Tag Archive: Ancient Churches


QUEST 27 CONTINUED…

Day Three: St Petrox Church and Dartmouth Castle: It was another gloriously sunny day when we arrived in beautiful Dartmouth; a town and civil parish in the county of Devon; we were on day three of this wonderful adventure. This is a designated area of outstanding beauty and one can easily see why. In 1086, the Domesday Book lists Dunestal as the only settlement in the area, and which now makes up the Parish of Dartmouth. Over time it developed as a port and was of strategic importance as a deep water port for sailing vessels. Interestingly the port was used as the sailing point for the Crusades of 1147 and 1190, and Warfleet Creek, close to Dartmouth Castle, which we also visited, is suposed by some, to be named for the vast fleets that assembled there; later it was also the home of the Royal Navy. The narrow mouth of the port is protected by two fortified castles, Dartmouth Castle and Kingswear Castle. In modern times a Royal Regatta takes place annually over three days at the end of August.

Arriving at beautiful Dartmouth in Devon; a well-known tourist destination on the western bank of the tidal estuary of the River Dart.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dartmouth,_Devon

St Petrox Church: So on Friday 3rd May we made our way across beautiful scenery and moorland to this very special church situated right next door to Dartmouth Castle; St Petrox church is packed with ‘hidden histories’ relating to the Knights Templars, the Nevilles and beyond. Both church and graveyard have a powerful and scenic vantage point overlooking the estuary. The church of St Petrox, which is a grade one listed building, perches above the mouth of the river like a guardian, but its exposed position has presented it with problems and challenges. First recorded in 1192 in deeds relating to Little Dartmouth, St Petrox is referred to as the ‘Monastery of St Peter’. There is little recorded history of the church around this time and there is little more information on what the ‘monastery’ was. It has been suggested that the monastery was perhaps started by the man whose name now graces the church: St Petrox. St Petroc was an interesting saint; a Welsh aristocrat who gave up worldly things and travelled to Ireland to study in piety. Later he ministered around Cornwall where legend has him converting the rather evil Cornish King Constantine to the faith. He was based in Bodmin for a while before heading to the continent, where he is supposed to have met the Pope, travelled to India and beyond and had many fantastical adventures before his death. His bones were held at Bodmin and venerated. However their is a lot more to St Petrox than meets the eye…

https://www.bythedart.co.uk/things-to-do-in-dartmouth/what%27s-in-church%3F—st.-petrox/

https://britishlistedbuildings.co.uk/101297086-church-of-st-petrox-dartmouth#.XPfE1497l1s

St Petrox Church with stunning views across the estuary.

This church then is absolutely  steeped in Knights Templar history going back as far as the Crusades and beyond. This part of the castle was built around 1330, yet the history and actual sacred site goes back far beyond that, for many reasons to be learnt about; this really is the only church in the area that is worthwhile to spend time at. It is a must see for anyone interested in templarism and knightly virtues, or indeed who are like us and are actual Templars researching blood lines….

There are many symbols and connections to the Templars here, which you can see explained in detail in the video below. There are connections too, to the Fordham line, which traces back to the Desposyni line and the line of Christ, and to France. There is a very particular tomb in the central isle that screams templarism, displaying a symbol that the Extinction Rebellion group of modern times now use.

There is also reference on one of the windows to Gonville and Caius College in Cambridge (home town of one of us questers) and as what may come as a surprise to many, the city of Cambridge was actually founded on templar money! There is also a plaque near the font displaying the MacAndrew name, which ties us in at this point in time to previous quests. But the most delightful and important discovery is the churches connection to Lancelot! The connection can be seen on the Lancelot stained-glass widow with on the left hand side a German connection, while on the right of the window are the emblems of Lancelot Desposyni himself; one of the ancestors of the Fordham line. As we may already mentioned the Fordhams ‘spawned’ out of Westphalen in Germany and then into France, where they stayed for many centuries, and then from France onto England,  thus linking us into the Arthurian Ledgends and future quests but also connecting us to our up and coming visit to Tintagel

Images above that prove myth and legend have roots firmly in fact & can be traced right back from modern times – exactly what we are doing on these quests! The first two photos connect to Gonville & Caus College in Cambridge, the second two are the stunning Lancelot Desposyni window connecting to the bloodline of our quests, then the familiar Neville sheild & the MacAndrew surname again – all part of the same bloodline! Lastly, the very profound plaque that was hidden behind a curtain in a little ‘cubby hole’ reads “The cup of blessing which we bless is not the communian of the blood of Christ” So lots to pause for thought about..

See our video below for a tour of the church and much more info…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3Q5nmKTT14&t=45s

Dartmouth Castle: The castle seems to sit precariously on the cliff edge where the River Dart meets the English Channel with amazing views out to sea. The day we were there was sunny and the views were spectacular. One can enjoy roaming the castle and learning about its history over several levels; while the narrow winding stairway to the top is challenging; it is a must for the views alone! The castle was begun in 1388 to protect the town and harbour of Dartmouth against French raids during the 100 years war and 100 years later it was strengthened with a gun tower, the first purpose-built coastal artillery for Britain! The castle continued to play an important role in our defences of the land throught out the years – see link for further info.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dartmouth_Castle

St Edmund King & Martyr Church, Kingsbridge: Just a short drive along peaceful country roads bought us to our next scheduled stop which sadly on this occasion was closed to us, so a few shots of the outside will have to suffice. The symbols on the windows looked significant so a shame we could not get in – though we did have a good look aound the town, where there were some amazing charity shops!

The church is an Anglican churched dedicated to St Edmund the Martyr: once a parish church, it is no longer is used for regular worship. St. Edmund’s Church, is mainly in the Perpendicular style and retains some 13th century features including a font, but was enlarged and reconsecrated around 1414. The oldest part of the church is the 13th century crossing tower. The rest of the church is much altered with the addition of a large chapel in 1849. Further rebuilding of the nave was conducted in the late 19th century. There are a few other medieval remains in the south chancel chapel. Parts of the Rood Screen have been used to make the pulpit and the readers desk.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Edmund,_King_and_Martyr

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingsbridge

Hope Cove: So the last port of call for the day, for a bit of ‘down time’ and the best vegan pizza i have ever tasted, was the stunningly beautiful ‘Hope Cove’. Hope Cove is a small seaside village within the civil parish of South Huish in South Hams, Devon. It has tw beaches and is sheltered by the headland of Bolt Tail. The name ‘Hope Cove’ may derive tautologically from the Old Norse word hóp meaning “bay” or “small inlet”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hope_Cove

 

  • Bloodline connections: is that of Thomas Neville of Dartmouth, born 25/02/1810 & died 03/01/1893 & our lead questers 4th Great Grandfather. Originally from Tollesbury in Essex & died in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia & a frequent visitor to the area on Templar Business.
  • V. MacAndrew from the plaque in St Petroc’s Church
  • George Fairlie-Clarke from the memorial in church graveyard
  • Lancelot Desposyni of the Fordham line, depictedvon the church window of St Petrocs.
  • Thomas Neville again, connected also to Kingsbridge and Hope Cove

Join us for part three when we discover more secrets of time at Tintagel!

‘The Keeper of Scrolls’ June 2019

So much to embrace & look forward to as The Priory is about to set out upon Quest Twenty-Seven no less! On our journey for truth we will endevour to unravel the hidden histories of these lands, we will set forth into the kingdoms of Devon & Cornwall for our next knightly adventure.

Quest 27: Devon and Cornwall: So our quest was at last upon us and it couldn’t have got here quick enough. On Wednesday May 1st, we made our way to Gunnislake just inside the Cornish border, but wait! Our quest starts right here!

