Tag Archive: Craft


“After about 18 months of trying to get to Ireland on this mighty long awaited quest because of covid, we were full of happiness and anticipation to have finally made it. The journey to the Liverpool ferry was of course part of the quest itself, visiting two beautiful churches along the way and for those who have been following our quests you will have picked up maybe, the reason why we visit the sites we do. Altogether it turned out to be at least a 2000 mile round trip where we travelled from coast to caost of both the north an south of Ireland; a truly amazing adventure!”

Day One: Tuesday 29th July 2021: Saint Savours Church: Aston-by-Stone, Stone. Set in a gorgeous part of the English countryside, in a ‘middle of nowhere’ peaceful setting, this church really did look a picture postcard, with beautifully maintained gardens and flowers everywhere. An interesting little church but sadly closed. Yet when one looked closely a few surprises with a little ‘secret’ around the back….

Aston-by-Stone: Staffordshire: The pretty silhouette of the spire of St Saviour’s Church is what folks see at first, yet there is also the Catholic Church of St Michael in the grounds of Aston Hall, now run by a small group of nuns who care for sick and aging clergy. The relics of St Chad were rediscovered in the chapel at Aston Hall in 1838, where they had been hidden during the Reformation. Legend has it that a cross on the Hall’s boundary wall marks the spot where a monk was killed by lightning. There is a large pond and old osier bed, reflecting the connection to the potteries, that require baskets for transporting their products. A stream runs down to the pool at Aston Farm, which at one time provided the power for a waterwheel. This wheel still exists and was used to grind corn, and earlier this century to power a milking machine.

The name Aston is probably derived from the Anglo-Saxon for ‘Ashtown’ and was recorded in the Domesday book as Estone. It is an ancient crossing point, and a ford or bridge has existed there since the 15th century, and pre-dates the bridge in Stone. The main road from Stafford to Stone crossed the Trent in Aston until the Stafford-Stone turnpike was opened in 1761. The former is now a quiet lane, with a narrow humped-backed canal bridge on a bend and the banks are rich in wildflowers. There is an old wharf at Mill Farm, the site of a water-powered flint mill. Ground flints were also required by the Potteries.

St Savours Church: Situated in Church Lane, Aston, the church serves the area of Aston, and Little Stoke. 1846, the architect was James Trubsham, the steeple was added in 1870 by J R Botham. It is Gothic style and an A grade 2 listed building, with a stone with slate roof, nave, chancel, and north-west tower with broach steeple. It has a good east window by C A Gibbs and a WW2 memorial plaque. The parish church was built in the Early English style during the 1840s by local landowners, the Parker-Jervis family. As it was closed due to covid (i guess) there was no chance of getting inside to take any photos. It is recorded that the church has records from about 1870 circa, however there are older records going back to 625 AD, from the very foundation of the church, which clearly there had to be, as Karl’s 49 x Great Grandfather was there in his own time up until 494 AD.

Upon the church building are carvings of geometric pyramid shapes (meaningful in Craft) and a Lord and Lady take guard over the entrance, while round the back of the church a secret path leads to a treasured building with an angel keeping a silent watch… <click to enlarge>

Symbols in stone, an angel guards a secret path to a building unspoken of, and the Lord and Lady stay silent…..

After doing some research on the internet it seems that the mysterious building is the Parker Jervis Mausoleum, which sadly gives the appearance of being very unattended, but maybe it is meant to look that way? It is a Grade 2 listed building built in 1864 by John Wood for the Parker Jervis family of Aston Hall, made from Hollington sandstone ashlar. It is rectangular on the plan with walls having a pronounced batter with roll moulded cornice in the Doric style. <interestingly a few masonic references here> A blocking course conceals a flat roof of stone,with a straight head doorway on the short side, with plain lintel and a plank door with wrought-iron hinges. The mausoleum is sunk into the ground of the churchyard with roughly hewn sandstone retaining walls. It was erected at the expense of the Honourable Edward Swinfen Parker Jervis of Little Aston Hall and his son Edward John Parker Jervis of Aston House, Aston by Stone, and consecrated on 9th April 1864. I do not know whom Parker Jervis was, apart from being a prominent person in his day, or if anyone (or anything for that matter) is still lain inside the mausoleum, but it is a fascinating and secretive building hidden away as it is, and one cannot but wonder why? Maybe more rresearch for another day…..

http://www.mmtrust.org.uk/mausolea/view/491/Parker_Jervis_Mausoleum

Grail Bloodline Connections:

  • Nascien Desposyni, the name of which later became the Fordham line/surname. He visited the area in 466AD (lived 450-494 Sommant, France) and is Karl’s 49 x GGF.

Day One: Tuesday 29th July 2021: Our Lady & Saint Nicholas Church: Liverpool. The Anglican Parish Church of Liverpool is on a site said to have been a place of worship since at least the 1250s. The church is situated close to the River Mersey near the Pier Head and controls a prominent view. One would have thought it to be easy to locate, right on the river front as such, but what with all the road-works in the area and placement of the windows and other things within the car, we ended up driving around for a bit before finally seeing it! Of course Liverpool is a very vibrant and busy city with lots of regeneration going on, especially in the waterfront area where we were.

A sailors church overlooks the quayside, the old resides amongst the new, symbols set in stone and wood, past memories cherished in time….

The Chapel of St Nicholas (Patron Saint of Sailors) was built on the site of St May del Quay, which in 1355 was determined to be too small for the growing borough of Liverpool. It is recorded as a designated Grade II listed building and was constructed between 1811 – 1852 from designs by architect’s Edward C Butler and Thomas Harrison. It is an active parish church in the diocese of Liverpool, ye sadly although folks were around there, we were still not allowed in to do our research – so maybe not that active then in respect of visitors traveling from afar?

The church was once the tallest building in Liverpool at 53 metres from 1813–1868 when surpassed by the Welsh Presbyterian Church in Toxteth. The church stands in the heart of Liverpool Business District and is one the city’s oldest and most historic churches. There was a nice peaceful energy there and some very symbolic pieces in the gardens and upon the church exterior walls.

Many fascinating symbols of a Craft nature are to found all over the church here & who knows what was waiting to be found inside… <click to enlarge>

There has been a place of worship on this spot since at least 1257 with St Mary Del Quay mentioned in records from around this time, a larger chapel was constructed in 1362 and dedicated to St Nicholas patron saint of mariners, as Liverpool grew as a city the church grew in size doubling itself by the 15th century. During the Civil Wars the defeated and captured Parliamentarians were imprisoned in the church. The continued growth of the city saw a spire added in 1747 and the Churchyard extended two years later, around 1775 the church underwent extensive rebuilding due to its state of disrepair but by 1810 the church was once again in a state of neglect to such an extent that the spire collapsed with tragic consequences, the tower was rebuilt in 1815 and till 1927 the church changed very little but on the 21st of December 1840 the church suffered wartime bomb damage, the tower and administration section of the church survived but what we see today was rebuilt post war.

