Saturday, 29 July 2017


Bit of a change this week as I have not visited any churches to write about in a while but the last few I did visit I took some interesting photos of the engravings on the headstones.

You may remember this one from a few weeks back, the headstone shows a skull and most likely dates to the early 1800's The earliest headstones I have come across date to the early 1600's

These from a churchyard in Caversham date from the 1700's

Recently in Wales I came across some interesting ones  like these hands on a headstone that had fallen over and no doubt will be lost soon

 Moving on you can see some wonderful engravings on the headstones. The next few are from a couple of churchyards in Wales
On the left a Romany caravan telling you he was a Romany Traveller

A winding path on the left and the good shepherd on the right

Small Celtic cross on this headstone

An open book with cross and another good Shepherd 

a Regimental motive  of the South Wales Borders
 Liked this one of a winding road

 Above a window on the world, right a fisherman the person liked fishing I presume

 I'm guessing the person was a Shepherd

Another window and a rose around a cross

Hands releasing a dove

and a the last from Wales a shepherd with his sheep and dog

Now we travel to my local churchyard and some of the motives and engravings on the headstones there. This one had a red rose on the top

Above a robin to the Left and a Pigeon on the Right
When I spotted this headstone of a hound chasing a hare I who's it was. I remember the guy walking his whippets for years around the village and he commented on ours. He always seems a fit person to me  and I was shocked when I heard he passed. He also kept Pigeons, it was a fitting engraving on his headstone

No often you see a butterfly on one

I suspect this is a rose painted blue for a forget me not

Above the angel with the wreath is off my best friends parents grave. I've not seen him in years but I always remember him looking at the headstone. Right top Mary watches over this grave and right a Welsh dragon tells you where the person came from

Above a rose this one is on my parents headstone, when my Father dies in 1980 Mum went to choose a headstone and wanted this black one with the rose on

 As I was going I noticed a headstone with a heart in the top and inside was this Dove, I thought it looked quite sweet. I will return another time with some more headstone engravings.
Do have a good weekend

Saturday, 22 July 2017

St David Maesmynis

This is another church I came across while looking for another on a map, I noticed it was just outside Builth Wells and I wondered if I had driven past it at one time. I was lucky to find the church open and was shown around by the churchwarden who it turned out knew who I was through a guy I had never met but conversed with via email on many occasions. Seems they were good friends and had visited all the churches in the area like I am doing placing them on a website. Unfortunately I had an email one day telling me that Phil had died though I always remember him as I refer to his website on the churches 
All I could find on the church came from the parish website "The church was rebuilt in 1878. The reredos and east window were commissioned in the 1960s. 'The east window depicting Christ in a vesica of cherubs' wings and the five painted reredos panels representing the Crucifixion, Annunciation and Nativity are by Henry Harvey. From the churchyard can be seen glorious views down the Irfon Valley."

An unusual feature for a church like this is the stone Lych Gate

With some rather nice wrought iron gates taking you in the churchyard

Heading around to the East end

Then along to the South

and to the West letting you know the church is not that large

Going back to the North side and
the porch
 The porch has some nice small gates with  some wire net gates inside to stop birds roosting in the porch

Inside shows a pretty church well lit with some superb stained glass letting in light to the chancel

Now I must admit I found the stained glass quite stunning even though it is modern. It was made by Harry Harvey stained glass artist of York in conjunction with architects George G Pace & Ronald G Simms in 1963 and depicts the Te Deum

Detail on the base of the central part of the window

Below behind the altar is a panel in memory of Robert Edward Probert a former rector who died in 1962

the panel is quite amazing to look at.
Left turning around an looking down the Nave

Either side of the chancel arch you find the pulpit and an eagle lectern

The lectern has carved panels of oak and you get a good view of the nave from it

At the back you can see a beautiful hand written Roll of Honour for St David Maesmynis and considering how big the area is it must have been an awful loss for those left behind

Out in the porch you will find a few memorials like the one on the left to Thomas & Mary Bowen. Right a memorial to Weaver Price Gent

There are two more panels which are even older in the porch

This one has become very faded and like the rest I would have though to see them all in the church

The church has a good number of wonderful kneelers in it

along with some beautiful old locally turned and carved wooden offering plates

Kneelers along the Pews

Outside in the churchyard you will find a good many headstones

More than a few are quite modern

Some old but most you see are recent

Above a praying angel, Left a small Celtic type cross

near the path a few family vaults

These near the west end of the churchyard overlooking Builth Wells

Are of the Vivian family

Who were the Baronets of Swansea

I would never have know has it not been  for the  Churchwarden who told me

More older tombs showing their age

Along the side of the east end are what I presume are old headstones

they may well have been memorials from but are becoming very eroded

Far South side more older headstones and vaults and the area left to grow

Though there are some interesting headstones there

One of gannet and another that must have looked superb when new but is dangerously near falling over and being lost

A family grave still being tended

Thanks to Judith Hurford for telling me about the church
 This blog is Dedicated to Phil Jones who I never met but got to know quite well.
RIP Phil