A record of wildlife in my garden and various trips to the Warwickshire countryside and occasionally further afield.
"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
Wednesday, 2 November 2016
St Mary's Church, Chastleton and The Four Shires Stone
After visiting Chastleton House and Garden we had a quick look around the Church of St Mary which is next door to the house. It was quite busy in the church as they were serving afternoon tea and cakes (we didn't have any on this occasion :( ).
There may have been a church on the site since before the Norman Conquest but parts of the present building date back to 1100 AD. The church was extended in the early 14th century (1320) and the tower was erected in 1689. The church was restored and the chancel rebuilt by C E Powell in 1878/80.
The pulpit is Jacobean and may have been made by the same craftsmen who built most of the panelling in Chastleton House. The date 1623 is carved into the wood.
Fragments of 17th/18th century wall paintings which were discovered in the 1930's.
The stained glass mainly dates back to the 19th century restoration but there are fragments of older, possibly Medieval, glass.
The window of faces
There were a couple of floor brasses (not easy to get photos as it was so dark and I didn't like to use the flash). One is of Katherine Throckmorton, grandmother of Robert Catesby. Robert Catesby lived at Chastleton in 1601 and his name was linked to the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 - he was the son of Anne Throckmorton from Coughton Court. The second brass is of Edmund Ansley who died in 1613.
Annoyingly (and as usual!) I didn't really read the church guide until I got home so I didn't realise that these floor tiles are medieval (14th century). I would have tried to have got better pictures had I realised at the time. I also failed to take a photo of the font which was next to the table serving teas and not easy to access. I later discovered it was 13th century or possibly earlier.
Beautiful lichens covering gravestones.
There is an interesting story in the church guide about a young man called Collins who climbed up onto the gallery in the chancel (the gallery has now been removed) and sprinkled people with pepper as they listened to the sermon. Afterwards he was prosecuted under an ancient Act of Parliament and sent to prison for a few weeks.
Final view of the house
Four Shires Stone
On the way home we stopped off at the Four Shires Stone near Moreton-in-Marsh. It is Grade II listed, 9 feet high, made of Cotswold stone and marks the location where the four counties of Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Gloucestershire and Worcestershire once met. Today only 3 counties meet here. The stone seen today is 18th century with 19th century lettering although a stone has been at the site since the late 16th century.
Each side of the stone has one of the County names on it.
Many tales have evolved over the centuries suggesting that ancient battles took place nearby and it was once a site for prize fighting and other illegal activities as, if the police arrived, it was easy to move from one county to another! It is also believed that it was the inspiration for J R R Tolkien's Three Farthing Stone which marked a point in the Shire where 3 farthings met.
"Our Warwickshire" website reports that the stone was boarded up in World War 2 to protect it and also so that if the Germans invaded and reached this far inland they would not be able to use it for navigation. For their website please click here It is a fascinating website about the County of Warwickshire and is providing me with lots of ideas for days out :)
I hope to revisit this area one day as I would love to go back to the Rollright Stones and the church at Long Compton nearby has a very unusual and picturesque lychgate.
Welcome to my blog. I have been interested in natural history from an early age and we have tried to create a garden attractive to wildlife. I also enjoy reading, photography, collecting fossils, visiting historic buildings and gardens and supporting Aston Villa. Please feel free to leave a comment and, if you would like to email me, my email address is ciraggedrobinsATgmail.com - remember to replace AT with @. Thank you for visiting.