Tuesday, September 30, 2008

St Nicholas, Lower Oddington, Gloucestershire

Looking towards the side gate across the churchyard at St Nicholas

Hannah Lardner's gravestone

Leah Lardner's gravestone.

Gravestones in the churchyard

More gravestones

...and still more gravestones

Gravestone for Amy Rose, 1890

I spent a very pleasant weekend with my aunt and uncle in Gloucestershire, to celebrate my recent birthday. In the course of my stay, we visited the Church of St Nicholas in Lower Oddington. It seemed to be semi-abandoned, which is a shame, as it has some very unusual wall paintings, which may be being affected by the damp.

Always mindful of the fact that I may be walking where other family historians would love to walk, I took a few pictures around the church and the churchyard, which may be of interest. Feel free to use these for your family history... please let me know if you find them useful!

Gravestone for Ann Harbert.

In the churchyard there are some very clear gravestones. I honestly wish I had had time to record all of them, but even as it was, my family were waiting for me in the car.

More Lardner gravestones in the churchyard.

Campin gravestone, St Nicholas churchyard.

Memorial for the Gardner children. As far as I can work out, this says the following:
John Gardner ? ?
Anne dyed September ye 4 etaet 2 y
John dyed Septemberye 14 etaet 7 y 1697
Edward? dyed September ye 16 Etaet 19 y
Margery Gardner Dyed April ye 3 etaet ?9? y 1696
grandmother to these children

Just before this place wee lie in
hope of a joyful resurrection

John Gardener, father
of these children
Dyed November the s? 1704
etaet 60 years

Detail of the Gardner memorial

Entrance to the porch

Next to the door is a socket for a stick, and gradated lines, a wall sundial for telling the time, when the sun was bright enough

Inside the church is the doom painting, a coat of arms, and a damp smell. I had no idea the church and the paintings were so significant, until I came back and read this page.

My aunt Hilary, uncle Geoff and mother Diana, looking at the wall paintings inside the church

Coat of arms for William IV, one of only two known instances, apparently, and painted over earlier work.

Hilary and Diana look at the memorial for Charlotte Rice, who died after having 10 children.

Memorial for Charlotte Rice
Light streaming through a side window

We didn't know what these strange groves and hollows were for, in the porch of the church. They look like they may be for liquid, but what, and why? Randi tells me in a comment that these are marks where people have sharpened swords and arrows. I had forgotten that archery practice was compulsory for every man over seven for many years. I had also forgotten that people very often used the porch of the church more than any other part, for weddings, will readings, business and trading.

Side window and side door from the other side of the wall

Townsend gravestone
Yew in the churchyard, one of many


Randi M said...

I very much enjoyed your photos of Oddington's St Nicholas Church. This is the church where centuries of my ancestors attended, were baptised, christened and buried. You took some nice close ups of the stones and markings. The stones are remarkably clear. Someday I will cross the big pond & visit there.

The funny marks on the stone ledge are where people sharpened axes and swords.

Fee said...

Glad you liked them. I only had my skype phone camera with me, but the photographs came out pretty well. I expect you know this site:
which I found later yesterday, and has some other great pictures. I regretted not crossing to the other side of the churchyard to get an overall view of the church. Which families are you interested in, as a matter of interest? I don't know if I will go back, but if I do I would try to capture images of the stones you are interested in?

Randi M said...

Thank you. My family names in the area were Bould, Bowles, Harris, Pain ,Payne and Ealey, Minchin and Mason. If you run across those names in your journies , I would love to see photos.
Yes, sacred Destinations is a wonderful site. I also frequently vivsit a site called GEOGRAPH. Have you seen it?
Best Regards, Randi

Sue said...

I went and looked around St Nicholas Church in August 2008 to take a photo of a brass plaque with details about Rev Henry Buller Heberden, who was married to Mary Clements who is in our family tree.
It was not the easiest place to find and wish we had more time to look around. It is great there are lots of photos of it.