Lord Edward Neville had a particular interest in this church, around about 1471 AD, although he was based in Abergavenny, he was very interested in what was going on in Liverpool at that particular time and of the deep-rooted connection to religion and of how people lived their lives on a daily basis revolving around religion, at that time.

The garden area is fabulous and very well kept – a little oasis of tranquillity in fact and there are so many statues and memorials there which are a delight to see and the views of the three graces are stunning from the church grounds, which one can read more about from the last link below.

The gardens here are full of meaningful memorials <click to view>

Grail Bloodline Connections:

  • Lord Edward Neville 1471AD Abergavenny Karl’s 13 x Great Grandfather

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_Our_Lady_and_Saint_Nicholas,_Liverpool

https://www.lan-opc.org.uk/Liverpool/Liverpool-Central/stnicholas/index.html

https://www.thetrailblazer.co.uk/blog/liverpools-3-graces-a-brief-history-1

 

Liverpool skyline at dusk showing the Three Graces

 

From Cambridge to Liverpool, and now it was time to catch the night ferry and in the morning we will be in Ireland; we were both so excited and full of anticiapation, hardly believing we were actually on our way after all this time – so dreams do come true and all one needs is patience and an understanding of time… The night ferry crossing from Liverpool turned out to be very smooth and comfortable, in our lovely new cabins, and despite hardly any sleep for a couple of nights, i felt rested and excited. A new day and a new adventure was waiting – touring the Mourne Mountains and coastal areas of Newcastle; it’s all so stunningly beautiful and will all be below… I was feeling very blessed.

 

Leaving Liverpool with a magical looking quayside….<click to expand>

Day Two: Wednesday 30th July 2021: After a cosy and comfortable night on the ferry, we disembarked at Belfast at 6am; a time of day that this writer rarely ever sees! But the excitement of being in Ireland and finally starting this major important quest quickly overcame any thoughts of tiredness. Driving through Belfast it was sunny and quiet, but of course it was very early! The suburbs of Belfast looked very attractive in the early morning light, which just served to motivate us on our way even more.

A suuny early morning drive through Belfast <click to enlarge>

St John’s Church. Hilltown. County Down: After a short drive, admiring the scenery along the way, we arrived at St John’s Church, Hilltown, a small village within the townland of Carcullion (Irish: Carr Cuilinn) in County Down, the main village of the parish of Clonduff, with a population of 899 people in the 2001 census. Hilltown has eight public houses in the high street, a legacy from 18th century smugglers who shared out their contraband here. The village has a livestock market on alternate Saturdays and a Georgian market house opposite St John’s parish church (1766) which adjoins the old inn, the Downshire Arms. Hilltown did not get its name from the two hills that it spreads over, but was named after the Hill family and Wills Hill, 1st Marquess of Downshire; the family were English politicians who also gave their name to nearby Hillhall and Hillsborough.The Hills founded the village in 1766 so people living in the area could find employment in the linen industry, and also built the church in the eighteenth century. Despite its early history, Hilltown has a very strong connection to Irish culture. It is a strongly nationalist/republican village, as is Cabra and the surrounding rural areas that comprises the parish of Clonduff. Throughout the troubles, both had a small contingent of paramilitaries, mainly the Provisional Irish Republican Army.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hilltown,_County_Down

As we probably suspected St John’s Church was closed, maybe due to covid but also it was still fairly early in the day! The original building on the site was built 9th August 1771, and the current building was built near the site of the ancient pre-penal times catholic parish church. The gable of the ancient church still remains with an old graveyard surrounding it, the ruins forming part of the district crest. Nearby is the largest fairy thorn bush in Ulster and according to local legend called ‘Old Bull and Bush’, which grew, it is said, from a stick planted by a priest who had used it to drive off a bull which had knocked over the church wall several times during construction. The church was designed by Thomas Duff in 1842, but the building was suspended during the famine years, then completed in 1850. From a Craft/Quest perspective John Fordham paid a vist here in 1883 for a meeting, but also something interesting may have occured in that area in the same year, so is there as connection there?. An interesting church with lots of connections to the past and like all the churches we visit on our quests, it not the buildings we visit but the connection to why the church was built there originally. A reason then, that over time the churches have been built upon over and over again until the true reason has become well and truly hidden in time. One has to look deep to discover just why these churches are built in these specific places, and in these current times often in isolated places but usually in an elevated position – so lots to think about folks! Some lovely views, but as we could not get in we simply had a stroll around.

Churches built upon over and over again  – why? <click to enlarge>

Read more below:

History

Grail Bloodline Connections:

  • John Fordham 1883. Collooney, Sligo (1858-1832) Karl’s 3 x GGF

St Malachy’s Church. Main St. Castlewellan:  So a further short drive to reach St Malachy’s Church in Castlewellan; a bustling, vibrant little town. Sadly although the church was open, a funeral service was taking place and so out of respect for the mourners we did not venture inside and sadly we could not stroll around the grounds either, out of respect  for all those whom were there… However we stayed awhile as we found a nice littel cafe almost opposite the church, in which to have a tasty breakfast and wonderful coffee! Castlewellan (Irish Caisleán Uidhilín ‘Hugelin’s Castle’) is as said, a small town in County Down in the south-east of Northern Ireland close to the Irish Sea, beside Castlewellan Lake and Slievenaslat mountain. It is  not far from the Mourne Mountains, with a population of 2,782 people in the 2011 census. It has a wide main street which runs through two main squares lined with chestnut trees, designed by a French architect for the Annesley Family. The town is unique within Ireland due to its tree-lined squares both in the old town (upper square) and new town (lower square) as well as its very wide main street. The old market house in the upper square was built in 1764 and now houses the public library. 12 July 1849 saw the Dolly’s Brae conflict when up to 1400 armed Orangemen marched from Rathfriland to Tollymore Park near Castlewellan. On their homeward journey, shots were fired and police were unable to control the situation. None of the Orangemen were harmed, but it was estimated that about 80 Catholics were killed and homes burnt. Castlewellan throughout the course of ‘the troubles’, had a significant paramilitary presence in the village, mostly through the presence of the Provisional Irish Republican Army

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

The church is a Catholic church and is in the centre of the town and was built in the 1880’s on the site of an older church, by father James McWilliams, from designs by Mortimer H. Thomas. From photos on the internet, there looks to be some interesting pieces inside; many of the adornments and beautiful pieces were provided by donations and bequests of Messrs. Mooney Brothers, merchants of Castlewellan. The church was constructed from Magheramayo granite and it is certainly magnificant to look at with a very Italian feel to it. It’s name, from Saint Malachy, bears more than a passing connection to Malak, meaning ‘messenger’ from the Sumerian times, so there could be a connection to the church, but as we could not go inside maybe the clues and answers are yet to be discovered, and of course a connection again to John Fordham.

