Archive for July, 2018


The Priory Investigates: Quest Twenty Five: It had indeed been a while since our wonderful wintery quest to the Isle of Wight, and here in the heat of the summer, in complete contrast, we ventured literally just down the road and out into the open countryside of the fens, right on our own doorstep! We had five sites/churches planned for this day quest, yet as anyone following our quests will know, things do not always go as planned and we actually managed to get into three of them and took outside photos and videos of the others

  • St Andrews Church Witchford
  • St Andrews Church Sutton
  • St Mary’s Church Mepal
  • St Nicolas Church Manea
  • St Mary the Virgin Church Doddington

St Andrews Church Witchford: Our first visit of the day was only three miles, W.S.W. from Ely, the modern-day capital of the fens and thus took no time at all to arrive. Witchford is a pretty and peaceful village, full of fenland character set amidst an entirely agricultural landscape.

The name of the village means the ‘Ford of the Wych Elms’ (Wych meaning weeping: Weeping Elms-cf Weeping Willows) and refers to the tree Ulnus glabra. Other spellings of the name have been ‘Wycheford’ and ‘Wicceford’. The village was once important enough to give its name to the Anglo-Saxon Government division, the ‘Hundred’. This was the rural district of North Witchford and the Petty-sessional areas of South Witchford. As we have discovered upon many of our quests up and down the length and breadth of the UK, many sites that today appear as unimportant, being no more than small villages, hamlets and churches, way off the beaten track, were in their heyday, places of very high importance, energy and power. Yet over time, the reasons why they were built where they are, have become lost in time, with commercial reasons also changing the shape and meaning of the past.

The church of St Andrew, as appears from the mandate of Bishop Arundell, dated at Downham 4th December 1376, and preserved in the diocesan registry, was consecrated on the 12th December in that year. But an unconfirmed tradition says that a church has stood here since 607. It was originaly Norman, going back to the times of the Norman conquest, and incorporates the materials of the ancient structure, but is chiefly an edifice of stone in the Early English and later styles, consisting of a chancel, nave, north porch and an embattled western tower containing three bells, dated 1671, a possibly Norman font and there is also a memorial window to the Rev, B.M. Lloyd, vicar 1884-1911. Interestingly an entry from the Domesday Book, from the Abbot of Ely’s records, records 8 slaves amongst a listing of possesions of which the total vaue is £10 all told!

Never underestimate the importance in time and space of sleepy fenland villages: more on the symbology and significance of these windows are explained in the video below. As always please click on each image to enlarge and to see all the beautiful detail.

Bloodline Connection: Is that of Rose Eagle 1808-1876 who married Lord Gowler Neville in 1820 in this very church. Lord Gowler travelled all the way from Essex to marry Rose; a very long way in those days. Rose is our lead researchers 5 x G GM.

More about the church and village can be found here:
http://www.crsbi.ac.uk/site/438/
http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/cambs/vol4/pp176-179
http://www.cambridgeshirehistory.com/cambridgeshire/TownsandVillages/Witchford/index.htm

St Andrews Church Sutton: A very short drive across open fenland scenery bought us to St Andrews Church in Sutton; known rightly as one of the great churches of the fens and like all medieval churches in this corner of the world, it was built on an island; those mounds of land that rose from amidst the damp fens. These isands were safe havens for both fishing folk and wildife alike. Of course those days are long gone and the once miles of waterworld are now some of the best agricultural land in the country. There are some that say, that one day the waters will rise again and once more transform the land. Many will welcome these changes and it is said that much will endure including St Andrews here, which will once again become an island.

Sutton’s island is the same one that Ely sits upon and so it is hardly urprising that St Andrews Church has enjoyed the patronage of the Abbots and then the Bishops throughout history. The present buiding dates from the later half of the fourteenth century, mostly having been built by Bishops Barnet and Arundel. The fine west tower, the final part of the church to be built, can be seen from miles around and is a very familiar landmark for the local folk. The church is surprisingly large for a smallish parish, yet no surprise to learn then that it is also known as the ‘Cathedral of the Fens’ being more significant that the more well-known cathedral at Ely; also worth noting is the strong connection between Scotland and this area of the fens. The village was mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086, identified as Sudtone. There were then 9 sokemen, 8 villeins (each with 7.5 acres), 15 cotters and 7 serfs. In 1109, the charter 51 of Bishop Hervey included Suttune in the lands recorded as being conferred upon the Cathedral Priory of Ely. According to the Ely Diocesan Register, the Manor of Sutton was established in 1292 and belonged to the Priory. In 1312, Sutton was granted the right to hold a street market each Thursday; this was held on the wider part of the High Street, outside what is now the One Stop Shop.