Day One: Princetown: St Michael & All Saints Church.  Princetown is a village in the Dartmoor national park and is the principle settlement of the civil parish of Dartmoor Forest. Princetown is known for being the site of Dartmoor Prison and is around 1,430 feet above sea level; the highest settlement on the moor and one of the highest in the UK and is surrounded by moorland; thereby attracting many hikers and walkers, especially in the summer months.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Princetown

It was a typical wet and misty Dartmoor afternoon when we arrived at St Michael & All Saints Church, Princetown; the Archangel St Michael being the patron saint of sick people, the elderly and of people of ‘order’ whom work in the military. Contrary to the ‘official’ write-ups of the church, it is built on an ancient sacred ‘energy’ site, connected to our quests, even though the current building itself is not that old. The church is of a simple design and built between 1812 – 1814 by prisoners captured in the Napoleonic Wars with France, and the War of 1812 with the United States, all of whom were held in Dartmoor prison. The east window contains stained glass of 1910, in memory of the American prisoners who helped to build the church. It is a designated Grade II* listed building but is now sadly a redundant church in the good care of the Churches Consevation Trust.

St Michaels & All Angels Church sitting amidsts the stuningly serene Dartmoor

Inside the church are many interesting artfacts, and as one would expect some poignant military memorabilia too, lest of all a seat saved in the front pews for soldiers unknown, which one can glimpse in the video. Interesting to note that our lead researcher’s 6th great uncle, John Neville was stationed here, in the wars of 1812. He was born on the 20th April, 1773 in Birch in Essex, but he married a Mary Ann from Princetown and there is a record of their child Eliza Neville being baptised on the 11th June 1815, in this very church! The church had a lovely feel about it and felt much older; the beautiful and intriging wooden carvings around the pulpit, one of which portrays an animal head on a human body, certainly seemed older. The lovely tapestry of St Michael portrays the correct Celtic Cross, with the saint wearing blue, red and gold robes. The beautiful stained-glass window above the altar portrays the life and death of  ‘the Jesus’, from left to right in story-book style. Also on one of the wooden chairs to the left of the altar are some very interesting carvings of a direct Enochian origin, relating and connecting the church firmly to our path…

Inside the church, showing the window, the St Michael tapestry and the Enochian carvings

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_St_Michael,_Princetown

Outside in the graveyard, very noticably separate from the rest of the gravestones is the secluded area where the prisoners have been laid to rest; separated in death as they were in life. Rather ironical really as death makes no distinction; we are all as one in death…

Take a tour around the church & discover our links & bloodline history for yourself

St Michael & All Angels Church Princetown

Day One: Walkhampton: St Mary the Virgin Church. Walkhampton is a village and civil parish on the western side of Dartmoor, in Devon. The village lies on the Black Brook, a tributary of the  River Walkman, about 4.3 miles south-east of Tavistock set amidst beautiful unspoilt countryside.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walkhampton

Walkhampton church, which is a grade one listed building, is situated on an ancient elevated site about half a mile north-west of the village and can be seen for miles. Unlike most churches which face east, it faces north-east, the direction of the rising sun on the longest day. The present building, which is built of granite and has a tower with four prominent pinnacles, dates from the 15th century, with much later alteration, including restoration in 1860–61. For 400 years until 1985 the church had no dedication and was known simply as “Walkhampton Church”, but in that year it was dedicated to St Mary the Virgin. Research has indicated that it may have been originally dedicated to St Dionisius of Walkynton. Sadly the church had already been locked when we arrived so we had to content ourselves with a stroll around the outside. It is a pretty chuch standing amidst some gorgeous countryside, so who knows what we may have found inside…

St Mary the Virgin; a pretty church built on an ancient site in beautiful Devon

And so onto Cornwall, where our digs for the next five nights was to be the converted Ebenezer Chapel, now flats; ours named aptly as ‘Pilgrims Rest’.

Gunnislake is a large pretty village in East Cornwall situated in the Tamar Valley; an extremely beautiful area on the outskirts of Dartmoor in Devon. There is a history of mining in the area, but this is no longer active, but in it’s day was one of the richest mining area of Europe. It has a small railway station which serves the local villages of the area. The geo-magnetics of the area are very powerful and interesting, especially for those using ‘earth-based’ satnav… (something to ponder on)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gunnislake

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gunnislake_railway_station

  • Bloodline Connections: Princetown: Our lead researcher’s 6th great uncle, John Neville was stationed here, in the wars of 1812. He was born on the 20th April, 1773 in Birch in Essex, and he married a Mary Ann from Princetown; there is a record of their child Eliza Neville being baptised on the 11th June 1815, inSt Michael & All Angels Church, Princetown.
  • John’s father was Earl Henry Neville, 2nd Earl of Abergavenny; a destination of a previous quest.
  • Walkhampton: Jonh Neville (as above) was stationed, as a soldier, in the area circa 1800’s,  6th great uncle.
  • Gunnislake: connections with the Clarke, Fordham & Neville surnames.

And of course finishing off the day with a gorgeous meal in a wonderful atmospheric local pub and resturant as one must always have balance in life “Reverence & Mirth in equal measures”

Day Two: Buckfastleigh & Buckfast Abbey: We drove across beautiful Dartmoor to reach Buckfast Abbey, with a stop for lunch at this delightful and peaceful beauty spot in Dartmoor, which in the summer months is absolutely teaming with visitors.

Buckfastleigh is a small market town and civil parish in Devon situated at the edge of the Dartmoor National Park.  It is part of Teignbridge and is a centre for tourism, and home to Buckfast Abbey.  The town has grown as a mill town known for it’s woollen mills, corn and paper mills and a tannery supported by the rivers Dart, Mardle and the Dean Burn; water being an essential natural resource used in the manufactoring of wool and other products. Buckfastleigh is medieval in origin and the name Buckfast means stronghold, and Leigh would have been the pastures belonging to Buckfast.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buckfastleigh

The very beautiful Benedictine monastry at Buckfast, known as Buckfast Abbey, is just near the edge of Dartmoor. After many ups and downs the monks are still there today and live a very peaceful devotional life. The Abbey is self-supporting with a farm, where vegetables are grown and animals are raised and a shop which sells wine, honey and religous items etc. The monastry is most famous for it’s Buckfast Tonic Wine, a delicous fortified wine that the monks have been making since the 1890’s

Buckfast first became home to an abbey in 1018. The first Benedictine abbey was followed by a Savignac (later Cistercian) abbey constructed on the site of the current abbey in 1134. The monastry was surrendered for dissolution in 1539, with the monastic building stripped and left as ruins, before being finally demolished. The former abbey site was used as quarry and later became home to a Gothic Mansion House.

The position of the hands in the above carving is very relevant to the Priory, our path and the truth of our quests; also note the Enochian influenced carvings around the doorway; all of which allude to teachings and truths of our path that are much older than the actual building here.

In 1882 the site was purchased by a group of French Benedictine monks, who refounded a monastery on the site, dedicated to Saint Mart. New monastic buildings and a temporary church were constructed incorporating the existing Gothic house. Work on a new abbey church, which was constructed mostly on the footprint of the former Cistercian abbey, started in 1907. The church was consecrated in 1932 but not completed until 1938. Buckfast was formally reinstated as an Abbey in 1902, and the first abbot of the new institution, Bonniface Natter was blessed in 1903. Despite all this it did feel a very peaceful place with some stunning works of art, windows and artifacts inside.

 

The abbey is full of stunning artworks, many with hidden symbolic messages; there are extra meanings here in several of these photos

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buckfast_Abbey

https://www.buckfast.org.uk/

Next and without further ado, we made our way to Exmouth Marina and Harbour to embark upon a scheduled boat trip along the Jurasic Coast. Not a part of the quest as such but something that would be informative and fun.