A fine, Italian-style building, so sad we did not get inside…. <click to enlarge>

Grail Bloodline Connections:

  • John Fordham 1883. Collooney, Sligo (1858-1832) Karl’s 3 x GGF

The drive to the next church took us towards the lovely town of Newcastle and the Mourne Mountains, where we stopped for a short while along the coastal path, near the Bloody Bridge to admire the view and take some photos. The scenery in this area is beyond beautiful, and is almost divine i might add! It was such a glorias day and we were certianly feeling blessed to be here.

Enjoying the scenery around Newcastle and The Bloody Bridge footpath before being on the road again towards our next destination! There are always interesting things to see along the roads in Ireland, many that relate to Ireland’s history. <click on image to enlarge>

 

Kilhorne Parish Church. Annalong, Newry: Situated near the Mournes and the sea, Annalong is a picturesque fishing village in the heart of the ‘Kingdom of Mourne’. Annalong (Irish: Áth na Long, meaning ‘ford of the ships’) is a seaside village in County Down, Northern Ireland at the foot of the  Mourne Mountains. It is situated in the civil parish of Kilkeel and the historic baronry of Mourne. It had a population of 1,805 people at the 2001 census. The village was once engaged in exporting dressed granite and is now a fishing and holiday resort.

Kilhorne means ‘church of the river’. This church is on the site of an old Pre-Reformation Catholic church with traces still of the old cemetery. It was built in 1840 with the chancel added 1883. Rev. George M. Black was appointed perpetual curate 17 Oct 1846, under the patronage of Rev. Close of Kilkeel. This magnificent church is located directly on the north-east coast of Ireland facing the Irish Sea and North Channel. It is a small Gothic church, consisting of nave, projecting chancel and side-corner modern vestry. Fronted by a square 3 stage tower with crenellation, and corner pinnacles. It has a front pointed arched recessed door with moulding and clock face. It has tall lancet windows along the nave. with ashlar quoins, and a modern Chinese granite disability ramp and a pitched slate roof with strap pointing. But sadly we could not get inside so who knows what treasures and clues it could have provided us on our quest.

As probably expected, some lovely anchor symbols in the graveyard and beautiful words upon a gravestone… <click to enlarge>

This historic church had stood in its original condition until the early 1980’s after which it was painstakingly restored to its present state. The restoration work was carried out by Mourne Granite Quarries, using Mourne granite. Part of the restoration work included removing the original aging render on the exterior of the building and exposing the beautiful coarse cut granite we see today. The newly exposed granite was then sand-blasted and re-pointed. The deterioration is ongoing though so work too has to be ongoing. I guess the wonderful site of this church, right overlooking the sea makes up for all the restoration work. In the graveyard there are graves to those killed in action…

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

Grail Bloodline Connections:

  • John Fordham 1883. Collooney, Sligo (1858-1832) Karl’s 3 x GGF

And so after a very busy day, we finally made it to our cosy and welcoming cottage near Newry, our home for the next two nights….

A last look at the marvelous Mournes for the night…. <click to enlarge>

Some last words from Karl (Neville): “What a #Quest32 we had guys. There was no stone left unturned on this returning visit to the Emerald Isle. Some may even mark an area of County Mayo as the remains of Atlantis? Who can say? What is good to know about both Northern Ireland and Eire, is that the people are awesome, the views are divine, and the food is second to none. Bring it on Ireland ! We toured many churches and places of interest that Janis will be lisiting on her social media feeds and webpages, (she is!) so be sure to check these out. What a ride, what an adventure – Pieces of the jigsaw are certainly coming together…”

 

‘The Keeper of Scrolls’ aka moon.willow@ntlworld.com
July 2021
<more to follow – so keep watching folks!>

 

 

 

 

 

What a fantastic day to finally escape into the countyside on Quest 31a, squeezed in unexpectedly as we carefully move out of lockdown. We last quested a whole year ago and due to covid restrictions all the quests have been put on hold, so it was wonderful to finally be out and about in Norfolk on the 31st March 2021!

The main subject of todays quest is the Batram Bloodline: ‘the Brandenburg Batrams’, a line and a name with many mysterious meanings, which will take us back into Europe, to Italy and Gemany in particular, on our Quest for the Grail and it’s meaning upon this earthly plane.

Bartram, Battram, Barthram, are the main surnames associated with the German origin of ‘Bertram’, which means ‘Famous Raven’. The Famous Raven is often referred to as the ‘Phoenix’. Very interesting topics of discusion and research are beginning to reveal themselves here. Brandenburg is just West of Berlin and the origins of this Bartram line.

🌹⚜⚔🌹

QUEST 31a: All Saints Church, Dickleburgh, Diss: It was a gorgeous and sunny spring day and the drive out to Norfolk could not have been better, with green shoots and leaves spurting forth with new growth, and the sound of birdsong all around these quiet country lanes. The Parish of Dickleburgh is found about 6 miles north-east from Diss, close to the Norfolk/Suffolk border. It lies on the old Roman road to Caistor St Edmunds. Dickleburgh is well serviced, with All Saints Church, a busy little village store, a pub, a large playing field and other village type amenities.

The village’s name either means ‘Dicel’s or Dicla’s fortification’, or more specifically could also mean a place-name; Dic-leah, ‘wood/clearing of Diss’ or ‘ditch wood/clearing’. The name is also said to derive from an Irish monk by the name of Dicul who had a brief settlement (burgh) in the area in the late 6th century, nothing of which survives today. Although unconfirmed, this may be the same Dicul monk quoted by the Venerable Bede (673-735) in his “Ecclesiastical History of the Anglian Nation”. He tells the story of the conversion of the South Saxons and mentions the Irish monk, Dicul, who had a small monastery in ‘Boshanhamm’, which today is Bosham in Chichester, West Sussex. Dickleburgh is part of the parish of Dickleburgh and Rushall in the county of Norfolk and District of South Norfolk.

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

The church is 500 years old and has interestingly been in the patronage of Trinity College, Cambridge since the seventeenth century. It is a grade one listed building, built around 1503 and of course a sacred site was there long before the actual building. It seemed to a very lively church, important to the community, and the folks tending the church and graveyard could not have been more helpful and freindly.

It was the Bartram line we were researching on this day, and straight away the family tombstones revealed themselves to us! <click to enlarge>

The church consists of a chancel, nave, vestry, west tower and south porch. The walls are made of flint and freestone quoins and execpt for the tower, are strengthened with buttresses.

