Saturday, 8 July 2017
Battle of Edgehill country - Churches and Pub Radway, Ratley and Kineton
Before I start some posts on the Isle of Wight I'm doing a catch-up post on a day out D and I had just before the holiday which I didn't get time to write before we went away.
D was also on holiday the week before last and was keen to go to the Cotswolds. Unfortunately, I had managed to go down with the throat and cough virus that had been working its way round the family - just my luck to get it last and just before we went away, and I didn't feel up to driving all the way to Gloucestershire. So I persuaded D we could go to the Battle of Edgehill area and have a look at an exhibition on the battle in Radway Church. I was really rather crafty as I knew there were several interesting churches in the area and a rather good pub which B had visited recently when doing his ley-line walk with friends.
The Civil war began in August 1642 following troubled relations between King Charles I and Parliament concerning the church, the constitution, taxation and control of the army - events escalated when the King tried to arrest 5 MP's in 1642.
The first major battle of the war - the Battle of Edgehill took place on 23rd October, 1642, in a large open field between Kineton and Radway (I believe the land is now owned by the MoD and there is no access). Neither side was victorious and the war continued.
Our first port of call was the lovely village of Radway which is mentioned in the Domesday Book (1086).
The present church of St Peter was rebuilt on the site of a medieval church and was consecrated in 1866.The church architect was C.E. Buckridge from Oxford who was a Gothic Revival Architect. Stone and windows came from the old church and some wall memorials, two effigies and Renaissance glass were also transferred.
The Exhibition on the Battle of Edgehill was small but very interesting.
The stained glass windows in the church were beautiful.
This mutilated effigy is of Sir Henry Kingsmill - it was moved into the church from the churchyard.
Old gravestones from the churchyard
D spotted the letters IHS on several of the gravestones and also above the church door. A quick look at latin inscriptions in the book "Gravestones, Tombs and Memorials" by Trevor Yorke reveals that the letters are used as a symbol on many 19th century gravestones and is a contraction of the Greek word for Jesus. It may also be an abbreviation of the Latin words meaning "Jesus, Saviour of Men"
A small piece of the chancel of the previous church was saved when the building was demolished and I think this may be it.
There was a beautiful wild flower area in the churchyard.
These old ant hills were 0.5 metres high and there were quite a few of them dotted around the edge of the "meadow" area.
We saw a lot of bees and butterflies (mainly Large Skipper and Meadow Brown) but neither of us managed to get decent photos.
Selfheal carpeted areas of the churchyard.
We had a quick walk round the village - it would have been good to have spent more time exploring especially as I had bought a leaflet in the church on "A Walk round Radway" but time was running out if we wanted to order a pub lunch before 2.00.
There was a lovely wild flower area in this front garden.
I would have liked to go the Castle at Edgehill which is right at the top of the escarpment overlooking the battle field but it has been refurbished since we last had a meal there and food is now a lot more expensive!
So onto Ratley and what a lovely old village it was.
Just made it in time to the Rose and Crown to order lunch. Parts of the pub are believed to date back to 1098 and are Grade II listed. It has been a public house since around 1775.
Royalist troops were billeted in the village the night before the Battle of Edgehill. Local stories suggest that a Roundhead soldier was discovered hiding in the inglenook fireplace in the photo below after the battle and he was be-headed immediately. His ghost apparently still haunts the pub.
Lunch was delicious - an egg, cress and mayonnaise sandwich with chips and salad.
D went off in search of a nearby Motte and Bailey while I looked round the church pf St Peter ad Vincula - the chancel was build c1300 and the nave and aisle c1340.
The churchyard contains a medieval standing stone cross or "preaching" cross. It is a Grade II Ancient Monument and one of the few examples to retain its column although the top is now worn with no trace remaining of its original faces.
The font is probably medieval but could be Norman. The new cover was commissioned to mark the Millenium and was carved by members of the Warwickshire region of the British Woodcarvers' Association. The theme for the celebration are the ancient four of Earth, Air, Fire and Water. Earth is represented by a a hand striking the rock, Air by the Cherub and the Dove, Fire the burning bush of Exodus Chapter 3 and Water is a representation of Goggs spring close to the church.
The only stained glass window in the church (Mary Magdalene).
The marble reredos at the rear of the altar was erected in 1875.
A quick walk round the churchyard
We stopped off in Kineton on the way home and found a lovely florists and gift shop.
Another St Peter's. I didn't look round this church - two is about my limit in one day for "churchcrawling".
I am not sure where D took this photo - either Ratley or Kineton?
*D - Photos taken by D with the Canon bridge camera SX50 HS.