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Saturday, 11 November 2017

With everlasting gratitude to ALL the men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice for their Country....

Personal respect to my own family ancestors....

WW1
John Edward Goodall aged 27yrs who died on April 5th 1918 when his ship HMS Pomerania was torpedoed in the Atlantic Ocean.

Pvt. Robert Greatrix - North Staffs Regiment, aged 20yrs who died on the Western Front 17th April 1918….buried in Mendinghem Military Cemetery, NW of Poperinge, Belgium


 George A. Jonas MM - Leicestershire Regiment, aged 33yrs who died on the Western Front, October 8th 1918 buried at Mont Huon Military Cemetery, Le Trepor, France

WW2

Telegraphist Henry Scragg aged 22yrs, died 5th July 1944 when his ship HM Trawler Ganilly, Royal Naval Patrol Service hit a mine and was sunk off the coast of Normandy.

We Will Remember Them
My everlasting gratitude to the men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for their Country, in particular the men from my own family...

WW1
John Edward Goodall aged 27yrs who died on April 5th 1918 when his ship HMS Pomerania was torpedoed in the Atlantic Ocean.

Pvt. Robert Greatrix - North Staffs Regiment, aged 20yrs who died on the Western Front 17th April 1918….buried in Mendinghem Military Cemetery, NW of Poperinge, Belgium


 George A. Jonas MM - Leicestershire Regiment, aged 33yrs who died on the Western Front, October 8th 1918 buried at Mont Huon Military Cemetery, Le Trepor, France

WW2

Telegraphist Henry Scragg aged 22yrs, died 5th July 1944 when his ship HM Trawler
 Ganilly, Royal Naval Patrol Service hit a mine and was sunk off the coast of Normandy

 We will remember them.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Toft Monks, St Margaret's church


This church has a distinctive octagonal tower. It is believed that it’s C13 exterior encases an earlier Saxon round tower, the castellated top part of tower was added in the C15.



On entering the porch one is looked down upon by four early wooden carved corbel heads of Kings and Queens, sadly these are now distorted and cracked, through the passage of time. They must have looked quite splendid when first installed

Unusually there are two Royal Arms hatchments in this church, they face each other over the S and N doorways – one is for Charles ll (1661) and the other for George ll (1745)  

The chancel was rebuilt in the mid C19 and on either side of the chancel there is a bricked up early window

The superb stained glass in the East window was added in 1952 – it replaced the previous glass which was destroyed by a bomb blast in1942 

On the N wall of the chancel is an interesting C17 memorial plaque, it is in Latin but I was able to understand some of the wording...it is dedicated to Johan Bayspoole of Toft monks (d.1624) who was married to Elizabeth, sister of Henry Spelman. Above this is a fine memorial  for members of the Lodington family – one of whom had been Rector here in the mid C18
High above the tower arch in the nave is a small door into the tower which is either early Norman or possibly could be of Saxon origin

 Standing in front of the tower arch is a C15 font which has now lost the sharpness on it’s carvings, it’s cover is from a later date, probably C17






There remains signs that a rood screen was once in the church.

On the floor of the chancel are two brasses….one for Edward Howlett (d.1607) engraved with some unusual and charming words :-
*As I was so be yee. As I am yee shall be.
That I gave yt I have, that I spent yt I had.
Thus I end, All my cost, yt I left yt I lost.*
The other brass is for John Kedgell (d.1610) which tells us  *he was a good benefactor of the poore*

There are also two poignant ledgerstones, a C17 one and the other for a six month old baby in the C19 

On the outside of the S wall of the nave, about ten feet from the ground an old scratch dial has been inserted, this was probably placed there by builders at the time of restoration to the church

One can immediately see that this is a well loved church. Many silk flower arrangements are placed throughout which adds a homely feel to it….It is a delightful church to visit.







Sunday, 29 October 2017

The church of St Michael and All Angels, Stockton

This is a an old medieval church which still retains it’s thatched roof.  It stands by the roadside surrounded by trees in a quiet little village on the Norfolk /Suffolk border.

The tower was probably begun in Saxon times, as it is four foot thick at ground level before tapering up to two and half feet, and is topped  with a castellated parapet. It has an unusual spire which was paid for by the Rev. Valentine Lumley Bernard who was rector here in the early C19  – he was also the vicar at   nearby Bungay church, and apparently wanted to be able to see the top of Stockton church from there...

When the spire was added to the tower it meant the bells had to be re-hung  on a new frame at a lower level…timbers from the old bell frame now reside in the C16 brick porch and are used as bench seats.



The nave and chancel are one continuous open space under a thatched roof.


The squat octagonal font is from the late C14/early C15  and has a carved Jacobean cover.

Above the tower arch hang a nicely painted Royal Arms of William lV

Most of the pew benches are C19, but a few C15 poppyhead bench ends remain  The splendid communion rails are C17, while all the church doorways are most likely from the C14.  The majority of the windows in the church with the exception of one lancet window in the  porch  are in the perpendicular or decorated style with some containing fragments of medieval glass.

