Saturday, 19 June 2021

St Gwrthwl's Llanwrthwl


The first of a couple of churches from Wales and the first time I have managed to visit any of them since this  crisis began. The church is one of that I have been wanting to visit in my quest to follow the churches Phil Jones visited for his website Builth Churches  it was also a chance  to take photos of the old station that was nearby that I was asked to take.

"St. Gwrthwl's Parish Church churchyard has a prehistoric standing stone about 1.75 metres (5 ft 9 in) high near the south porch. Its upper part appears to have been broken, though it may be the shaft of a cross, or of Druidical origin. On Rhôs Saith-maen, or the "Seven Stone Common", in Llanwrthwl parish, are some very irregularly placed stones, though it has not been determined if they are of military, sepulchral, or Druidical remains"

 Standing on the road outside you look over the wall to see the church 

You need to go to the left and follow the wall to come to the gate where you will also find  stone steps taking you over the wall

Take a walk across the churchyard to see the east end

Going along the path shows you the south side of the church

Walking west through the churchyard to see from the west end

back to the North east side to see this view

This part I presume is the vestry

The porch with the pagan stone nearby

It looks odd in the churchyard but the church was built beside it

A family vault dominates this part of the churchyard south of the church

Closer view from the south west showing the porch

In the porch you with find the village roll of honour, it show those who served their country the ones who died are marked with a small cross

More recent headstones

Around the North side and some of the older headstones. The church bell stands in a frame with roof near the church

Looking west on the north side of the church

The east end part of the churchyard

Memorials hang on the east end wall of the church

Looking west from the east end of the churchyard

Family plots over on the south side near the boundary fence

Older headstone with inscription still in readable condition

Graves with tombstones between the head and foot stones

Looking back east along the south side of the church

The church from the south west side of the churchyard

Photo looking from the south east end near the entrance

The pagan stone with church behind

Last look from footpath over the boundary wall.

 Till next time stay safe and have a wonderful weekend

Saturday, 12 June 2021

St Andrews Oddington


This weeks church is St Andrews Oddington, the last one of my visit  a few weeks ago, found this one interesting in that I wish I could have gone inside but it was locked. Some history from Wikipedia :-

"A mention of Oddington in a Papal bull written in AD 1146 suggests that the village had a parish church by the middle of the 12th century. The present Church of England parish church of Saint Andrew was built at the end of the 13th century and beginning of the 14th century. The buttresses of the nave are late 13th century, and the font is probably also from that century. Some features of the chancel are early 14th century, but in 1821 the chancel was demolished and rebuilt.

Between 1884 and 1886, the church was heavily restored under the direction of the architect E.G. Bruton. The bell tower and the north wall of the chancel were rebuilt, the vestry and north aisle were added and several windows inserted.

Inside the church are two unusual monuments. The first is an early 16th-century monumental brass in memory of Ralph Hamsterley, who had been parish priest and died in 1518. It is a cadaver monument, showing his corpse in its burial shroud, which is a style unusual for monumental brasses in England. Elsewhere there is an example from the late 14th century, also in memory of a parish priest, in the parish church at Lytchett Matravers in Dorset.

The second unusual monument is a large pietà at the west end of the nave. It is decorated with Māori totems in memory of Māori servicemen killed in the First World War.

The tower has three bells. The treble was cast in 1609, but the bellfounder has not been identified] James Keene of Woodstock cast the tenor in 1626. Thomas I Mears of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry cast the youngest of the three bells in 1804. The ring was converted for chiming in 2012.[ There is also a Sanctus bell, cast by an unknown founder in about 1614, but it is cracked.

Gilbert Sheldon held the living of the parish from 1636. Sheldon already held the living of Hackney, received that of Ickford, Buckinghamshire at about the same time as that of Oddington, and at some time also the living of Newington, Oxfordshire. After the Restoration of the Monarchy, Sheldon was consecrated Archbishop of Canterbury in 1663.

The Syriac scholar William Cureton was curate of Oddington for a time in the 19th century. St. Andrew's is now part of the Church of England Benefice of the Ray Valley."


A view of the church as you walk along the path

Going around the south side of the churchyard we look east

Further along you will get a good view of the south side of the church

Going along to the east end

Then around to the north side

Along to the west end a bit more to see the north side of the church

The porch with doors shut

This was open but the door inside was locked

Here we look along the south side of the church and the churchyard there

There are quite a few older looking headstone there

Looking back west, there is an interesting wooden cross I missed in the background it belongs to Margret Staples Brown who was a Māori princess, I'll get a photo next time I visit
I have not seen one like this before with kingfishers on

The North side churchyard

Now if you visited Inspired Sunday last week you would have seen a photo of a church called the Holy Rood the point of the photo was the to show what was in the foreground which was one of these a Preaching Cross and this one is one of the best preserved in Oxfordshire and the most complete I have seen

Most of the ones you come across are either a stump of base, you see them in a lot of villages.

On ones side you will see Christ Crucified

The opposite side is Mary with Jesus

You can see crosses on most village that look a little like this but the modern ones tend to be the village war memorial

A last look along the south side of the church looking west

I will leave you with this video I put together called Silent Reflection.
Till Next time stay safe and have a peaceful weekend

Saturday, 5 June 2021

St Nicholas Islip


This week the Church Explorer visits St Nicholas Islip  the second of the churches I visited around North Oxford a s few weeks ago. This is a church I was looking forward to seeing after realising it was not too far away. A little History off Wikipedia below though if you go to the link above you can read a little more :-

"Edward the Confessor (born circa 1004, died 1066) was born in Islip and tradition holds that he was baptised in a church here. Parts of the present church date from about 1200. The chancel was rebuilt in 1780 and the church was restored in 1861. The church is Islip's only Grade I Listed Building. The belltower has a ring of eight bells. Since 1987 the Church of England parish has been part of the Ray Valley Benefice.

A chapel associated with Edward the Confessor existed north of the church. The chapel was damaged in April 1645 in a military engagement in the English Civil War, and in the 1780s it was demolished.

The former rectory was built in 1689 for Robert South and enlarged in 1807 for William Vincent. It is one of several Grade II* Listed Buildings in Islip"


 This is the view of the church from near the village centre and where you could park

Walking along the path to the opposite side you come to the west end an bell tower

Looking across the churchyard to the east end

Walking past the chancel end with the priest door

Another view of the west end and tower

Here you can see the tower and north aisle

Walking around the north side you can see an extension that has been added on with chimney indicating this may be a vestry

 The north side of the church

Looking from further along towards the east end

East end of the church with a fenced tomb chest
Another shot of the east end from near the path
A lot of older graves can be seen here at the east end

Roy Stuart Lee and Catherine were a long way from their native home

Graves you can see while walking along the path on the south side

Further along at the west end

And the south west end

A couple of tombs can be seen here on the west end of the church

Looking east along the north side

This is one of the tombs on at the west end of the church

Simple headstone of Gerard L'estrange Turner and his wife Helen Elizabeth

Mixture of headstones on the far north side of the church

Looking west on the same side

East end showing a couple of tombs

In the south side is this wonderful old chest tomb

Near the chancel end you find these older headstones

By the church this older one with the inscription gone

Another sinking in the ground the headstone eroding

I will leave you with this shot of the cowslips that grown in the churchyard.
Till Next time Take Care and have a wonderful weekend