his son Falcon Stuart (1941–2002) are buried in St Peter's churchyard".
After the disappointment of the visit to St Helen Dry Sandford where I found the church locked because of a safety concern I was hopeful of the next one at St Mary Wootton.
The church I admit did look older with the churchyard having some old headstone showing I spotted what looked like the base of a preaching cross near the church
Looking from the South told me it dated back quite a bit with the window frames I could see
Another view of the church from across the churchyard with a view of the weathervane on top of the bellcote
The West end was rendered but retained the old window frames
From there I went around the North side and the extension on the side
This looked to now be the vestry
The East end of the chancel
From here you could see along the path to the porch
The entrance door in the porch was open so I went in for a look
I must admit I was surprised to see a the Lay Minister and a lady sat on a bench at the back of the church having a discussion. I then found out the church was normally locked but as they were there it was OK for me to take some photos.
The normal photos I take looking down the nave to the chancel arch
Looking along it you could see some superb chandeliers hanging from the roof and some one kept them well polished
The chancel arch looked original
You walked past this pulpit which was set on a stem. Right we look though the chancel
The altar with the East window behind
The altar was set off by the screen behind which was quite stunning to look at
On the window sill of the South wall of the chancel a small lectern and another beautiful stained glass window
The smaller window in the south wall does not have stained glass but a beautiful stained glass panel had been places in the opening
The altar is set off by a simple wooden cross
Commemoration plaque dedicated to the men of the RAF who trained at the Bomber Command camp at Youlbury, something I never knew about when I went there with the Souts in the 1960's
The roof space in the chancel which is decorated
From the Chancel arch looking down the nave
The top of the font has this beautiful little candle holder
A last look at the church from by the entrance a prayer tree stands beside it
In the porch on the way out I noticed these old floor tiles which decorate the West wall
The churchyard path with the older graves on the left
Over in the South West corner of the churchyard
And over to the North West
An old cross in a family plot has succumb to a covering of ivy
More of family grave snow lost in undergrowth
Lichen covers this old headstone with ivy grows on another grave
The churchyard is deceiving because it expands with an extension