There is a new and impressive looking organ inside and a stunningly beautiful east window containing many musical-intrument playing angels, and a transfiguration of the ascension scene plus other figures from the bible. The octagonal font is of particualar interest, especially to us, for Grail clues are hidden there…. Although what the genreal public sees are the shields of the Holy Trinty, Bury Abbey (with three crowns), the Passion, (with cross, spear, reed with sponge, nails and whip) and the blessed sacrement (with three chalices). Around the base are alternating lions and ‘wildmen’ with clubs.

Upon the ornate entrance to the church are more important and useful symbols for joining more of the dots of our quests.

The church has a lot of its original woodwork, a beautiful east window full of detail and a rather interesting screen at the end of the altar pews, upon the various plaques and lists upon the inside walls are to be found the Batram names,  and of course a very lovely and peaceful energy there. There are a few military references both in and outside the church. So what a good start to the day with much knowledge gained.

Grail Bloodline Connections:

  • Samuel Bartram 1726-1801 (7xGGF)
  • Barnabus Bartram 1795-1878 (5xGGF)
  • Henry Bartram 1826-1909 (4xGGF) Moved to Barnet, Middlesex-thus the start of the ‘London Line’

St John the Baptist Church Bressingham: Our second visit of the day was to the village and civil parish of Bressinham in Norfolk. The name Bressingham is of Anglo-Saxon origin and refers to the homestead of Briosa’s people. This town of Bressingham was given by Osulph le Sire, and the lady Laverine, or Leofrine, his wife, to the abbey of St. Edmund’s in Bury in about 963. By the time of Edward the Confessor, the abbey owned slightly more than half the town; the rest being owned by Almar, the Bishop of Elmham. Almar’s part was also a manor, and held in William the Conquerors time by Roger Bigod, 1st Earl of Norfolk.  The town was then two miles long, and a mile and a half broad, it extended at that time into Shimpling, Fersfield, Shelfhanger and Roydon.

Sadly we were unable to gain access to inside the church, although we could have phoned for private prayer but decided to move on. The link below has a good selection of photos for you and an interesting write up too.

http://www.norfolkchurches.co.uk/bressingham/bressingham.htm

The origins of the church date from around 1286; it being a medieval parish church dating mainly from the 14th and 15th centuries. It has an important set of carved pews, which probably date from he 16th century, act of mercy. The chancel is 13th century with the tower being rebuilt in the 1440s, the nave and aisles in 1480-1527; these may incorporate the 14th century very fine carved nave roof. The chancel roof is 18th century with a 19th century restoration. The important set of pews mentioned, have carved end panels in a 16th century style featuring defaced figures representing acts of mercy and deadly sins. The boxed pews are examples of 17th century woodwork.

Interestingly one of the tombs in the graveyard caught our eyes. For it had a rather Roman style and feel to it, with two pillars at each end that alluded to Boaz and Joachim. In the central area were the ‘four quarters of the sun’ something very rarely mentioned, and yet the design could also be shells – a Fisher King connection maybe and worth some more research. Also in the window of this historic church was to be found the enigmatic ‘Raven Symbol’, almost signposting the way to Germany for us….

The tomb with the Fisher King and Roman Connection <please click to enlarge>

Grail Bloodline Connections:

  • Jonathan Bartram 1699(Billingford) – 1783(Dickleford) with an association to Bressinham (8xGGF)

St Mary the Virgin Church Pulham St Mary: Now at our third church of the day, we were really enjoying being out in the sunshine, and having a lovely sense of freedom after being cooped up because of Covid for so long. However still being very safe with masks and santizers and of course always keeping our distance. Pulham Saint Mary is a small village and civil parish in Norfolk, about 8 miles from Diss. Old maps and documents name the parish or village “Pulham Saint Mary the Virgin”, the latter two words are in modern times dropped, and Saint is typically abbreviated. The earliest recorded spelling is Polleham. Pulham is referenced in the  Domesday Book as a single manor (Pulham St Mary with what is today called Pulham Market) and being part of the Earsham hundred. The name Pulham is thought to mean the farmhouse, homestead or enclosure by the pool, water meadow or stream. There is a ‘beck’ (Norfolk dialect for a small watercourse) that flows by both villages. The Romans may have had a settlement in Pulham St Mary as pieces of Roman tile, coin and oyster shells have been found in the area. In 1912 under conditions of secrecy a large base, RNAS Pulham, was constructed for the operation of airships, given the nickname locally of “Pulham Pigs”. RNAS Pulham operated as a Royal Navy base until 1918 when it was transferred to the new Royal Air Force.

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

The Domesday book of 1080 mentions an Anglo Saxon church in Pulham, but there is no trace of it today. The church of St Mary the Virgin which gives the village the ‘St Mary’ of its name, is believed to date back from 1253. The parish church is of flint construction with parts that date back to the thirteenth century. It is mainly perpendicular in style, has a square tower with 8 bells, and was restored by Bodley in the late 19th century, although many of the original features still remain. The church registers date back to 1538. The impressive porch, built about 1478, was described by Nikolaus Pevsner as ‘something phenomenal’.  It is decorated with large figures of angels and other images and the pierced parapet is comparable to work at both Blythburgh and Attleborough churches.

We could not get inside the church to see the many interesting features inside, including a 15th/16th century stone font whose decoration was plastered over to prevent mutilation from Cromwell’s men and was only discovered during restoration in the late 19th century. The screen, partly medieval and partly restored, has large painted panels filled with 15th century images of the Apostles. The chancel is the oldest part of the church and contains some very important early English features including a double piscina in the south wall. It is thought to date from the 13th century and is very rare in Norfolk churches. Other notable features include the 15th century benches, a 16th century lectern and some glass dating back to the 14th century, indicating the fine windows that existed from a very early date. There is also evidence of the presence of the old Guild Chapel which once stood on the site of the present vestry. It was rebuilt in the centre of the village in 1401 and is now part of the Pennoyer Centre.

http://www.norfolkchurches.co.uk/pulhamstmary/pulhamstmary.htm

But of the utmost importance and relevance to us of Craft, is the famous and stunning late 15th century porch and the ‘library’ of Craft information around the porch. The tower and porch work together to create a sense of grandeur, with many ‘riddles’ intertwined there in plain sight. The porch is actually magnificent, not least because it hides within its carvings some very important Grail clues. Hidden amongs the ranks of angels on one side holding shields, and angels with musical instruments within their niches on the other, could be hidden some of the most important clues we have yet experienced. The angels on the west side play wind instruments, while those to the east play stringed instruments. Pride of place, in the spandrels of the doorway, is the Annuciation, of the highest artistic quality and in amazing condition. Also aparently the stained glass windows in the porch have clues to the Grail, which sadly i missed on this occasion…

Just look above at this amazing porch and try to unravel all the clues hidden there…. <click to enlarge – you will really want to!>

The Grail is indeed a mystery and it has been so for many centuries; over the years it has been purported to be many things, such as the son of Christ, a chalice, or vessel of some description. But the truth is, the Grail was in fact never meant to be found, so the only person who would ever find the Grail, would be the winner of all space and time! Only time and further quests will tell…. So the Grail Quest continues, not only looking for the Grail itself but for the meaning of the Grail, something that is overlooked by many. What is interesting, at the front of the porch here is a link via the artefacts and engravings, that directly link this church to a church in North-East Italy, which we hope to go to sometime within the next year – coronavirus permitting of course. So a question remains which i will leave with you, is it not so much that people are so busy living full yet shallow lives that they know nothing of the Grail or is this how things are actually meant to be and the Grail is not meant to be found….?