Exmouth itself is a port town, civil parish and seaside resort, sited on the east bank of the mouth of the River Ex, and is 7 miles east of Exeter. The two ecclesiatical parishes, Littleham and Withycombe Raleigh, that make up the town of Exmouth today can be traced to pre-Saxon times. The name of the town derives from its location at the mouth of the River Ex estuary, which ultimately comes from an ancient Celtic word for fish.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exmouth

We had booked to sail with Stuart Line Cruises, leaving from Exmouth Harbour at 2:15 and it was scheduled to be an over three hour trip, along the ancient coast line. This jurasic coast line is a world heritage site, attracting many visitors. It is England’s only natural UNESCO World Heritage Site; the circular cruise sails along the oldest section of the site, known as the Triassic Era.  The cruise certainly did show the age, beauty and importantly, the fragility of our coastlines. Here on the video below one can see the magnificance of the ‘sea stacks’ and hear a spot of the commentary on the video too. It was rather blustery out at sea but lots of snuggly blankets were thankfully provided.

The beauty of England’s Jurasic Coast Line

Englands Jurasic Coast Line & the Beauty of Devon and Cornwall

  • Bloodline connections: Buckfastleigh has connections to the Clarke surname and family link.

“The Keeper of Scrolls” May 2019

email me:  moon.willow@ntlworld.com

The land does not give up it’s secrets easily yet leaves clues hidden within the landscape of time for those whom are willing to decode the riddles…

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!

 

 

DSC04803 (1)

The Neville Crest at Newport Minster

QUEST TWENTYFOUR: MARCH 2018. It was a very cold and wintery day as we journeyed over to the Isle of Wight on Quest 24. Amazingly though, and i guess because most folks were house bound and heeding the weather warnings, the journey was swift and without incident. with even the ferry ride being calm. However upon landing on the island the weather set in and snow and ice gave a serene beauty to the already stunning countryside.

 

 

Leaving Plymouth and arriving on the snow-bound Isle of Wight

DAY ONE AND TWO: Timeless snowscenes at Newport Minster, Carisbrooke Priory, St Mary the Virgin Church, Carrisbrooke, the slopes of Carrisbrooke Castle and the United Reformed Church, Shanklin. Today was a day of simply enjoying the stunning views and taking photos; most churches and venues we had planned to visit were shut with folks staying wisely at home apart from those brave souls who were braving the snow covered slopes of Carrisbrooke Castle with sledges in tow! We slithered and slipped our way though the day, braving a few very slippery slopes and icy roads but certainly made the most of it!

Reading on through this quest; some churches were kindly opened to us for a second visit and for that we thank all concerned; more detailed accounts are to be found by scrolling through. However those not opened to us are/were still very much a part of this quest and the reason we are doing them. All churches are part of a metaphysical/physical sacred alignment, all are ‘perfect points in time’: all tell a story of the past, present and future, all are a part of a whole truth and a part of the path we follow…

 

 

Newport Minster; picturesque in the snow

 

 

Serene snow-covered views: Carisbrook Abbey, showing the Neville Sheild and brave sous sledging on Carisbrook Castle slopes <click on all images to enlarge>

 

 

The Parish and Priory Church of St Mary the Virgin, Carisbrook looking stunning covered in snow.

 

 

The timelessness of a snow covered Carisbrook and an ‘orb’ just outside the church. <click to enlarge>

 

 

The United Reformed Church, Shanklin in a timeless snow covered setting..

DAY THREE: St Mary the Virgin, Carisbrooke: So on our second visit to this church, which sits high on a hilltop with commanding views over the town, we were thankfully able to gain access. The parish of Carisbrooke is one of the largest on the island in both size and population and also one of the oldest. Carisbrooke Church is considered to be ‘the most important ecclesiastical building on the Isle of Wight’. The church is mentioned in the Domesday Book and the present nave of the church was built in 1070 as decreed by William Fitz-Osbert who was governor of the island. It was originally attached to the Priory of St Mary the Virgin, which was occupied by monks from the Abbey of Lyra (now Lire) in Normandy. The noble tower, the crowing glory of the church (photos seen above), was erected fifty five years after the dissolution of the monastry. Later still are the two large windows of the north wall which date from the sixteenth century when Bishop Fox  held the see of Winchester. His rebus, a fox is carved on one of the label stops. Much more on the history can be found by following the link below:-

http://carisbrookestmary.org.uk/history/

 

 

Beautiful artworks within the church include a window showing ‘The Lamb of God’ pointing to a strong Templar influence, the Neville shield indicating the bloodline movement, the other two shields, when merged represent ‘Temperence’ and ‘Fortitude’. the statue of the madonna and child by John Skelton in 1969 and some very unusual carvings of a Sumerian nature…

The Bloodline links of interest here are:-

  • Penelope Fordham (1838-1879) Granddaughter of Edward King Fordam of Hertfordshire. She was born in Godshill and died in Godshill

All Saints Church, Godshill: The Church of the Lily Cross…. Where the Four Points Meet: Just as the name would suggest, this is an amazing church, set atop a sacred mound that rises above a very pretty and historic town. The earliest church at Godshill was built in the Saxon period, possible during the reign of Edward the Confessor, but the current church is is almost entirely 15th century and built by the monks of the Sheen Priory. The hill on which the church stands was the site of pagan worship long before christianity reached the Isle of Wight. All Saints is the largest medieval church on the island and one of the most visited and photographed, which is partly due to the treasure, found inside the church, of a 15th century wall painting of Christ crucified on a lily; a very Templar symbol.

 

 

The Lily Cross, or as it was formely known, ‘The Budding Cross’ is to be found painted on the east wall of the south transept and although this areas was locked up i did manage some shots through the bars. Although there are similar depictions in Europe, this is the only ‘Lily Cross’ in Britain and dates from the middle of the 15th century. Sadly during the Reformation the painting was white-washed several times; though we dont know if this was to preserve it or destroy it. t was only rediscovered in the 19th century and carefully cleaned and is now amazingly clear and brightly coloured

 

 

The Lily Cross’ and the entrance to where it is displayed <please click on images to enlarge>

I know that there is much more to the significance and meaning of The Lily Cross, yet it is very hard to find any indepth explanations but this below, together with a christian symbolism of the lily, is the nearest i could get to any thing that had a bite to it. So for the moment Godshill is keeping its secrets…

http://www.paintedchurch.org/godshill.htm

 

For a more detailed tour around the church with an explanation of the importance of the church, it’s symbolism and Templar connections please see our link to our youtube channel.

Godshill Church, the Isle of Wight

Always looking around with eagle-eyes, i was very pleased to see this significant symbol enscribed on the wall of the entrance porch of this ancient church, as it meant a lot to see it there, on The Church of the Lily Cross. Not as commonly thought, the Awen symbol, as significantly older with a deeper meaning; a footprint on the sands of time carved into the fabric of reality….

 

 

 

 

The above photos show the Knight Templar connection, the Judaic connection of two cherub statues, the ‘Gatekeeper’ statue, together with the mother and child that indicate a full Templar layout to the church (relating to Wisdom, Strength and Beauty). Our video explains much more… <click on photos to enlarge>

https://godshillparish.co.uk/history.php

http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/HAM/IOW/Godshill

The Bloodline Connections here are:-

  • John Peter Fordham 1810 – 1846 (3 X Great Grand Uncle to our head researcher)
  • George Albert Neville 1914 – 1989 (Grand Uncle to our head researcher)
  • Penelope Amelia Fordham 1838 – 1879 (Granddaughter to Edward King Fordham)
  • Lily May Clarke 1905 – 1994 (Great Grand Aunt to our head researcher)
  • Frank Albert Bartram 1883 – 1962 (Great Grand Uncle to our head researcher)

 

The Four Major Physical and Metaphysical lines of our quests all come together here at Godshill. So we have the Neville line, the Fordham line, the Clarke line amd the Bartram line ie “Where the Four Points Meet”…

 

You can read much more about the church and its treasures by following the links below:-

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_Saints’_Church,_Godshill

http://www.britainexpress.com/counties/wight/churches/godshill.htm

 

St Lawrence, Vetnor: Being a pilgrim on the earthly plane is what a journey is all about; each step taken with intent and mindfulness, tuning into the physical and the metaphysical. As with our quests, very much of the metaphysical as well as the physical and being pilgrims in time treading the earthly plane…

 

 

A gorgeous and tiny, tiny ancient church, Parish of St Lawrence on the Isle of Wight, on a hilltop as per usual and overlooking a rugged landscape down to the sea.. Still used today and still visited by pilgrims as the two seeking refuge from the cold on this particular day. Small but with some very interesting treasures to be found inside with deep meanings….
I can imagine in days past, pilgrims making their way along a dirt track, with the cold wind blowing their cloaks around them; and this the only shelter for miles around….
Visiting these sites bring history and our past alive and one gets a true sense of walking with our ancestors. I dunno, just being there made me connect like a point on a circuit board and think of these things.