Once inside the church one gets a sense of the vastness and cathedral-like feel of the building. There are some stunning artifacts, artworks and symbolic carvings here, that we have come to expect from churches connected to the Neville bloodline; and for the eagle-eyed the Neville sheild puts in an appearance too. Outside in the peaceful burial ground is a beautiful old gravestone; a Templar cross, the grave of James Neville in fact.  More can be seen in the video below.

Please click on all images to enlarge

You can read much more on the history of Sutton & St Andrews Church here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sutton-in-the-Isle
>http://www.druidic.org/camchurch/churches/sutton.htm

Bloodline Connection: James Neville 1850-1912 born in Witchford with connections also to Witchford and Sutton, and our lead researchers 3 x G.GF. A small Neville shield can be seen inside the church with Jame’s Templar gravestone peacefully set in a corner of the burial ground.

St Mary’s Church Mepal: After picking up a very ancient key and driving through ripened fields we arrived at St Mary’s Church in Mepal, which nestles just off the beaten track somewhat, in a very beautiful setting. So we turned the key and entered in…

Mepal is a small fenand village, part of the East Cambs district, located just north of the A142 road between Ely and Chatteris. First recorded at the start of the 13th century, Mepal’s history has always been tied up with that of the fens with the village being less than ten metres above sea level. One of the smaller villages of the Isle of Ely, Mepal lies at the western end of the Isle on what was once the shore between the fenland and the higher ground of the Isle. The Old Bedford River and the New Bedford River (also known as the Hundred Foot Drain) run very close on the northwestern side of the village, and the only important bridges of the rivers are found in Mepal. The old and new rivers, originally modified by the Victorians, offer the main drainage route for the Fens and retain a major flood plain between the two river beds. The flood plain typically floods between November and March of each year. A major fire devastated the village in the 19th century, leading to a drop in population from 510 to 397 between 1861 and 1871. There are thus very few remaining buildings dating from before the 19th century. Listed as ‘Mepahala’ at the start of the 13th century, the village’s name means ‘Nook of land of a man called Meapa’

The church of St Mary sits in its own secluded little churchyard with a gate to enter in. It is just on the northern edge of the village, far enough away from the traffic of the main road. The exterior of the tiny building is fairly simple, being built of flint and stone in the Early English style; the building is not much bigger than a chapel really but with a lovely energy both inside and out. There is no tower, just a little bell-cote on the west wall plus nave, south porch and the western turret containing one bell. The chancel was restored by the Rev. Charles S. Harris LL.M. Rector (1876-84), and dates from the early fourteenth century, but successive restorations in 1849, 1876 and 1905 have sadly stripped away almost everything old from the inside. However upon the walls outside are carvings very reminiscent of those seen in Rosslyn Chapel, Scotland. The small graveyard itself would have originaly been a Saxon burial ground.

As said, there is sadly not much left of the orignal artifacts inside the church yet one is drawn to one of them almost instantly;  a beautiful wooden carving of ‘Ave Maria‘ which looks almost life-like. There were some rather beautiful tiles on the floor and an interesting plaque upon the wall with several Templar connections contained within its design and wording and upon the floor under the carpet a tomb of a previous rector with the initials J.F.

Please click all images to enlarge and see our video below to find out much more on the history, Templar symbology and so much more previuosly unpublished knowledge

Bloodline Connection: James Neville 1850-1912 was born in Witchford but involved wth Mepal Church. He was our lead researchers 3 x G.GF

Read more about this tiny church and Mepal itself here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mepal
http://www.druidic.org/camchurch/churches/mepal.htm
http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/CAM/Mepal

St Nicholas Church Manea: Sadly we were unable to gain entry today, but do plan another visit in the near future and have added a few short comments on the video as much as standing outside the front porch allows for. The church has a rather lovely natural woodland burial ground around the back with a public footpath passing through. I would suspect though that the graveyard was not always surrounded by trees and nature in its day, but over time nature has cast a green shroud over the area.