   

A library of info above our heads….

Grail Bloodline Connections:

  • Erasmus Bartram 1768(Pulham Market) – 1854(Dis, Norfolk) (6xGGF)

St Peter Church Billingford: This is such a very pretty area, very green and lush, very open with lots of winding lanes and small villages and today the area looked stunning, although i imagine it could be harsh in wintertime. Billingford, a village and civil parish in the Breckland district of Norfolk, about 3 12 miles north of East Dereham. The village is just north of the River Wensum, which forms the southern boundary of the parish. West of the village, between Elmham Road and the River Wensum, is the site of a Romana-British settlement. The site is unusual in having evidence that occupation continued into the early Anglo-Saxon period. Artefacts recovered from the site include a gold amulet. The Domesday Book of 1086 records the toponymas Billinge-forda. An entry for 1212 in the Boof of Fees records it as Billingeford. It is derived from Old English and means “the ford of Billa’s people”.

Lovely sentiment from the churches porch

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billingford,_Breckland

https://www.heritage.norfolk.gov.uk/record-details?TNF168-Billingford-(Breckland)-(Parish-Summary)

http://www.norfolkchurches.co.uk/billingford/billingford2.htm

 

St Peter Church Billingford on an incline yet hidden away in a bend in the road, showing two ‘Clarke’ tomstones in the graveyard <click to enlarge>

The church is very much hidden away, standing on a hill to the north of the village and only presenting itself when almost upon it, in an interesting curve in the road. How lucky we were to find it open and to discover that it is usually always open; how wonderfully refreshing in these times. The earliest part of the church of St Peter is the baptismal font, which is 13th-century, yet the actual origins of the church are around 1300AD, and according to the records on the wall, there was a rector here in 1250, so the church is older than that. The present building is largely 14th-century, built of flint with an octagonal west tower and is a Grade 1 listed building. The tower is one of Norfolks half a dozen or so octagonal towers, with the church being mostly 14th century with a couple of later windows. Tall Victorian benches fill the middle of the nave, which although unusual is not unique, there is no central walkway, creating a different sense of feeling inside, together with the eastward slope.

 

Also unusual and much older than it looks, is the rather wonderful font with its sloping octagonal bowl and sides carved with sets of sixteen double arches. The font is said to be so old that it may even pre-date the church and have come from somewhere else or even from an earlier building on the site. Also wonderfully beautiful is the 16th century giant latten lecturn, depicting an eagle standing on an orb. Norfolk has ten of these and interestingly this is a rare unpolished one, creating a different effect to it. The east window here, showing the transfiguration has replaced a much larger one, which can be seen be the changes in the plasterwork. Sadly though there were many artifacts from the church that have ‘been lost in time’, probably do to rebellions, wars and attacks on the church, which sadly has happened a lot in the past. The whole church is very well preserved and one gets a true sense of the period, of the times, apart sadly from the artworks that have been removed. One cant help but wonder, where in the world today are all these wonderful and meaningful peices of art that have been removed from our churches. I did notice when travelling in Ireland and Europe that the churches there are still full of their wonderful and ancient peices of art that allude to a time of a much different christianity than of today and which display clues to a much deeper and maybe even darker kind of worship. An interesting thought then at why maybe ancient artworks are no longer in our churches….

In respect of the quest bloodlines, there is a ‘Charles Ford’ on the wooden wall plaque near the font; the Fords as we know eventually ended up in London. There is much original woodwork in the church and some very old carvings around the high altar, all in an amazing state of preservation and the video below shows all this up very well. The church name banner hanging at the side of the altar shows the Alpha to Omega, but also the ‘M U’ sign, taking one back to the Sumerian connection. Upon the altar i think we translated the words wrongly and it actually is “My Peace I Give Unto You”- see the photo or video and decide for your selves.

Woodwork and carvings all amazingly presevered and give an essence of ‘past time and place’

Grail Bloodline Connections:

  • Jonathan Batram 1695(Billingford) – 1783(Dickleburgh) (8xGGF)

Church of St Mary Magdalene Beetly: Beetley is a village and civil parish in the Breckland district of Norfolk and situated four miles north of Toftwood. Beetley was part of the Manor of Elmham, held by William Beaufoe, Bishop of Thetford, with the name deriving from the two Anglo Saxon words betel and bietel, both words applying to a clearing where wooden mallets are made. Beetley was then part of the parish of Bittering Magna, however the Parish divided into Beetley and Gressenhall. Beetley was then combined together with the neighbouring parish of East Bilney in 1935.

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

Sadly we could not gain access to the church, even though the Rectory was just next door, so a stroll around the graveyard needed to suffice. The Church is believed to be built on the site mentioned in the Doomsday Book (1087) and is dated to 1320, with it’s origins going back to 1401 AD. It is a grade 1 listed building and like many of these ancient churches, seemingly tucked away off the beaten track. The tower of the church was heightened in the 16th Century, with the north isle being demolished in the 18th century and with windows being installed in the wall. It is built of ashlar and some brick dressings. From the photos online the church looks very simple in decor inside, but apart from that without going inside it is hard to comment. In the graveyard were some tombs within cast-iron railings, one of which was a Templar grave marked by a mysterious and intriging ‘Templar Stone’ The church is said to be set on a interesting ‘Cross-Junction’ of magnetic fields, linking to the Grail and to that of Brandenburg in Germany. Sadly howerver we did not pick up on any energy at all there, so can only assume the particular ‘energy’ that was there, is now no longer so.

The fenced off graves showing the mysterious’Templar Stone…. <click to enlarge>

https://www.derehamanddistrictteam.org.uk/our-churches73257/st-mary-magdalen-beetley/

http://www.norfolkchurches.co.uk/beetley/beetley.htm

Grail Bloodline Connections: The connections here are that of the Grail itself and of the clues today that presented themselves to us, guiding us on our forthcoming journey and quest to Germany and Italy, where can jin some more of those hidden dots…..