 

 

So tiny, yet very beautiful in a very simplistic yet spiritual way for centuries used by pilgrims and Templars alike; often one and the same…

St Lawrence, which is much older than Ventnor, is a village found on the south side of the Isle of Wight, west of Ventnor which many do consider to be a part of the town. St Lawrence is situated on the undercliff, where it is subject to frequent landslides. In the 19th century, St Lawrence was the subject of am ambitious plan to develope the village as a resort to rival Ventnor by a German developer named William Spindler, a man who had made his fortune as a chemist in Berlin and who lived on the island from 1881 to his ndeath 1889 amd subsequent burial at Whitwell. he did have enormous influence as a developer but most of his projects have now fallen prey to the ravages of time.

The small St Lawrences Church at Ventnor, dates from the 12th century and is one of three churches in St Lawrence and is easily missed and not the church that the tourists make a bee-line for with the Pre-Raphalite windows. This infact is the church that really matters; it is tiny and simple yet exudes it’s history, with some of the artifacts being very special indeed. Before the addition of a chancel in 1830, it was only 25 feet long and 11 feet wide and was considered the smallest church in England. It has a 15th century baptismal font,  a stoup that is about 500 years old and a series of 18th century hat pegs. The piscina niche is almost the same age as the church. The ‘Jesus’ is shown in beautiful red robes and wearing the garnet stone; the significance of which, within various ‘inner’ Craft circles, goes deep and powerful.

 

 

The ‘Jesus’ wearing the significant garnet stone around his neck, the open bible, the Neville shield, the list of past ‘bloodline’ rectors and the ancient wooden carving <click to enlarge>

Bloodline connections here are:

  • Lily May Clarke 1905 – 1994 (Great Grand Aunt to our head researcher)
  • Brent R. R. Neville; a rector here in 1902 (ancestor of our head researcher)
  • Edward S. Bartrum; a rector here in 1912 (ancestor of our head researcher)

For a full tour around this wonderful little church in Ventnor and to catch up on a snowy scene from outside Carrisbrooke church, please se our link:-

Carrisbrooke & Ventor on the Isle of Wight

https://www.britishlistedbuildings.co.uk/101225276-old-church-of-st-lawrence-ventnor

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Lawrence,_Isle_of_Wight

 

St Andrew, Chale: It had turned into a wet and rainy day, yet the journey was very worth it as this church proved to be a treasure trove of surprises.This medievil church is in the parish of Chale on the Isle of Wight and was founded by Hugh Gendon in 1114 when it was dedicated to St Andrew, though the present day church dates from the 14th century. Originally it was a Catholic church, but on the reformation it became part of the Church of England where for 900 years services have been held in St Andrew’s and in those years the church has been extended many times, with the tower being added in the 15th century. Read more about the church below:-

https://www.chalebayfarm.co.uk/st-andrews/

 

 

The church’s dedication to St Andrew has been explained in three ways. Firstly, St Andrew was a fisherman and fishing played an important part in this coastal community. Secondly, it could have been named after the man who paid to have it built. Another explanation is that the closest saint’s day to that on which it was dedicated is St Andrew’s. There is no evidence to give any of these explanations greater probability.  St. Andrew’s, although high above the sea, is exposed to the wind. The stonework is dotted with lichens; these are evidence of the purity of the air, which is damp enough to cover some stones very thickly.

 

 

Inside the church are some beautiful artifacts and windows that tell a tale or two of a history not generally know to the public. <click on an image to enlarge>

 

 

The ‘Angelic’ beings around the altar are interesting (all being slightly different) and relating to the ‘four pillars’ A more detail explanation can be found in the video below…

 

 

The stained-glass windows show symbols with meanings that go beyond what is percieved as a ‘christian’ church, especially the window depicting ‘The Scribes’ with the full Enochian symbolism in view, which will once again cause one to pause, to consider the true roots/routes of what we know as ‘christianity….  <click to enlarge>

 

The Bloodline Connections here are:

  • John Wright Neville, 1845 – 1878 (1st cousin 3 x removed to our head researcher)

 

Christ Church, Totland, Alum Bay: This church is in the Isle of Wight Deanery and the Diocese of Portsmouth. It is the western most parish in the Diocese and includes the tourist attractions of Colwell Bay, The Needles, Alum Bay and Tennyson Down.  Although the church is located at the geographical centre of the parish, the heart of the village is nearly half a mile down the hill at the site of the church hall.  It is situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the church itself has a beautiful and tranquil burial ground in a very natural and peaceful setting.

 

The parish of Totland Bay was formed in 1875 out of the parish of Freshwater and includes the famous Needles Rocks and Lighthouse. That the legal formalities were carried through satisfactorily was mainly due to the Revd Christopher Bowen, MA, a resident who most generously gave the land necessary for the church, churchyard, vicarage house and school. To him and his friends we are also indebted for “their energy and patient efforts” in connection with “the building and consecration” of the church. In recent years the vicars of Totland Bay have also acted as honorary chaplains to the keepers of the lighthouse. In 1869 a temporary church of wood was erected opposite the present parish church where it stood until the latter, begun in 1874, was finished a year later. It was then re-erected on the beach and for a time served as the village reading room and library. It now belongs to the Totland Bay Hotel and Pier Co, and serves as annexe to the hotel.

Inside, the church is fairly and surpringly spacious, though to be honest, many of the original artifacts are no longer there and sadly the church has lost much of its original ‘energies‘. It does however have some very nice stained glass windows, and on the outside wall before the main entrance, a rather lovely and prominent carving of ‘The Lamb of God‘ (the Agnus Dei)

 

<click on all images to view and enlarge>

Follow the link below to see more photos and to read much more on the history of Christ Church: http://christchurchtotland.org.uk/about-us/

The Bloodline Connections here are:

  • James Fordham 1857 – 1881: Great grandson of Edward King Fordham of Herfordshire (connected to Godshill)

 

  • Due to circumstances beyond our control and the weather; we were unable to visit the following so the bloodline connections are listed below…

Carrisbrooke Castle: Sadly due to the weather, time of year and maintenance occuring we were unable to make to the castle or get near enough to take photos.

  • John Fordham 1835  – 1898 (Grandson of Edward King Fordham of Herforshire and 1st cousin, 6 x removed from our lead researcher)

The Needles: We had hoped for a tour around but again the weather and the time of year were not in our favour.

  • George Albert Neville 1914 – 1989 (Grand Uncle to our lead researcher)

The United Reformed Church, Shanklin: The doors were closed to us on ths very cold day…

  • Frank Albert Bartram 1893 – 1962: (Great Grand Uncle to our lead researcher)

Osborne House: Closed due to the time of year and maintenance.

