Thursday, March 22, 2007


Someone once said that one of the most precious inheritances of our country is our ancient Parish Churches and I am fortunate that I only have a short walk to the top of our village to appreciate how true these words are.

It is not actually known how old our village Church is, but the first mention of there being a Church here is in documents that date back to 1253. It appears that our little Church had connections with an important Abbey about 15 miles away and it is fairly certain that it was served in ancient days by monks from the Abbey, this probably happened well over three hundred years ago and it is believed that parts of the present building were built by them, though one likes to think that there are stones in the present building which were first used in the original building from way back in 1200’s

Our little Church is small, simple but very beautiful, and sitting as it does in an elevated position at the top of the village, it commands breathtaking views of both mountains and the sea. No wonder the people of old called the ground around the ancient Cathedrals and Churches ‘God’s Acre’. Surveying the vista from our little Church one feels for sure that it is set in one of God’s acres.

Our village Church has stood the test of time and been hallowed by prayers and praises of saints through the ages, but it is doubtful if it would be well-known today but for its famous Rood Loft and Screen.

The Loft and Screen are quite magnificent, exquisitely carved with flowers, leaves, vines and berries. Legend has it that it once belonged to the Abbey and, at the time when King Henry VIII was suppressing the Monasteries in 1536 it was taken from the Abbey to our remote village Church for safe keeping where it was unlikely to be found by King Henry’s snoopers. No doubt it was hoped that one day it would be returned to the Abbey.

There is more mystery that surrounds the Loft and Screen, for one wonders how it got here, was it carried by the Monks the shortest route over the mountain, or was it was floated by sea from the Abbey around the coast and then carried the short distance to its final resting place of today. Personally, I think taking it by sea would have been the easier route. For decades experts have settled on this theory, however, there is another which village people like to muse on and that is, this magnificent Loft and Screen was carved by some local craftsman from the area. Whatever the true facts are we will never know, be it enough that we have such a breathtaking treasure amongst us that some genius craftsman created in 13th 14th or 15th century. The Rood Loft and its Screen is probably the most famous and most beautiful piece of wood carving to be seen anywhere and I think its even more amazing when I stand in wonder looking at its magnificence, and realise this was created with a mere chisel and mallet.

Click on the pictures to enlarge, however, I’m disappointed that my photographs don’t show the details as they really are.


Jacran Cottage said...

What a beautiful church and such an interesting history. I know what you mean about sometimes being disappointed with photos ... they seldom do justice to the real thing!

I love the church gate (I know it's called something else but I can't think of it now). Inside is wonderful, but most of all, to come out of church services on a Sunday morning and see that view in the last photo. Well, that is just incredible! Mind you, I've always been partial to the Welsh countryside!!

Thanks for sharing your village church with me!

Reflection Through The Seasons said...

Hi Jackie...
Thanks for your comment, the Church gate is called a Lytch gate they are always built with a roof. It was originally designed to protect the coffin and the pallbearers if the weather was bad, whilst they waited for the Minister. Nowadays they are used more as an attractive feature when decorated with flowers and greenery for a bride and groom to stand in for wedding photographs. I love to see this Lytch gate decorated, it is so pretty. Marion

It's a FLIP-FLOP World said...

Thanks again Marion for showing us the beauty of your country!! wow!! I loved the pictures of this old church...1500's know here in the united states we do not go that far back and it is hard to realize that long ago..well at least I cannot think that long ago!! How wonderful that your history is right there for you to see and enjoy!!
Thanks again..Sandy

Jacran Cottage said...

I knew I knew the proper name! Oh dear, the brain is slowing going!! It would make for beautiful wedding pictures, wouldn't it!

Val said...

The church looks beautifully kept. Being a bell ringer, I get to see the inside of quite a few, especially when we go on an outing or a training weekend. But your church looks so lovely, even without a bell tower?

Betty said...


Your pictures are fabulous! Oh, to sit in that setting every Lord's Day would be a wonderful blessing. Your buildings are beautiful and the gate, I love it.

The church we are in was constituted in 1913 so it is practically new compared to yours.

Thank you for your visit. Irma Bombeck was a writer of humor but very wise....I miss her.....

p.t. said...

Thank you for taking the time and the trouble to share such an interesting post. I found it fascinating and really beautiful.

Susie said...

I loved reading the history of your village church. What a wonderful historic place to worship.

Alice said...

Thank you, Marion, for the photos of your lovely little Church. It reminded me of many of the little churches we saw in England. No matter how small the village, and sometimes there was no village at all, there was always a church with wonderful carvings and history. Almost invariably, regardless of the day of the week, there would be fresh flowers in vases, and we often looked at the entries in the Visitors Book and were amazed to see that only that very day there had been visitors from many different countries.

We have often talked about building a Lytch Gate in our garden.

Kerri said...

Your little church is enchanting Marion, and you've done a great job with the photos. I had never heard of a Rood Loft and Screen before, so I looked in up on Google. Fascinating stuff! How lucky you are to be able to worship in such a beautiful place, full of wonderful history. And oh, that view! Can you actually get a view of the ocean with your camera from there? How about a view of the village? I'd dearly love to be able to stand in that spot and see for myself :) Thank you Marion for sharing this wonderful bit of history.

Carol said...

How beautiful you look in that gorgeous dress Marion! I'm so sorry to hear from Al (Sigrun) and Anita that you have to go into hospital again. I hope everything is going well and I send you my best wishes! Hugs Carol xox

mrsnesbitt said...

Hi Marion, pleased to hear the surgery went well, via Betty's Blog.

If you visit my blog today I hope you will manage a little smile. Hope it cheers you and ressures you of our love and prayers from Yorkshire.

Kathleen Marie said...

Wow, what fabulous pictures!

You are being prayed for and I look for a quick return.

God Bless You!

Anonymous said...

I stopped by to see you and I am sorry I missed you. My prayers are with you that you will be back blogging quickly my friend. All the best to you.


Tea & Margaritas in My Garden said...

All the very best wishes for your quick recovery Marion. Beautiful pictures :)


Annabelle said...

Hi Marion,
Sorry but I completely forgot to purchase a there still time to do so? I've been ill myself for sometime and I go in to hospital next month. I was going to be waiting till Oct 31st but the surgeon moved it to May 10th. I look forward to it for the first time in my life....been in too much pain to actually do anything constructive with my life. Hope yours goes well and that you'll be enjoying your garden soon. Thanks for the info on The Rood Loft and Screen. I would love for you or your hubby to take a picture of the sea view from the church. You are so very lucky to be living in such a gorgeous place. Thanks for sharing these images Marion. Take care and God bless.
Luv Annabelle... Happy Easter to you and your family.

Tyra i Vaxholm said...

What a delightful reading, thank you for the "tour".
Tyra in Vaxholm Sweden.