 

For more info and footage from the day please see our youtube link 🙂

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdbbwNYJQhg

To those of us whom are observant, especially of Craft, feathers can often appear out of nowhere, bringing deep and profound messages from the angelic realms, whom are always watching, always observing…

🌹⚜⚔🌹

April 2021 The Quests continue….

‘The Keeper of Scrolls’

<moon.willow@ntlworld.com>

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Quest 31 around the west country of England has proved so far, to have been an amazing quest, despite the very challenging hot weather when we were so thankful for the air conditioning in the car. All the apartments we stayed in have been more than up to scratch, and the places visited and the  knowledge gained has been second to non, life altering and path afirming. One more day then home: lots to write up on, as you see here. I do hope all of you will continue to follow and learn with me as i share knowledge and photos galore. As said, all for an ultimate purpose within the transitioning sphere of time: past, present and future becoming one. Knowledge becomes personal power, when mysteries unravel and ancient codes reveal their truths to the ones whom can truly see….  All the sights we visit on our quests, we do so for very important Craft reasons and although many of the sights are marked ‘in time’ by a church building, it is about what one cannot ‘see’ physically that is the important factor, for in this physical realm, not everything is as it seems….”

‘BENEATH A ROCK ALIVE’

Day Six Wednesday 5th August: Church of St Mary, Templecombe: We left our lovely apartment in Plymouth to travel to pastures new and more adventures. It was to be a long day of traveling through counties galore it seemed! Intercepted by a lovely visit to Simouth Old Fore Street for lunch and retail therapy and then traveling onwards to the Templar church at Templecombe, which yet again was very sadly shut; such a shame as it is a very interesting church with a particular important artifact to be seen inside. Even more of a shame given the church’s Templar history (see below). It has to be said, that yet again G-ds doors were shut to true pilgrims on a sacred journey, something that is becoming all too familiar. No wonder G-d has abandoned this planet! Sacred sites with no access – it makes one wonder! One wonders how the christian church can survive in these times, for they are seemingly still in the ‘dark ages’ and need to move with the times and find ways of inspiring people to attend – which they certainly won’t do with all their doors locked! Mosques for example, are open 24/7 and are full of attendees!

Old Fore Street and Coastline, Sidmouth: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sidmouth

Templecombe is a village in Somerset five miles south of Wincaton, 12 miles east of Yeovil and 30 miles west of Salisbury with a population of 1,560, forming along with Combe Throop, the parish of Abbas and Templecombe. Templecombe derives its name from Combe Templariorum, after the Knights Templar who established Templecoombe Preceptory in the village in 1185. After they were suppressed in 1312 it was granted to the Knights of St John of Jerusalem who held it until the Dissolution of the Monastries after which it was acquired by Richard Duke of Otterton, Devon. An attempt to discover ‘the village of the templars’ was made by the ‘Time Team’ television series, in a programme first shown in 1996. Late in the investigation, an old tithe map revealed the location of the Templar site, and an old stone boundary wall was found to be still standing seven feet high.

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

Photos from outside of St Mary’s Templecombe; showing what could have been if we were allowed inside… <click to enlarge>

The Anglican Church of St Mary at Templecombe, Somerset was built in the 12th century and is a Grade II listed building. The parish is part of the benefice of Abbas and Templecombe, Henstridge and Horsington. The church was probably established during the period when the manor was held by Shaftesbury Abbey, but granted to the Knights Templar while it was held by his descendant Serlo FitzOdo, who established a preceptory in the village in 1185. The preceptory served as an administrative centre for the lands held by the Templars in the south west of England and Cornwall. It may also have been used to train men and horses for the Crusades. After the Knights Templar were suppressed following the 1307 order by Pope Clement IV, it was granted to the Knights of St John, who held it until the dissolution of the monastries. Parts of the original 12th-century church remain, the foundations being Saxon, but it underwent a major Victorian restoration in the 19th century, including a rebuilding of the chancel plus a new  vestry.

In the church is a painting on wooden boards of a head, (see photos above) which was discovered in the roof of an outhouse of a local building in 1945. The painting is thought to be from the 13th century, with a connection to the Templecoombe Preceptory (or Combe Templariorum) which was established in the village in 1185. It was given to the church in 1956. For many years the head has been believed to be that of Christ without the halo which was the norm in religious iconography at the time. The Knights Templar were suppressed partly because of their use of the image of Christ without the halo. There has been speculation linking the image to the Shroud of Turin and other suggestions link to the image being of John the Baptist.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_St_Mary,_Abbas_and_Templecombe

Grail Bloodline Connections:

  • Lancelot Desposyni (520-593) France. 48 x GGF of the Fordham Line.

After an interesting day of visits and travel we arrived at our cosy flat in the suburbs of Southampton, not far from the docks and our home for the next three nights!

‘OF BATTLES DRAWN’

Day Seven Thursday 6th August: St Mary’s Church, Southampton: It was already a sweltering hot morning when we arrived at St Mary’s Church, Southhampton, so we were very pleased to find the doors open and a welcoming coolness greeting us inside. Sadly due to ‘Miss Rona’ and our churches being habitually shut to pilgrims, we are always delighted when we are able to find welcoming open doors, and so it was with St Marys; a chuch full of life and vigor and being part of the modern times with a very forward thinking attitude. A vibrant church totally living in the times with much going on and an increasing attendance, all down to Adam the facillitator of the site whom has bought his enthusiasm and possitive vibes to the church! A huge lesson to be learned by many of those whom are connected to churches on many levels.

Southampton is a city in Hampshire, 70 miles south-west of London and 15 miles west of Portsmouth A major port close to the New Forest, it lies at the northernmost point of Southampton Water, at the confluence of the River Test and Itchen with the River Hamble joining to the south. The history of the area has always been influenced by the sea and rivers. Archaeological finds suggest that the area has been inhabited since the Stone Age.

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

St. Mary’s Church, is a Church of England parish church, and the largest church in the port city of Southampton. This is the mother church to this former county town with its forerunners spanning back to the first Saxon settlements of the 7th century, including a major collegiate church of the European Middle Ages dedicated to the same patron saint. Parts of the church date to the 1880s. Interestingly, in 1914 the sound of its church bells inspired the song, ‘The Bells of St Mary’s’, originally recorded in 1919 by Frances Alda and later sung by Bing Crosby in a film of the same name. The church has listed building status expressly due to its church tower and spire being local landmarks. The interior and walls were gutted in World War II and rebuilt in 1954-6 save for the tower, which was architect designed. There have been up to six other churches on the site, with records entered in the Domesday ook.

The interior is very well looked after with one of the largest organs in South-East England. The church is full of some very interesting artifacts and has a collection of some stunning windows full of meaning, that tell an ancient tale or two.. We were shown around by Adam, a lovely guy, whom considers himself as a facilitator and certainly has his finger on the pulse as far as having a very modern approach, and thus increasing the congregation in leaps and bounds.

