Saturday, 7 January 2017

2016 Round-up

At this time of year I like to do a review of my blogs from last year highlighting my favourite churches that I visited in 2016. I also started a Google map showing all the churches & cemetery's that I have visited over the years which you can see on the lower left hand side of the blog. 2016 saw me publish my 200th Church Explorer Blog and change the Blog address to the same name. I felt I had out grown My Grave Place and in reality this blog is more about Churches than Graves which still feature, it also sounds less sinister. On with the Review and I would get a coffee and piece of cake to read it.
January started off with me republishing the Fairmile Cemetery 
which I keep adding to because I find new graves to add to it 
The next blog was the 2015 round-up 
Then a revisit for me to St Mary Streatley

One church that is easy to visit off the Thames path 
I ended the month with a visit to St Mary-Le-More in Wallingford  which is just in the market place
February came all too quickly  and a shot blog on St John the Evangelist  
in Wallingford very near St Mary's
The next place on my Blog was Henley Road Cemetery in Caversham which serves as Readings new Cemetery after the one at Cemetery Junction in Reading became full with no room to expand.
I followed that with a short blog about St John the Baptist 
a church that I know has been reordered and one I'm not sure if I will get the chance to visit again
The month finished with a piece on Shaw Cemetery Newbury which is the one now used after the older one in town became full. It was also built near a disused railway line I was trying to find.
 March brought a blog about a few churches I visited one day while out on a walk looking for another disused railway St John and St Mary Magdalene
 unfortunately there were no inside shots and I doubt I will get the chance to take any

My next blog was return visit to West Hendred and a chance to get some photos of a beautiful old church

That was followed by a visit to Blewbury and another wonderful old church in fact it was a second visit as I had written a blog on it a few years previous but was never happy with the photos from the inside of the church

The week after I visited St Andrew South Stoke, one which brought back memories of a friends Wedding. The church was worth the revisit

March ended with the first of four places I visited in Hampshire one day St Mary Ichen Stoke
a church now looked after by the Church Conservation Trust. It has some superb stained glass that is worth seeing on a sunny day, unlike the overcast one it was for me.
April saw me visit St Peter Ovington
That was only a few miles from the last one in Ichen Stoke
The following week It was Tichborne which came as a welcome surprise when I walked in the doorway, It's not often I come across a church with box pews and with memorials dating to the 1600's

The last of the Hampshire places was Magdalen Hill Cemetery
Near Winchester which is huge and you can spend ages looking around
I ended the month with the first of some local churches I had gone around one Saturday
with St Peters Little Wittenham being the first of two visits to the church
The next church was from the adjoining village of Long Wittenham  anther where I was revisiting for some updated photos and one with a lot of history

St Michael & all Angels Clifton Hampden was the first church in May, this one over looks the Thames and Clifton Hampden bridge

St Peter & St Paul Culham was next, another church I had visited before but worth a second visit for more photos 
Norcote Road Cemetery came next a small almost forgotten cemetery worth visiting to see the war graves there 

The month ended with All Saints Sutton Courtenay 
A welcome return for me as it was the first time I had looked inside this wonderful old church 
and it is old with some great features still remaining in the church

June started off with a visit to St Peter & St Paul Appleford which is just outside the village and is a nice little church to visit if you are nearby

This was followed by a late Round-up of 2012 the first few blogs I wrote. I never did a review of the first ones so rectified it here

I returned to Little Wittenham in the next blog with some photos from the inside and some unexpected history for me

After that I went to Wales and my first blog of the year from that area which was Old Radnor Church
and indeed it was old with the oldest organ in the country still playing dating back to 1540 when Henry VIII was on the Throne

By contrast the next church St Tecla only a few miles away was not as old

Hagbourne Cemetery was next in July I'd come across this will  researching a nearby disused railway and had stopped off for a look round

St Peter in Caversham was featured next though it was only external views I had because the church is kept locked but I will attempt to return to this one

Like wise Crowmarsh Church which looks as though it could be interesting inside

Tr was back to Wales for the last blog in July and St Mary Gladestry a very nice old church that welcomes people with a stocked kitchen you can use

August saw me hop up to Anglese and a couple of churches I visited there many years ago

I then visited St Agatha in Brightwell 
One of the older churches local to me and needing a revisit on my part

Botley Cemetery came next One I had visited many years ago and sorted out the photos from, it had the first Commonwealth War cemetery I had seen and had both sides from the World War Two conflict side by side.

The last visit for August was St Bartholomew Nettlebed  Which I had been to before but never inside. It's also the church where Ian Flemings relations are buried.

September came around all too quick and I delved into my archives to show St Mary the Virgin Buscot a very pleasant old church near the River Thames

The following week saw me in Oxford and St Clements though I could only get photos of the outside as it was kept lock, hopefully I will return.

The next week it was another from the archive and St Michael & All Angels Eaton Hastings a lovely little church off the beaten path not far from the River Thames and worth the detour.

Come the end of Sepember it was back to Wales and St Llyr Llanyre 
a church I has seen one day when my wife & I drove past, it begged stopping off for a visit and it worth it to see some of the stained glass in the church.

October came round and another from the archive though a short one from 
St Andrew Collingbourne Ducis which I would like to return to some time.

Another from Oxfordshire followed and one which I would like to visit again when the chance comes up as St Margaret of Antioch Hinton Waldrist looked like it would be interesting inside 

Still in Oxfordshire I visited Wantage Cemetery the following week, a cemetery I had wanted to see for quite a while though it was not as interesting as others I had visited 

I visited Toot Baldon and St Lawrence the next week a church I had wanted to visit in a while and I was glad I did. There is a memorial to an air crash that happened not far away in the church.

The end of the month I went to Hinton Ampner a small church with interesting history beside the nearby house

November saw the first of my visits to Reading and churches I remember seeing and passing in my school days. Reading has a deep history to it and so do the churches. The Minster was the first with  a second blog the following week  showing the Inside of the church

Week three and it was St Giles Reading a church that is worth visiting to see the inside and the parish church of one of the Reading Martyrs

The last of my Reading churches for 2016 was Greyfriars which is built on the site of the old Franciscan Friary though in recent years had been reordered 

I ended the year with another review from 2013 which I had not done 

then the following week visited St Laurence Warborough a church local to me and one I shall be revisiting in 2017

The last church of the year was from St Bartholommew Docklow 
a church along the A44 which I stopped off at one day for a few photos but one I doubt I'll get the chance to revisit for internal shots.

So that's it for 2016some new Chrcuhes and a few old, if I had to pick favourite churches then I think it would be Old Radnor with the Organ from 1540, looking at something that was made that long ago and is still working fills me with wonder. There are others like Tichborne the Reading Churches and Sutton Courtenay  that left me standing in awe as well but the fact the churches are still there have people looking after them and worshipping in them shows they mean something.
May you have a wonderful weekend.


  1. Thank you, thank you very much for your visits to these beautiful places of your country. Thank you for your work and thank you for sharing it.

  2. Bill, you have shared so many beautiful churches and cemeteries last year...thank you!

  3. Hello Bill!
    Very beautiful relationship with extraordinary place.
    Great historic church and the old cemetery.
    I wish you have a nice, happy week.
    Greetings from a very cold Poland.