  • James Neville 1825 – 1856 (Great Grand Uncle of our head researcher)

 

March 2018 ‘The Keeper of Scrolls’ on behalf of The Priory

email ‘moon.willow@ntlworld.com

 

“A perfumed tree, how sweet the smell… But a fruitful tree is far from wells,

Doth carry the roseline from land to air, then once to the four winds as all do stare”

 

 

DAY THREE CONT:

  • HOLY TRINITY CHURCH: HADDIGTON
  • HAILES CASTLE
  • HOLY ISLAND

HOLY TRINITY CHURCH: HADDIGTON: Still in Scotland, day three continued with our next visit which was to be the Holy Trinity Church at Haddington in the diocese of Edinburgh.  Set in a kind of small cul-de-sac off from the main street in a heritage area, both church and grounds are beautifully kept; from the outside the church looks quite small yet upon entering it appears much larger than it looks.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haddington,_East_Lothian

With funds raised by the congregation and a very generous donation from the Earl of Wemyss, the first phase of the church building was constructed in 1770 on the site of the original ‘Lamp of Lothian’ which, from the middle of the thirteenth century until 1555, had been the property of the Franciscan Friars. It was built of a local stone known as Rattlebags, a volcanic agglomerate (a complex breccia made of fragments of lavas). An article in the transactions of the Antiquaries of Scotland published in 1792 describes the building as a very elegant chapel. Holy Trinity Church is a Grade B Listed building and is in the Haddington Conservation Area.

 

In 1843 the church was ‘Gothicized’ with the addition of the nave parapet, nave south elevation window surrounds (note the lancet shape), porch and shallow apsidal sanctuary, using a different stone, a finer, pale buff sandstone.  The same year, the committee appointed to report on the state of the building described it as being extremely uniform and homely. Following completion of the reconstruction, a service of dedication to the Holy Trinity and of consecration was perfor med by the Rt Rev Charles Terrot, Bishop of Edinburgh, who in 1814 had returned to Scotland to serve as an Incumbent in Haddington.

 

The interior of the church showing ‘The Jesus’ using the now familiar ‘Ninasian Salute’ used by Priory members. Symbols such as the Lamb of God and other Templar symbols are to be discovered throughout the church and a beautiful tapistry on the altar, which is described as three angels, though it could be the ‘Three Marys’.

In 1930, the present Chancel was added to replace the apse and the interior remodelled in neo-Byzantine style by the Scottish architect B N H Orphoot. The Chancel external walls were built of Rattlebags and sandstone but have reinforced concrete detailing such as columns, arches, decorative bands and the corbel course below the gutter.

 

The church also had some interesting detail on its exterior walls <click on all images to enlarge>

Holy Trinity Church had some nice features and details both inside and out; it was a peaceful enough place but i got the feeling that  lot of the older artifacts from the past had been removed or had not stood the test of time and therefore the older ‘energies’ were no longer there

http://holytrinityhaddington.co.uk/

HAILES CASTLE: We paid an unexpected visit to Hailes Castle; one time home to Mary Queen of Scots.The castle is a mainly 14th century castle about a mile and a half south west of East Linton, East Lothian, Scotland and is quite secluded and hidden away. This castle, which has a fine riverside setting, belonged to the Hepburn family during the most important centuries of its existence. The castle was founded as a fortified tower house by Hugo de Gourlay before 1300, making it one of the oldest constructions of its kind in Scotland. The castle has a long and interesting history which one can read more of on the internet and it is certainly worth a visit to look around and explore.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hailes_Castle

 

This is where Mary Queen of Scots was staying as an adult, for it was deemed to be a safe place for her; secluded and hidden away and she had freinds and allies on her side; however this was not to be and history tells us otherwise…..

Just opposite the castle is a hill fort by the name of ‘Traprain Law‘ that rises in an imposing fashion above the horizon. It has an interesting name, yet was only known as ‘Traprain Law’ from the late 18th century, taking its name from a local hamlet. This is etymologically a Cumbric name cognate with Welsh tref ‘farm’ and either pren ‘tree’ or bryn ‘hill’. Law comes from the Old English word hlāw, meaning a burial mound.

It rises about 221m (724 feet) in elevation and is located 6 km (3.7 mi) east of Haddington. It covered at its maximum extent about 16 ha (40 acres) and must have been a veritable town. Whether it was a seasonal meeting place or permanent settlement is a matter of speculation.  Also speculated is whether the site is the site of an actual pyramid or not….  But it was a burial place by around 1500 BC with evidence of occupation and signs of ramparts after 1000 BC and has been ocupied at various points throughout it’s history.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traprain_Law

 

Trapain Law together with Hailes Castle: an interesting area to stop a while to soak up more history…

HOLY ISLAND: The last point of call for day three was to be Holy Island; more of a winding down visit after a very busy day where many miles were covered. We arrived on the off chance knowing that the tides may not be in our favour and this did prove to be true. The evening sunset was amazing, so no better place in which to unwind whilst watching (and dodging) the beautiful incoming tides. When the tide is out one can pass happily back and forth from the main land to Holy Island and Lindisfarne, but when the tide is incoming one literally has to watch ones back and ones parked car as we discovered!

 

What better way to end the day than to watch the tide coming in…. <click on images to enlarge>

https://www.lindisfarne.org.uk/

The Holy Island of Lindisfarne is a tidal island off the northeast coast of England. It is also known just as Holy Island. It constitutes the civil parish of Holy Island in Northumerland. Holy Island has a recorded history from the 6th century AD. It was an important centre of Celtc Christianlty under Saints Aidan of Lindisfarne, Cuthbert, Eadfrith of Lindisfarne and Eadberht of Lindidfarne. After the Viking invasions and the Normsn conquest of England, a priory was reestablished. A small castle was built on the island in 1550. Much more can be red about it’s history here:-

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lindisfarne

 

“Incoming Tide!!!”

So day three came to an end in a rather beautiful and fun fashion; not much to comment about on ‘The Neville‘ front but suffice to say that the whole area is steeped in ‘Neville’ history and intrigue with a very special day to come on day four…

 

Please feel free to contact us if you are curious to find out much more about our quests; on an England; on a history you thought you knew….

“The Grail Kingship is within the realm of impossibilities”

‘The Keeper of Scrolls’

Aug 2017

 

 

QUEST TWENTY THREE CONT:

  • ST JOHN’S SAXON CHURCH
  • ROSSLYN CHAPEL SCOTLAND
  • DUNBAR PARISH CHURCH

ST JOHN’S SAXON CHURCH: ESCOMBE NEAR BISHOP AUKLAND: Escomb is situated two miles west of Bishop Auckland in the Wear Valley. The church was built around 675AD with stone probably from the Roman Fort at Binchester and is the oldest church in the country. It was originally thought that the church was an offshoot of one of the local monastries at Whitby of Hartlepool, but this s only one of several possibilities as there are no known written records until 990AD.

The church, as one would expect is small and simple, befitting the time in which it was built. It is set amidst a well kept graveyard with some unusual gravestones in the burial ground with an ancient sundial above the porch entrance.

Once inside, one can tell the church is lovingly looked after; it has a beautiful stillness and peace about it and one can still see a few traces of the medieval painting on the archway entrance to the altar area, although some items such as the shield once prominent upon the wall has sadly not stood the test of time, as befalls many original items once prominent in many churches and some of the original paintwork about the church has also fallen prey to the ravages of time.  Thers is also a very ancient cross behind the altar depicting the ‘Fleur De Lys’ which one can barely make out do to age and earthy time… There were beautiful fresh flowers within the church and a tapistry of Celtic design crafted by local people, set in an alcove on the wall. There was a lovely feeling of peace and some very calming energies here. There was also an interesting phenomona of the greenery outside of the church displaying as a beautiful shade of blue through the church windows, which indeed it should be…

 

<click on photos to enlarge>

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escomb_Church

Let Alek explain further in this short video below & show you around to explain the connections to the Neville bloodline.

ESCOMBE SAXON CHURCH

 

 The church is well looked after and well loved, which one can most certainly tell.