Many seafaring references are to be found within the church with an interesting plaque dedicated to the memory of the musicians whom perished on the Titanic, one of whom was of the Craft bloodlines we are documenting; especially poignant to our own head researcher, for this was his own relative on board the Titancic on that fateful night….

Some of the often poignant seafaring references to be found in St Mary’s Church, Southampton <please click to enlarge>

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Mary%27s_Church,_Southampton

Grail Bloodline Connections:

  • James Fordham (1697) Ware, Herts  9 x GGF of the Fordham line

Christchurch Priory Christchurch:  A lovely treat as this was not on our official list for today! It was an extremely hot day and we both struggled in the heat, and once again we were very thankful for the air-con in the car. So yes this church was a treat indeed, not on our list but very much a part of our quest and lovely to find it open. A wonderful experience here with so much amazing symbology within the building, telling tales of past truths, still relevant in today’s world; some stunning windows too which were so so full of meaning. Very nice too, to see clear documented reference to the Neville line – the main bloodline of our quests and an extremely important bloodline within history.

Christchurch is a town and civil parish in Dorset which adjoins Bournemouth to the west, with the new Forest to the east. Founded in the seventh century at the confluence of the rivers Avon and Stour, which flow into Christchurch Harbour, the town was originally named Twynham but became known as Christchurch following the construction of the Priory in 1094. The town developed into an important trading port, and was later fortified. During the 18th and 19th centuries it had a colourful history with smuggling! The town’s harbour, beaches, nature reserves and historically important buildings have made Christchurch a popular tourist destination attracting some 1.5 million visitors a year.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christchurch,_Dorset

Christchurch Priory is an ecclesiastical parish and former priory church in Christchurch in Dorset. It is one of the longest parish churches in the country and is larger than many English Anglican Cathedrals. The story of Christchurch Priory goes back to at least the middle of the 11th century, as the Domesday Book of 1086 says there was a priory of 24 secular canons here in the reign of Edward the Confessor. The Priory is on the site of an earlier church dating from 800AD. In 1094 a chief minister of William II, Ranulf Flambard, began the building of a church. Local legend has it that Flambard originally intended the church to be built on top of St Catherines Hill, but during the night all the building materials were mysteriously transported to the site of the present priory. By about 1150 there was a basic Norman church consisting of a nave, a central tower and a quire extending eastwards from the crossing. It was during this period that another legend originated, that of the miraculous beam. The legend of the miraculous beam dates to the early 12th century. The story is that a beam was found to have been cut too short when it was hoisted into place. This would have been embarrassing for the carpenters since the wood was expensive and would be difficult to replace. There was however a mysterious carpenter who had worked and eaten alone. The following day the carpenters returned and found the beam was now fitted in place. The unknown carpenter was never seen again, and the story came to be that it was Jesus Christ who had intervened. The church became Christ’s Church in commemoration of the event. The miraculous beam can be seen today and is located in the Priory’s ambulatory.

The church is full of interesting artifacts including a framed family tree chart mentioning Cicily Neville <click to enlarge>

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

Some of the many stunning windows inside the church <click to enlarge>

   

‘OF  KINGS ATTUNED’

St James Church Poole: After a welcomed lunch alongside the river at Christchurch we felt refreshed and cooled down but sadly the next port of call on this very hot day, St Jame’s Church in Poole was closed to us, so just a few photos from outside was all we managed.

Poole is a large coastal town and seaport in Dorset, 21 miles east of Dorchester and adjoining Bournemouth to the east. Human settlement in the area dates back to before the Iron Age. The earliest recorded use of the town’s name being in the 12th century when the town began to emerge as an important port, prospering with the introduction of the wool trade, later becoming one of the busiest ports in Britain. In the Second World War, Poole was one of the main departing points for the Normandy landings. Poole is a busy tourist resort with it’s large natural harbour and beautiful beaches. The town is a commercial port with both freight and passenger ferry services, connecting to Jersey, Guernsey, as well as to Saint-Malo in Brittany, where we had visited on Quest 28. The town’s name derives from a corruption of the Celtic word bol and the Old English word pool meaning a place near a pool or creek. The area around modern Poole has been inhabited for the past 2,500 years.

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

St James is a Church of England parish church in Poole on the south coast of Dorset, originally built in 1142. The church is located in the historic quarter of the town, near Poole Quay. It is the parish church for the St James sub district of Poole. The church has long been associated with the local fishing trade and is known locally as ‘the fishermen’s church’. The church has an unusual weather vane fashioned in the shape of a fish. The church was mostly rebuilt around 1820, in Georgian style. The church is seen as a good example of English Georgian religious architecture and it is designated it a Grade II listed building. But without gaining access there is not really much else to mention.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_James%27_Church,_Poole

https://stjameschurchpoole.weebly.com/history.html

Grail Bloodline Connections: 

  • Lieut. Ralph Neville (1832) Lews, Sussex  3 x GGF

Before leaving Poole we spent a lovely time relaxing by the historic quayside; it was like a south of France day!

SOLDIERS WARS’

Nothe Fort Barrack Weymouth: Although the fort was closed by the time we arrived, the grounds around the outside overlooking the sea were just stunning, so it was enjoyable wandering around and relaxing there, despite the heat. Located at the entrance to Weymouth Harbour and overlooking Portland Harbour, the Nothe Fort was built between 1860-1872 to protect the Naval Harbour at Portland.

Weymouth is a seaside town in Dorset, situated on a sheltered bay at the mouth of the River Wey on the English Channel.  The town is 7 miles south of Dorchester 5 miles north of the Isle of Portland. Weymouth is a tourist resort, situated halfway along the Jurassic Coast; a World Heritage Site important for its geology and landforms. The stunning harbour has cross-channel ferries, and is home to both pleasure boats and private yachts. The history of the borough stretches back to the 12th century, including it’s involvement in the spread of the Black Death, it was also a major departure point for the Normandy Landings. King Henry VIII had two Device Forts built to protect the south Dorset coast from invasion in the 1530s: Sandsfoot Castle in Wyke Regis and Portland Castle in Castletown. Parts of Sandsfoot have fallen into the sea due to coastal erosion. During the English Civil War, around 250 people were killed in the local Crabchurch Conspiracy in February 1645.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weymouth,_Dorset

