Saturday 24 June 2023

St David’s, Llanddewi Fach


For many years now I have been trying to visit all the churches on a website called Builth Churches as a tribute to the person who made it Phil Jones. I had been in contact with Phil  via email many times over photos I had posted. After he passed away I discovered his website while looking for churches to visit in Wales. I found I had visited a lot of them so my quest to visit them all started. If you look at the link you will find some of the churches in black, these are ones he never got around to visiting or posting to his website. This was one of them. There is no history on the church I could find on Wikipediea and the best I could find was on the CPAT website  so rather that me cutting and pasting like I do with Wiki I would suggest you click on the link fro more info. I might add finding this church has eluded me for a while I use OS mapping to find the place I want and Llanddewi Fach does not show up in Powes. After using Google maps as well I finally located the church on a hillside in the middle of nowhere

It does not look far in this photo

But when you look from the gate it's a good bit further, the nearest house is to my left 
Looking over the churchyard wall

Inside the churchyard looking west
The north side is  just access, to the left is the hillside
The east end
Looking to the west end, not photo looking at it because no room

The churchyard to the south of the church

Headstones at the south west end hidden by the shade of the trees

Looking back east

The headstones here are right on the edge of the churchyard
Taken with my iphone

This is right at the end of the west end, to the right are a few graves and a lot of undergrowth
Old but still standing

The only tall monument in the churchyard

East again

This is to show the huge yew tree that shades everything by the church

Collage of some of the tombs in the churchyard

The porch which is almost hidden by the yew behind me

Inside looks a typical country church

The chancel arch

Through the arch to the altar

Altar and east window

Looking back through the church

Pulpit along with lectern

From the pulpit looking down on the pews

Collage of items in the church

In the church you might notice it is lit by candles, I did find a light switch but I think it was for the porch, not even sure the light worked

Collage showing the Clerics Trail and there is A4 paper with some of Kilverts book typed up on them. The picture to the bottom right shows the church with no trees around it shading it like it is now

There are a couple of memorials you can find

The font with is most likely Victorian

The nave from the chancel

Oil lamp and candles light the church

I will leave you there with a photo of the flowers behind the altar, I might add they are artificial 
Till next time I wish you all a wonderful weekend

Saturday 17 June 2023

St Mary Sydenham



 St Mary Sydenham was the last of the churches I visited in the Benefice of Chinnor. I had wondered if the church would be locked but as it was the place was open.

"By 1185–86 Sydenham was a chapelry of the prebendary parish of Thame. In the English Reformation in 1547 the Act for the Dissolution of Collegiate Churches and Chantries dissolved all prebendaries, and the tithes of Sydenham passed to the Wenman family. The earliest parts of the Church of England parish church of Saint Mary are Norman corbels in the walls of the chancel. However, in 1293 it was reported that the church was "in ruins" and a rebuilding had just begun. This was carried out in the Early English Gothic style. The church retains most of the lancet windows inserted during the rebuilding. The timber-framed bell tower was built at the same time. It is one of a number of wooden bell-towers in South Oxfordshire. The others include St Helen's, Berrick Salome, All Saints, Didcot; St Nicolas, Rotherfield Greys and St Mary the Virgin, Waterperry.

Early in the 14th century a Decorated Gothic east window was inserted in the chancel and a rood screen and rood loft were added. Late in the 15th century the nave was given a hammerbeam roof. The rood screen and loft were removed in 1840. In the chancel is a set of Medieval corbels that formerly supported a Lenten veil to screen the altar. Such veils were discontinued in the English Reformation, and these corbels are a rare survival.

Sherwood and Pevsner state that the architect John Billing restored St Mary's in 1856, but the Victoria County History states that the restoration was in 1877. By both accounts the tower was rebuilt, the chancel and nave lengthened and a vestry and south porch added. the Victoria County History adds that the tower and its arches were moved some distance to the west. The two lancet windows west of the south porch were added during the restoration, and the 14th-century style west window of the nave was probably added at the same time. The church is a Grade II* listed building. Its parish is now part of a single benefice with the parishes of Aston Rowant, Chinnor and Crowell."

 The church over the roadside wall

 The sooth east view with wooden belltower

This is the north side of the church

East end

East end from across the churchyard

The west end is not so easy to get a photo of due to space

From the north west of the churchyard

North transept and belltower 

View up at the belltower, I have visited most of the churches that have wooden belltowers in Oxfordshire, they all differ in one way or another

Porch and belltower

Plenty of old graves in the churchyard this one gradually sinking

This one the face in it is worn making it look gruesome 

Looking east towards the road

Towards the north from the east end of the church

Looking west on the south side of the church

Not sure what happened here with this grave

This beautiful headstone is near the porch

The porch which was decorated out for a wedding

My son pointed out this interesting key hole

It looks like it is made from a clock face of some kind

The nave from the back of the church

The crossover towards the chancel

The altar and east window

The altar with cross, candle holders, bible and plate

Turning around and looking back with the choir stalls in the forrground

Looking back from inside the crossover arch

The pulpit which looks typical Victorian

Looking down from the pulpit

Near the arch on the north wall of the nave are memorials and the Roll of Honour 

Its a simple scroll

And lists the men of the parish who never returned

There are a couple of older memorials that look interesting

And even older corbels that are mentioned in the history

One of the windows is stained glass

The organ in the chancel

The font with wedding flowers on top

You can see this at the back of the church

The roof and hammer beams

The door with Victorian verse and one you will see in one of the lancet windows

Collage of memorials and windows

I thought this modern crucifix quite beautiful to look at

I will leave you with this collage of floral displays that were in the church, as you can Imagen that was a beautiful  smell from them.
Till next time I wish you all a wonderful weekend