 

DAY THREE: ROSSLYN CHAPEL SCOTLAND: Of course everyone is very familiar with Rosslyn Chapel, (formerly known as the Collegiate Chapel of St Matthew) due to it’s inclusion in popular modern fiction and movies. I had visited the chapel previously yet was very much looking forward to visiting it again. The previous time i had visited, the chapel was hidden behind scaffolding; much renevation work was in progress, but as a bonus we did however get to walk around the actual roof of the chapel along the scaffolding itself – an experience not to be missed! So to see the chapel now in all it’s unfettered splendour was to be a treat indeed.

http://www.rosslynchapel.com/

The chapel has strong connections to the Sinclair family, who have been it’s custodians  over the years and also connections, as one would rightly expect, to the Knight Templars, in particular to the ROS and the Scottish Rite. Rosslyn Chapel was founded on a small hill above Roslin Glen as a Catholic collegiate church (with between four and six ordained canons and two boy choristers) in the mid-15th century. The chapel was founded by William Sinclair, 1st Earl of Caithness of the Scoto-Norman Sinclair family. Rosslyn Chapel is the third Sinclair place of worship at Roslin, the first being in Roslin Castle and the second (whose crumbling buttresses can still be seen today) in what is now Roslin Cemetery. The Neville connection here is that the Sinclairs and the Nevilles have ‘been in bed together’ since the dawn of time!

 

Some fine examples of the beautiful stone work of the chapel <click on an image to enlarge>

Over the years many secrets and tales of intrigue have been associated with Rosslyn Chapel; tales that connect to the Knight Templars, the FreeMasons, Secret Ceremonies and indeed even to the Holy Grail and The Ark of the Covernent; one can only wonder as to the real truths hidden below the surface…. Sadly most of the sacred objects and artifacts of importance and significance have now been removed from the chapel for safe keeping and to this end the chapel has lost it’s very sacred energy and is sadly no more than a library of codes and hidden knowledge. I was glad to have visited Rosslyn before the items where removed, especially certain items of a KT connection that i was very drawn towards and of which i noticed imnediately that they were no longer there; i was glad to have felt those energies that were still there, at that time i visited previously. Interestingly the modern day tours of the Chapel do give out a great deal of  ‘misinformation’ to the public ears, but as we know, those who are meant to know will indeed, in time know.

 

Note that ‘The Jesus’ is saluting with the Ninasian salute as used within The Priory by it’s members. The Fleur de Lys depicted here is the only one to be found on the outside of the chapel, the photo from within the chapel is a representation of the ‘Raised Degree’

Sadly we unable to take photos inside of the chapel due to an ‘incident’ that happened there, but i was able to take many fine shots of the external architecture. I was glad to have been able to take shots of the interior last time i visited. As a footnote i did sneak one photo i was drawn too, see above….. 😉

DUNBAR PARISH CHURCH:  This church is renowned as having been the first collegiate church, in 1342, to have been established in the Lothians. The church was situated on the same site as the present-day parish church, on Queen’s Road just south of Dunbar town centre. The first mention of a church at Dunbar came in 1176 in the Taxatio of Lothian when the church was described as Eclessia de Dunbar. This church, dedicated to St Bega, served the parish as a whole until 1342 and its foundation as a collegiate church. On 21 April 1342, Patrick, 9th Earl of Dunbar was granted by charter, his right to the proprietorship of the church. The Dunbars were no strangers to the patronage of religious establishments, with the foundation of a house of Trinity friars in 1218, and then amonastery of Carmelite monks in 1263, by the 6th and 7th earls respectively. Dunbar Collegiate continued as decreed until it became forfeit to the crown in 1435. For a while the church was ‘enjoyed’ by the  Duke of Albany during the reign of King James 3rd of Scotland, before returning to the Dunbars. In 1483, it, once again, reverted to the crown and stayed that way until the Protestant reformation in 1560.

Sadly the church was totally closed when we were there but we did get some stunning views across the sea as the church is placed on a very commanding position with some very unusual stones and memorials in the graveyard.

The Neville family connection here is the family memorial, but sadly we were unable to investigate further on this occasion. <click on images to enlarge>

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunbar_Collegiate_Church

https://www.revolvy.com/topic/Dunbar%20Collegiate%20Church

http://www.wow.com/wiki/Dunbar_Collegiate_Church

Points to Consider:

  • Escombe Church, Raby Castle Chapel and St Andrew’s Church, all have a connection in respect of the Nevilles; they are all tied together.
  • The Sinclairs and the Nevilles have been connectted from time imemorial.
  • Just who really are ‘The Nevilles’, where did they come from, why are they so important and what is the purpose of their bloodline?

‘The Keeper of Scrolls’ July 2017

Please feel free to contact us if you are curious to find out much more about our quests; on an England; on a history you thought you knew….

“The Grail Kingship is within the realm of impossibilities”

DSC02317 (1)

A very profound inscription with a much deeper meaning discovered in the graveyard at Dunbar…..

 

“The mortal must put on immortality”

“Until the day break, and the shadows flee away”

 

The Keeper of Scrolls”

Aug 2017

ALONG THE BORDERLANDS

QUEST NUMBER NINETEEN: SHROPSHIRE AND WALES

  • St Peter’s Church: Clee Hill Shropshire
  • St Peter’s Church: Ludlow Shropshire
  • The Space Guard Centre: Knighton Wales
  • St Edwards Church: Knighton Wales
  • St Georges Church: Clun Shropshire
  • The Great Tower of Clun: Craven Arms Shropshire
  • St John the Baptist Church: Bishops Castle  Shropshire

 

Stunning views from Clee Hill – click on each photo to expand

St Peter’s Church, Clee Hill, Shropshire:  It was a beautiful sunny day in Febuary, when after a journey of some three hours from Cambridge, with the road winding ever higher and higher upwards, we arived in the village of Clee Hill  in Shropshire. Clee Hill is also the name given to the imposing hill itself of which the village sits atop of.  The village lies on the slope of  Titterstone Clee Hill and lying between 340 metres (1,120 ft) and 380 metres (1,250 ft) above sea level, this is one of the highest settlements in the country.

St Peter’s Church, Clee Hill <click on each photo to expand>

A beautiful and very scenic part of the country where sheep can roam freely and the views across the mountains are astounding. A wild energetic place indeed; the earth energies here are very powerful due to the pyramid placement within the land; another site where the hidden royal bloodlines of this country can be discovered.

The Alpha and Omega with a tapestry of the last supper from behind the altar

This church sits atop of the magnificent Clee Hill, which features both on the Mappa Mundi and in Brother Cadfael. St Peter’s is known to have a freindly, hard working congregation with good community links. I was unable to find out much about the actual history of this tiny church but there is a tale that if one runs round St Peter’s Church, three times, at midnight, then knock on the door, a spirit is supposed to come out and snatch you in. Please watch the video below for a few more insights on the church and its history.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clee_Hills

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cleehill

The bloodline ancestor discovered here is that of Thomas de Nevill, who was a resident of the parish and one of the Kings trusted freinds. Those who have been following our quests will have already picked up on the important connections between the Neville family and  to ‘The Crown‘ itself.

Click on the link below to take a tour around St Peter’s Church, Clee Hill with us with its plethera of Masonic influenence and symbolism. Also included is St Peter’s Church, Ludlow representing the Dome on the Rock and the connection between Heaven & Earth and  St Edwards Church Knighton, with it’s significant Victorian artworks.

ST PETERS CHURCH: CLEE HILL, ST PETERS CHURCH: LUDLOW, ST EDWARDS CHIRCH: LUDLOW

 

Bloodline connection:

  • Thomas de Nevill; ancestor to Alek was a resident of the parish

St Peter’s Church, Ludlow Shropshire: Our next stop on this glorious day was to the charming old town of Ludlow. This ancient market town is a truly stunning place to visit, a very vibrant town with lots of energy and some fantastic old buildings, including a castle and the one time home of Katherine of Aragon. The town is steeped in history, especially medieval with much written about it. On the day we were there it was a very busy market day and the town, even in February, was abustle with people.