  The vibrant stained glass in the  East window dates from 1890   >>



There’s an old hand-held carrying bier hanging on a wall at the rear of the church

The vestry was added on to the North side of the nave in C19

An interesting ledgerstone in the corner of the sanctuary is for the previously mentioned Rev, Valentine Lumley Bernard, it reads “he died in the performance of his duty on Sunday 24th March 1816 aged 69” (I assume this means he passed away whilst taking a service in the church)
                                     
<<     Medieval porch window



The churchyard contains some interesting family tombstones



 Burrows family  >>

This church is only open on certain days of the week, (at the time I visited the open days were Wednesday and Friday) so it would be wise to enquire beforehand if anyone wishes to visit here.  It’s certainly a charming little church in a very pleasant location.


Thursday, 19 October 2017

St Peter's church, Spexhall

A country church in a delightful peaceful setting on high ground surrounded by trees in the Suffolk countryside

You enter the churchyard through metal gates on the East side of the church. These gates are in  memory of William and Maria Stannard and of their sons Reginald, Robert and Walter who died in the service of their Country 1914-1918…
 While walking round the churchyard I noticed on the North side there were many graves spanning three hundred years belonging to the Garrould family.
There’s a poignant solitary grave of a child on the SE end of the churchyard.  As this churchyard is now a wild life sanctuary I imagine it won’t be long before this sad little grave will soon  be lost from sight  in the undergrowth                                                



St Peter’s is mainly built with flint and rubble, but the 1713 East wall has a lozenge pattern in red brick which surrounds the East window. The 1713 window was replaced during the 1876 restoration of the church. The SE buttress has this date incorporated into it’s stone work
At the East end of the South wall there is a 1888  flying buttress sheltering a C14 blocked up priest’s door…
...there is a similar buttress on the North wall. Presumably these were added to strengthen the church walls after the roof was renewed in 1876
There is also a simple Norman door which is blocked up on the North side of the church

The original tower was believed to have been built about 1150 although Saxon work was found in it’s ruins when the present 1911 tower was erected – the previous one having fallen down by 1725 

Entry into the church is via the C15 South porch which was restored in 1733
Inside the porch is the early C14 medieval church doorway which has head-stops of a Bishop and a King on either side, sadly these are now badly eroded.
The interior of St Peter’s is long and  narrow with a C19 tiled floor. It is a plain building with no rood screen to divide nave from chancel
During the C19 restoration the old C18 box pews were replaced by simple bench seating.
 The early C15 font has shields set in quatrefoils carved on it’s bowl
This small country church is known as the *plough church* and an old plough is kept in the chancel. A special service is held here on plough day in January each year.

There is the usual (for medieval churches) Holy water stoup in the West wall by the South door and a C14 piscina is set into the South wall of the Sanctary.
 The remains of the rood stairs are still in situ near the chancel steps  

The unusual 1897 lectern is dedicated to the Garrould family who were long standing worshippers at this church


The pulpit is C19 but done in the style of the C17

The vibrant coloured East window is also Victorian 




Brasses for the Browne family are placed on the East end of the South wall of the nave - they lived at Burghards Manor Spexhall in the C16 
There's a memorial on the North wall for men who lost their lives during the Great War 1914-1918
and Victorian Decalogue panels hang on the West wall either side of the tower arch.  

 A set of Arms of George ll hang by the South door

A war memorial can be seen at the NE end of the churchyard


This is a very welcoming
 church and can always be found open.  There are many other items of interest to see here.
 A visit is recommended



Sunday, 1 October 2017

The church of Saints Peter & Paul Kelsale



This is a lovely church which has gone through two huge C19 restorations.  It set in a serene position in a quiet village.  The first thing which catches the eye is it’s most unusual C19 lych-gate which leads parishioners through an avenue of lime trees up to the south porch


The oak door into the church still retains it’s huge iron knocker.
-  also there’s a smattering of early graffiti around the door arch

Hanging from the porch roof is an large old converted gasolier

There's a small bright belfry to the West as
you enter the church.

- beyond this stands the sturdy low C15 font which has an interesting charity board on either side. with hatchments hanging above.


Below the large five-light West window stands a beautiful septych, this was meant to be the reredos to stand behind the altar at the East end of the chancel, but it covered too much of the East  window so was removed from there to it’s present position.





  A striking statue of Samuel Clouting who died July 1852 is let into the SW wall of the nave – he appears to have been a very philanthropic man.






There’s a beautiful C19 wrought iron screen with bronze figures which divides the chancel from the nave.


The nave contains a Jacobean carved pulpit which stands near the rood screen door.








Some nice stained glass adorns the church windows and a special one by William Morris is in the North wall of the chancel…this was added by Rev Irving Davies and his wife in memory of their daughter Georgina Mary Paulina who was born in Jerusalem in May 1850 but died August 1875>>



The South aisle was the the original church and now contains memorials to the C17 & C18 Russel families





Above the South door is a plaque dedicated toLancelot Brown, a rector here for 58 years…he was the grandson of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown the famed landscape gardener

There are many wall plaques and memorials of interest here


                                                                                                                                    Church interior
                                                                                                                         
   
The fine North Norman doorway is thought to have been the original South entrance doorway  before being moved during one of the restorations…the Priest’s door in the South wall is it's contemporary                                                        priests' door >>
In the enormous graveyard are some headstones of particular interest –including an early C20 one of Sir Harry Courthope Munroe and his wife Dame Ellen which has their family crest depicted upon it.

                 Kelsale graveyard