Manea was formerly a parochial chapelry and hamlet of Coveney but it became an ecclesiastical parish in 1883 when a change occurred in the patronage of Coveny. The first building, a ‘Chapel of Ease’, was rebuilt in 1791 and this consisted of a nave, chancel and north porch, all of which were thatched. There was one bell in the turret at the west end, under which stood a small stone font. The bell was given in memory of some of the parishioners, before the turret was built; it hung in an old witch elm tree near the chapel. Interestingly there are no inscriptions inside the chapel, as the dead were buried at the mother church of Coveney. At this time Manea was a hamlet of only 36 dwellings and 14 cottages, yet it held a fair or wake on the Tuesday before Midsummer Day. The village stands near the Old Bedford river, in the middle of the Fens of the Isle of Ely, 6 1/2 miles SE of March. The church, erected in 1875 partly on the site of an earlier building, is a structure of stone in the Early Decorated style.

Even in the 17th century King Charles 1st had a bold plan for the drainage of all the fens, yet more importantly, he envisgaed a new town or rather a city here in the Isle of Manea called Charlemont. The manor which belongs to the Porter family; an incipient strong building, stood on a hillock or small mound, designated Charlemont and was the nucleus of an intended palace, some say a summer palace founded by Charles 1, but was relinquished at an early stage in consequence of his public troubles. The hillock is still to be seen in the centre of the village. Ancient earthen jars and urns containing burnt bones have been frequently found in the parish. However troubles in the country as a whole, and of course Chares 1st’s imprisoment on the Isle of Wight (our previous quest) and untimely end, put an end to his plans and sadly the new fenlnd city never materialised. For a small village Manea does seem to have some very interesting history which you can read more about by clicking on the links below:

The wild woodand burial ground behind Manea church <click on an image to enlarge>

Bloodline Connections: Lord Gowler Neville 1795 – 1864 (5 x G GF to our lead researcher). Lord Gowler was born in Uckfield, Essex yet lived in Manea and was involved with the church. His father was Earl Henry Neville.

St Mary the Virgin Church Doddington: Again another church we sadly coud not get into on this day, but it does have beautifully kept large grounds surrounding it with an almost ‘park-like’ feel about it. So at this particulaer point in time a few photos of the outside of the church and its grounds will need to suffice.

Historically, Doddington was one of the largest parishes in England. The population of the civil parish as of the 2011 census is 2,181. Under the Doddington Rectory Division Act of 1856 it was divided into seven rectories, Benwick, Doddington, Wimblington, Mrch,  Old Town, March St Peter, March St John and March St Mary. In the centre of the village is a clocktower built in 1897 to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria. Set in Fenland, between Chatteris and March, Doddington has two churches, St Mary’s Parish Church and the Methodist Chapel. The village has almost 1000 dwellings. The Parish of Doddington has existed for almost a thousand years when the manor of Doddington was owned by the monastery at Ely and a short while afterwards a Bishop’s palace was built in Doddington. The Parish included Benwick, Wimblington and March until the 1870s and covered an area of 37,000 acres making it one of the largest parishes in England, and it was one of the richest parishes in the country. It is believed the most famous Rector of Doddington was Christopher Tye, who was a musician to Queen Elizabeth 1st and composed the familiar tune, ‘While Shepherds Watched.’

Inside the church some lovely stained glass panels have been incorporated into the porch screen and were brought from Benwick Church after it was demolished due to subsidence in the 1980s. Some interesting headstones can be found in the Churchyard and the ancient Calvary cross which stands near the lychgate, was found in a field close by where it had been buried for centuries. The Church we see before us today stands on the site of an earlier building and dates back to 1250. This building was mainly completed by the 15th Century and experienced extensive restoration work during the 19th and 20th centuries. The Church has lots of fine features some of which date back to long, long ago and others are more recent. The nave roof displays some beautiful examples of angel carvings. The chancel is in the oldest part of the Church. The windows date back to the 15th century as does the screen which has been extensively restored. The tomb-stone of Sir John Peyton who succeeded Sir Walter Raleigh as Governor of Jersey and Guernsey, and who was granted the manor of Doddington by Queen Elizabeth 1st in 1601 lies in the floor in the sanctuary. On the north side of the chancel and at the end of the choir stall, there is a very small carving of a bloody hand which reflects an incident involving one of the Peyton family who accidently killed his man servant. A recently restored altar frontal hangs on the north wall of the chancel. The east window in the north aisle is an early work by William Morris and Rosetti which was given to the Parish of Doddington in 1923. The Church has a font at the back of the building which dates back to the 13th century and holds a plain octagonal bowl. On the west wall, quite high up, a coat of arms can be seen. The organ was given to the Church in 1938 and stands beneath the tower. Hopefully photos of what sound ike an amazing interior will arrive here shortly!