Ludlow looking stunning in the sunshine;  the timbered building (1 & 4) was once home to Katharine of Aragon <click to enlarge>

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludlow

St Peter’s Church Ludlow, representing ‘The Dome on the Rock’

St Peter’s Church is a modern Catholic church, established in 1935 and built to represent the ‘Dome on the Rock’. The style of the building is stunning and designed by an Italian architect, which is very evident to the eye; the colour of the inside of the dome is amazing in a deep, deep blue. There are some beautiful artworks around the church including a ‘chiro’ with the ‘alpha’ and ‘omega’ symbols on either side, which as we know are Templar Symbols. The church is Romanesque in structure with the dome signifying heaven and earth united in praise of god. Despite the style and magnificence of the building, most of the work was carried out by local craftsmen, with it’s grey stone being extracted from Oreton Quarry at Farlow, Clee Hill, where we were only minutes previously.

http://cornmill.freeshell.org/stpetersludlow/tour.pdf

Church artworks showing the chiro, alpha and omega and the true stigmata of ‘the Jesus’ and above the ‘Dome’ next to the beautiful wndow depiction of Mary and the child.

Bloodline Connection:

  • Richard Neville and ancestor of Karl b. 1400 and The Earl of Salisbury was a resident of Ludlow

The Space Guard Centre, Knighton Wales: The day could not have got any better as we drove up and up and up, almost it seemed to the top of the world, where the views across the unspoilt valleys made one assume that one was the only person left alive in the whole world….

Magnificent views from the Space Guard Centre in Wales; click on photo to expand for full view and click on link below.

THE SPACEGUARD CENTRE: KNIGHTON

The Space Guard Centre is for tracking near earth objects, such as comets, meteorites and any object that could potentially harm the planet in the future. Of particular interest is that the centre is currently installing the large telescope that used to be housed in the observatory in Cambridge. The telescope is og no longer use here in Cambridge due to the ammount of light polution that obscurs all views of the skies; not such problen at all at the new site. It has taken many years of dedication, planning and hard work to dismantle it, transport it and then to build a new home for it, before installing it at one of the loftiest sites in the UK! The work has nearly been completed and all by volunteers, as sadly and shockingly no government funding for this important project has ever been forthcoming….

With the new telescope installed there will be three fully functioning telescopes at the centre

If you are in the area it is a fascinating site to visit, for the stunning views alone and the energies too, which  due to various obvious reasons, are amazing!

https://spaceguardcentre.com/

As one drives up to the entrance of the Space Guard Centre, one can almost miss, in the wilderness on the left-hand side, the beautiful stone circle dedicated to the goddess Dianna.

The Stone circle dedicated to Dianna

http://www.megalithic.co.uk/article.php?sid=15302

St Edwards Church at Knighton Wales: Still in Knighton; slightly lower down and ten minutes ride from the space centre, this old church is situated in a beautifully scenic area and does have a few unusual items within it.

St Edward’s Church at Knighton set amidst a scenic backdrop

This present church is probably the fourth church on the site; there is vague reference to a Saxon Church, circa 990 and certainly a Norman Church, circa 1160 and the base of the tower still retains Norman workmanship. In 1752 the Norman church was in such a perilous state of repair that it was completely demolished, so apart from the tower, a new church and chancel were thus built. There were many reports of the new church building works recorded in local publications at the time. Sadly the old font was replaced at the time of the complete rebuilding in 1877 and the old font was buried in a neighboring field. However in 1911, it was removed and and put in the care of the Rev. D. Edmund Owen, rector of Llandingad Carmarthenshire. This ancient font is octagonal in shape and can now be found in Llanelwedd churchyard, Poowys, although it would be nice if it could find it’s way back home. If an old font could not be relocated in another church, it was buried; this was to ensure that the font would not be available for any use apart from baptism after its removal. See our video below to take a tour around the church.

The interior of St Edward’s showing some beautiful windows and the painting mentioned in the video

The bloodline relative associated with this church is Walter Neville who sadly died quite young at age 32 years, but he was very prominent in the area and was involved in trade with Russia and a lovely painting that was probably part of his trading hangs just near the entrance. There are some unusual and interesting interesting Victorian painted artworks and other items here with some significant symbology attached.

 

Bloodline Connection:

  • Walter Neville (anceestor of Karl) 1869 – 1901, died at age 32 years; once again indicating the significance of the Neville Family.

 

St George’s Church, Clun Shropshire: Although not on our list and definitely not scheduled for us to visit today; this church is certainly worth a mention here. If we had not been magically directed to St Georges, we would not have been in the right place and the right time afterwards, to be able to see our next, seemingly elusive port of call peering at us in the distance between the hedges and back gardens of a local country lane. As said it was not connected to the research but deserves a few photos here…

St George’s Church, Clun

http://www.crsbi.ac.uk/site/69/

Although not on our list to visit we did interestingly discover a ‘Parry’ on the regimental memorial board  <click on images to expand and view>

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clun

The Great Tower of Clun, Craven Arms Shropshire:  Upon leaving the church above we were resigned to not finding the derelict chapel of St John the Baptist Chapel at Clun, yet were momentarily diverted along a quiet country road aside the church. Upon turning around to journey in another direction i momentarily glimpsed the shape of a ruin from the car window, looming above the distant roof tops! So trusting in our instincts and following the road, we amazingly (or not) found ourselves where we needed to be!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clun_Castle

We approached Clun Castle in the rapidly gathering twilight and it certainly afforded us a formidable view. Set high up on a high hillside overlooking the spreading land below; it proved quite a trek to walk up some steep slippery slopes to gain access, although afterwards we did spy a slightly speedier route.

Approaching Clun Castle in the gathering twilight  <click to expand photos> Information depicting the castle’s history showing the ancestory line, and part of our quests, of the ‘Fitzalans’, another piece of the puzzle

Amazing as these things are; there upon the information board just outside the castle entrance, the name of ‘Fitzalans’ is placed very prominitely within the castle history and also very meaningfully within the bloodline of our head researcher Alek’s family line, testifying that we certainly did not find this place by accident. Family names over the years change and evolve, which one must always bear in mind when doing historical family recearch. As we soon saw for ourselves though the Chapel of St John the Baptist no longer exists there and has dissapeared under the ravages of time; one could take a guess though and summise where it would have stood, on the flat ground, just outside the main keep of the castle.

History of Clun Castle: Clun Castle is thought to have been built by Picot de Say in the years following the Norman invasion to dominate a former Saxon village and to help sustain Norman rule in the troublesome border area (known as the Marches). In this latter role it was well placed to control movement on the Clun-Clee Ridgeway, a historic trading route in and out of Wales. Constructed to a traditional motte and bailey design it started as an earthwork and timber castle and had two baileys.

As a border outpost Clun Castle inevitably suffered as the fortunes of the Welsh ebbed and flowed. It was attacked and burnt to ashes in 1196 by Prince Rhys of South Wales. Rebuilt or repaired it was attacked again in 1214 by Prince Llywelyn ap Iorwerth (Llywelyn the Great). It was these attacks that probably led to the rebuilding of the castle in stone and this prompted another attack, again by Prince Llywelyn ap Iorwerth, in 1234. In this instance the castle withstood the siege but the associated town was destroyed by the attackers.

Clun Castle and it’s views

The castle was seized by John Fitzalan from the custody of King John in 1215. In 1233 the castle was garrisoned by the household troops of King Henry III as the loyalty of John Fitzalan was ‘suspect’. Late that year the royal garrison successfully withstood a Welsh onslaught led by Prince Llywelyn ab Iorwerth, although the attackers did succeed in reducing the town to ashes. During a period of minority the castle was held by a father-in-law of one of the several generations of John Fitzalans, Roger Mortimer of Wigmore Castle.

