"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Charlecote Park Part 2: St Leonard's Church (and Caterpillars are Emerging!!)

The present church of St Leonard's at Charlecote is located on the site of a much smaller 12th century church which was demolished in 1849.

The church was planned and paid for by Mrs Mary Elizabeth Lucy from Charlecote Park who was mentioned in yesterday's post. She planned the church to perpetuate the memory of her beloved husband George who died in 1845 aged 56.

It was good to see that parts of the churchyard had been left to "grow wild" and conservation zones have been established.

Beautifully carved font

The church contained some beautiful stained glass windows - yet again there are several photos when I failed to hold the camera level!!!

This circular window was given by Mary's daughter Caroline, and shows the head of Christ in the centre surrounded by the Apostles and scrolls of the Creed.

The Lucy Chapel contains the 17th century tombs of 3 successive Sir Thomas Lucys which were once in the original church.

This alabaster tomb was erected by the first Sir Thomas Lucy in memory of his wife Joyce who died in 1595. The tomb was later enlarged to take his own effigy - kneeling figures of a son and daughter are seen on the front panel. This Sir Thomas it is believed may have been caricatured as Justice Shallow in William Shakespeare's "Merry Wives of Windsor". However, this Sir Thomas was well respected so it is possible that Shakespeare was thinking of the unpopular second Thomas Lucy who was living at the time Shakespeare wrote the play.

This tomb is that of Sir Thomas the Third who died in 1640 and his wife Alice. The tomb is made of black and white Carrara marble. This Sir Thomas was a man of learning and loved to study the classical works. He was also a famous horseman and died as a result of "excessive zeal in this field".

The third tomb is a monument made from alabaster marble oolite for the second Thomas Lucy who was knighted by Queen Elizabeth I. He died in 1605. His second wife Constance who erected the tomb is shown in effigy in a prayer posture and wearing mourning clothes. Fourteen of their children (6 sons and 8 daughters) in Tudor dress are found on the front panel.

Emperor Moth Caterpillars

Caterpillars have started emerging today from the eggs I was given last Friday. There were 3 at lunchtime

but there are now ten!!!

The Blue Tit chicks are fine (today I counted 8) and I haven't seen the Great Spotted Woodpecker round the nestbox at all today which hopefully is good news.


Dartford Warbler said...

Such interesting tombs and what a beautiful round window! The Lucy`s must have been wealthy landowners for centuries.

Hooray for the tiny ( and very hungry...) caterpillars!

Countryside Tales said...

Those are hefty old tombs. Would love to know what exactly the 'excessive zeal' constituted!

Great news about the pillars :-)

Ragged Robin said...

Dartford Warbler - Many thanks :) I loved the round window too - very beautiful.

I think the caterpillars will be keeping me busy - have 14 now!! :)

Countryside Tales - Thanks so much - relieved they have finally started hatching!!

I was intrigued by the "excessive zeal" too - will let you know if I ever find out more!

John Wooldridge said...

Something special about churches... I'm not religious but they always make me hush.

Ragged Robin said...

John Wooldridge - Thanks John :) I'm not religious either but churches do have a very special atmosphere and I love the stained glass and history :)

SeagullSuzie said...

I love the wild look of the grave yard. The circular window is just beautiful. The caterpillars are wonderful little creatures.

Ragged Robin said...

SeagullSuzie - Many thanks :) I think its wonderful to find so many of these country churchyards encouraging wildflowers and wildlife to flourish :) Glad you liked the circular window and caterpillars!

David Turner said...

These two posts have been as enjoyable and educational as always RR :-) It is particularly rewarding for me as your part of the world is pretty unfamiliar to me and I learn so much from your blog as a result :-)

I love the churchyard and it is fantastic when they are utilised for conservation like this rather than becoming some over manicured lawn with scattered gravestones.

The interior of the church meanwhile looks very interesting indeed, and I enjoy trying to work out which stories and parables the windows are trying to tell, or identifying the heraldic crests of the families depicted :-)

Kindest regards and continuing best wishes to your Blue Tit family and the caterpillars :-)

Ragged Robin said...

David Turner - Thank you so much for such a lovely comment - its so good to hear when someone gains something of interest from my posts :)

I so agree about the churchyards - I have become really interested in recent years in the way so many are adopting a policy of conservation :)

I have to admit that I don't always have time when in churches to study the stained glass closely so tend to do the same as you and work out associations from the photos :) I'm very tempted by the Yorkshire book on stained glass too :)

Thanks so much for good wishes re: Blue Tit family and caterpillars - both doing well today :) Kindest regards returned.