The extensive park-like grounds of Doddington Church <click to enlarge>

Bloodline Conections: James Neville 1824 – 1861, son of Lord Gowler Neville of Manea whom married Rose Eagle. (Our lead researcher’s 4 x G GF)

 

‘The Keeper of Scrolls’ August 2018

To contact me please email me at ‘moon.willow@ntlworld.com’

Our next quest: Quest 26 is Ireland in September so please stay tuned!

 

 

planets

exsistence

human race

Reality and Truth: have i not always said that truth is never what has been taught; never what you thought it was. Think hard dear freinds and consider the truths of your existence and why you have been lied to. Learn, accept and be free. The Priory has always taught the truths yet it is up to each individual, those whom are truly meant to know and to evolve beyond their human existence, whether they wish to remove their blindfolds or not….

One can make a big noise and launch as many orange balloons over London as one likes but directing ones energy to this mere drop in the ocean, this mere diversion in time, only serves well the purpose of those whom wish to keep you in blindness. Consider then if you will that path laid down for you, and the oportunities presented, for they all have a purpose and it is up tp you whether you go against the flow and rise up against the roar of the crowd or be forever blinded and deafened by the mundane pull of humanities blindness…

While it is important to respect the beliefs and opinions of others, even if they differ from our own, we must do so with open minds; for we are all different. We know instinctively what is right or wrong, yet sadly the truth is obliterated these days by what the main stream media deem us to know; what the so-called religous bodies deem us to know. Yet do either of them know about real truths, for they hide any real truths from us and shower us with a truth they think we deserve to know.

But we must all wake up from our slumbers for we are being manipulated for sure, yet each & everyone of us has the power to make up our own minds, for the truth is there to find and folks willing to share it Dont be manipuated by popular opinions and popular beliefs; rise up above the roar of the crowd, up above the clouds that fog the mind. This can mean standing alone, yet being true to ones self and to those beings whom lit the original flame of life that resides within us all.

‘Ge be Dag ma Dar be Ar’

‘The Keeper of Scrolls’ July 2018

When the tides turn
And the cold wind blows,
When the waters of creation
Finally consume the lived.
When the clock shall tick no more
I shall take my rightful place
Amongst my true kin.
The Sanctuary was always there;
Hidden within, in my dreams and desires.
Unknown by the unseeing eyes of humanity,
Whose achievements resonate not
Across the wider universe
With the seekers of human flesh.
Think not in human terms;
Think not of a world of matter.
The threshold has been crossed,
Yet it was never of the physical world;
Perceived of with my human eyes.
Everything is of its time;
The past, future and present
Have always been as one.
Future memories visit;
Perceived time lines merge,
Cycles repeat.
Be served well to remember
What is done cannot be undone,
What is known cannot be unknown;
Oaths taken upon the sphere of time
Cannot be untaken.
Remember well; that which you love the most
Is that which binds you to the mortal realm;
Soul bound to the shores of time,
Blood ties secured by DNA.
I guard the door; steadfast,
Knowing that Heaven will await.
The secrets of the blood
Have been gifted.
I stand firm; protector of my kin
Sword in hand and breastplate shinning.
Lest no one pass this way
Lest they stumble over times fragile threshold.
Without true love’s key
All answers remain hidden,
All secrets lost within man’s folly.
Blindness reigns,
Tethered by the ego of mortality.
Yet to those of faith
The secrets within the blood of life;
That sweet threaded coil
Of man-kinds destiny
Is forever within reach.
Yet to those whom mock
With tongue and heart of stone,
The sweet blood secrets hidden within the sacred chalice of life,
Sipped not by those of human descent.

 

DSC05639 (1)

 

moon.willow@ntlworld.com: July 2018

‘The Keeper of Scrolls’

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