Edward I’s conquest of Wales in the late 1270s/early 1280s meant the requirement for the castle as a border stronghold significantly diminished. Accordingly building priorities changed from defence to comfort and in 1292 Richard Fitzalan, Earl of Arundel, built the Great Tower to provide luxury accommodation most probably for hunting parties who made use of the nearby forest of Clun. By the start of the fifteenth century it was used exclusively as a hunting lodge but was hastily re-fortified during the Owain Glyn Dŵr  rebellion of 1400-14. Thereafter it reverted to disuse with a writer in 1539 describing the castle as ruinous. Even though it had played no part in the Civil War, Clun Castle was slighted in 1646 on the orders of Parliament.

Clun Castle looking stunning as dusk settles

The Fitzalans abandoned Clun Castle to focus their attention and wealth on the more impressive Arundel Castle in Sothern England. Consequently, Clun Castle fell into ruin. Although Owain Glyndwr attacked the castle in the early 1400’s, it was no longer the formidable foe it would have been two centuries earlier. After Glyndwr’s assault, the castle vanishes from historical records. The castle was in ruins by the time of the English Civil War of 1642 and never saw action.

Bloodline Connection:

  • Edmund Neville born 11th June 1887 of Craven Arms, Shropshire and  an ancestor of Karl.
  • The Fitzalan family and ancestors of Karl, were of great prominence and importance here as history tells.

St John the Baptist Church, Bishops Castle Shropshire: It was very late and dark by now when we arrived here, so as expected no entry was gained and it was too dark for filming. However we did take a stroll around the perimiter of the church and managed a few photos too 🙂 The church itself is a grade 2 listed building which has a Mediaeval tower mostly rebuilt in C17, rest of 1860 by T Nicholson of Hereford. It has a coursed limestone rubble tower with ashlar dressings and pyramidal slate cap; the rest is of squared and coursed limestone with ashlar dressings, and slate roof with ridge cresting. As the photos show it has a squat square Gothic survival West tower and if we were able to see inside, we would see that the gothic theme continues there too. The church is very unusual in the fact that it still has one of England’s oldest clocks with only one hand, from a time when time ‘down to the minute’ was less important.

St John the Baptist Church and visitors looking atmospheric at night

On these quests we are very much aware that many churches, especially the ones that we are researching, have secret vaults or hidden chambers underneath their floors and sometimes ‘other’ very hidden features too. In March 2010 it was recorded that a hidden chamber had been discovered underneath St John the Baptist Church in Bishops Castle, said to contain sixteen coffins. An inscription on one bears the name Byne Oakeley, with the date 1825. It is believed the bodies in the coffins are all members of the Oakeley family, an important and well-thought of family in the area at the time. It is said that the burial vault was hidden for 150 years.

Architects were called in after the partial collapse of the unknown chamber below the floor which led to the discovery of the burial vault. Work was begun to make the church safe but experts said at the time that further investigations by structural engineers and architects were needed. Stephen Lowick, a member of the parochial church council, said: “The architect and a structural engineer will come to the church and will open up the vault again for them to have a look at how bad the structural problems are and at the same time we will seek to identify the other coffins.”

James Wade, of Shrewsbury-based architects Arrol and Snell Ltd, said the original church was believed to have burned down and been rebuilt in 1859. Protected by the vault, the coffins survived the flames. “Nobody knows a lot about the older church but we are guessing that it was part and parcel of the chancel of the older church,” he said, adding that vaults were not unusual in churches. “People wanted to be buried in the church, there was a feeling that to be buried in the church was a good thing and it was the privilege of those who could afford it,” he added.

Fascinating and interesting stuff indeed; it would have been great to discover more one way or the other but as we could not get it, it was not meant to be…

Bishop’s Castle, Shropshire:  This is a small market town in the southwest of Shropshire England and formerly its smallest borough. According to the 2011 Census it had a population of 1,893. It is 1.5 miles (2.4 km) east of the borderlands between England and Wales, about 20 miles (30 km) north-west of Ludlow and about 20 miles (30 km) south-west of Shrewsbury. The town is within an agricultural area and has also become known for its alternative community including artists, musicians, writers and craftspeople. The surrounding area is hillwalking country and Bishop’s Castle is a “Walkers are Welcome Town”. The long distance footpath the Shropshire Way runs through the town and the well known Offa’s Dyke is only a few miles to the west. The ancient trackway of the Kerry Ridgeway, a prehistoric Bronze Age route, runs from the town. The BC Ring, a 60-mile (100 km) challenging route around the town, was published in 2008. The town has two micro breweries, including the Three Tuns, the UK’s oldest brewery. Befire embarking upon our return journey we had a very tasty meal in the Boars Head in the village.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bishop’s_Castle

Bloodline Connection:

  • Henry Neville of Bishops Castle b 18th August 1886 and again an ancestor of our lead researcher Karl.

Conclusions: The Neville Family, often known in history as the power behind the throne have proved to be leading and prominent people in these areas of Wales and Shropshire, holding both important roles within the community with established historical connections to the crown. But who really are ‘The Nevilles’ and how and why did they rise to such prominence? All will surely be revealed in the conclusions of time…..

If you are interested in joining The Priory (now KORO) or joining our Quest please leave a message here in the comments section

“The Grail Kingship is within the realm of impossibilities”

The Keeper of Scrolls

February 2017

 

THE PRIORY INESTIGATES: TEMPLAR SITES OF SOUTH WALES

 QUEST NUMBER SEVENTEEN: ABERGAVENNY, TREVETHIN AND PONTYPOOL

St Mary’s Priory in Abergavenny: Our first visit of this particular day was to St Mary’s Priory in Abergavenny,  Momouthshire, South Wales; just six miles from the English border and quite a long journey from Cambridge. Abergavenny is a lively market town with strong Roman connections. St Mary’s Priory, originally a Benedictine Priory, is a very peaceful church know locally as the Westminster Abbey of Wales due to it’s large size and number of high status, ancient and intricately carved tombs inside; mostly of Knights Templar and associated heritage. The church also houses a very beautiful, modern window with some interesting ancient symbolism incorporated into the design.

 

Templar symbolism and ‘bloodline’ heritage within the church, and interestingly a sacrificial altar in the church grounds. A big thanks for my collegue for sharing these photos <click on images to enlarge>

Sadly we could not film or comment on the history, interior and full meaning of the church, on this occasion, as it was being set up with amplifyers and mikes for the carol service, but hopefully another time we can do just that.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abergavenny

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Priory_Church_of_St_Mary,_Abergavenny

St Cadoc’s Church at Trevethin: The second visit was to St Cadoc’s Church at Trevethin, also known as the Mother Church of Pontypool, so we were very suprised to find it well and truly locked up. In fact we nearly did not get to see inside of this fine Templar church at all, had it not been for some fine detective work from Alek our head researcher, so yet again patience and tenacity prevailed and won the day; hence were very lucky to have it unlocked especially for us. The wait was very worthwhile for there were some very fine, important and significant Templar associations and symbolism within the very church. As we were accompanied on this brief but worthwhile visit, it was again not possible to do much filming or explanations; just a quick snippet of footage which sadly was rather too blurred to include here

While were were waiting to go inside the church, we had a good stroll around the large old graveyard. Some areas were completely left wild and very natural; the church is on a hillside and yet is also on a public ‘through’ walkway. One could not help but notice the large number of obelisks in the graveyard and the ‘Egyptian’ feel to the cemetry ornanmentation. One very interesting discovery whilst walking among the stones was an ‘entry to the vault’ sign upon the ground where a tomb should be and then a few yard away, down a grassy track leading away from the main part of the graveyard, the discovery that the ground underneath was distinctly hollow sounding and actually moved up and down when bounced upon; i would not like to comment but more than likely a mysterious hidden underground chamber…