Situated at the end of the Nothe Peninsula, jutting eastwards from the town of Weymouth and Weymoth Harbour; the coastal defence at the site was built between 1860 and 1872 by 26 Company of the Royal Engineers, to protect Portland and Weymouth Harbours, with Portland becoming an important Royal Navy base. Shaped like the letter D, the fort was built with bomb-proof casemates and deep magazines. Work began on the Nothe Fort in 1860 and the first soldiers to be staioned there were No 2 Battery Royal Artillery (Tatton-Browns) The fort was abandoned in 1956 as it was no longer required as a coastal defence and then used by the Royal Navy as stores, before being purchased by the local council in 1961. It is now a museum and remains one of the best-preserved forts of its kind in the country. The fort and its outer gateway have been Grade II listed since 1974. It’s fusee steps, located in Nothe Gardens, have been Grade II listed since 2000; constructed for hauling trolleys transporting ammunition, spares and stores from the quay to Nothe Fort. In 1978, the Nothe Fort, tramway and searchlight battery at The Nothe, also became scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

https://nothefort.org.uk/

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

See our video below of the Fort and beautiful surrounding scenery!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-3JA2vuILY

Grail Bloodline Connections:

  • William Henry Fordham (1832) Lewes, Sussex  3 x GGF

AND KNIGHTS THAT FALL’

Day Eight Friday 7th August: St Pauls Church Ringwood: Today was to prove to be an overwhelmingly hot August Day; a bit too much for me in fact, yet we made our way towards our first destination of the day. Sadly again the church was shut, so a stroll around the outside had to suffice with some interesting roof-dwelling creatures looking down upon us!  The church stands in the market place and is an important landmark, the tower being visible from the top of the hill at picket post on the A31 some three miles east of Ringwood, as well as from high ground at Ibsley Common in the Forest.

Ringwood is a bustling market town in south-west Hampshire, located on the River Avon, close to the New Forest, northeast of Bournemouth and southwest of Southampton. It was founded by the Anglo-Saxons, and a weekly market has been held there since theMiddle Ages. Ringwood is recorded in a charter of 961, in which King Edgar gave 22 hides of land in Rimecuda to Abingdon Abbey. The name is also recorded in the 10th century as Runcwuda and Rimucwuda. The second element Wuda means a ‘wood’, Rimuc may be derived from Rima meaning ‘border’, hence ‘border wood.’ The name may also refer to Ringwood’s position on the fringe of the New Forest, or on the border of Hampshire.

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

The church is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 of 1086. It was rebuilt in the 13th century and survived until 1853, when it was completely knocked down and rebuilt. We could not get inside to discover it’s history or find much on the internet apart from a few bits as bobs, such as the church containing a 15th-century monumental brass of John Prophete, Dean of Hereford and York. The church was built of rough dressed squared Swanage stone, limestone dressings with a plain tile roof and is of a cruciform plan. It is a tall restrained church in late Early English/early Decorated style.  Interestingly, according to the internet, the patron of the parish church of St Peter & St Paul is the Dean of King’s college, Cambridge.

Grail Bloodline Connections:

  • Lieut Ralph Neville (1832) Lews, Sussex  3 x GGF

TO MOTHER’S WOMB’

St Marys Church Ringwood: A deceptively simple looking grade I listed building set way back at the end of a wide spacious bricked pathway, but with the unusual feature of a large blue sundial set above the entrance to the church, which looked uncannily like a pyramid! The church, which is actually in the small village of Ellingham, west of the New Forest, has a very pretty garden graveyard around the back and some very attractive brickwork on the building itself. Ellingham is most famous for the story of Alice Lisle, who’s tomb can be found inside the church, and whom was executed by the infamous Judge Jeffreys in 1685, on the charge of harbouring fugitives after the defeat of the Monmouth Rebellion. Ellingham church was built in the 13th century. It is thought that there was an earlier, probably Saxon, church on the site. It is described in early charters as the church of St Mary or as the church of All Saints with the chapel of St Mary. It was added to in the 15th century, and the red-brick west wall was rebuilt in 1746. The church was restored in 1869-90 by Thomas Graham Jackson It has a large blue sundial located over the porch of the church.

St Mary’s Church Ringwood, showing it’s wonderful sundial/pyramid, its pretty graveyard and attractive brickwork <click to enlarge>

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellingham,_Hampshire

Grail Bloodline Connections:

  • Lieut Ralph Neville (1832) Lews, Sussex  3 x GGF

‘IN SALISBURY A WIND DID FALL’

St Marks Church Salisbury: Sadly once again the church was closed, so we had to make do with a walk around the outside of the building. Salisbury is a cathedral city in Wiltshire, at the confluence of the rivers Avon, Nadder and Bourne. The city is approximately 20 miles from Southampton and 30 miles from Bath; both of which we have visited on this quest. Salisbury is in the southeast of Wiltshire, near the edge of  Salisbury Plain. Of course the area is very well-known for Stonehenge, which has no Craft significance at all, but there are a lot of history and archaeological findings connected the whole area.

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

The church is in quite a built up area on a junction with roads traversing around, yet it nevertheless has a spacious and pretty garden graveyard. Even though it was closed, the church is said to be an active church in Sailsbury. It was built in 1892–94 to the designs of Joseph A. Reeve and has been a Grade II listed building since 1974. St Mark’s was built to serve the northern region of Salisbury, which at a time was undergoing much residential expansion; the foundation stone was laid by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rev. Edward White Benson, on 27 April 1892, accompanied by the Bishops of Salisbury, St Asaph and Truro. St Mark’s exterior is faced with stone from the Hurdcott Quarries, with dressings and window tracery in Doulting stone. Around the exterior of the building are some interesting additions to the architecture, so although we could not gain access we still managed some interesting photos.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Mark%27s_Church,_Salisbury

Grail Bloodline Connections:

  • Sir John H Fordham (1432) Kelshall, Hertfordshire  18 x GGF

THE ROMANS HAD THEIR WAY’

Day Nine Saturday 8th August: St Mary the Virgin Church Gosport: Due to the very intense heat of the last two days, i was too poorly to participate in this day’s agenda, so we changed some of our planned visits and thus my dear Craft brother ventured out on his own. This church turned out to be very relevant to him and he took some great photos too. There is hardly anything on the internet on this church apart from it being an ancient, Grade I-listed church of Rowner, considerably extended twice in the late 20th century, in the 1960’s and again in the 1990’s, to considerable acclaim from architectural writers. It is a Norman church and the oldest building left standing in Gosport. it was extended in the Early English style with Victorian additions added after restoration. There are apparently some fine monuments in the church, including a rare limestone Sepulchre altar tomb to John Brune dated 1559.

Gosport is a town in Hampshire on the south coast of England, situated on a peninsula on the western side of Portsmouth Harbour, opposite the city of Portsmouth, linked by the Gosport Ferry. Until the last quarter of the 20th century, Gosport was a major naval town associated with the defence and supply infrastructure of Her Majesty’s Naval Base Portsmouth. There is a great sea-faring and naval tradition in the whole area, much of which is reflected in the churches and cathedrals, especially in the stained-glass windows. The name Gosport, is purported to derive its name from ‘goose’, but  an alternative etymology of ‘gorse’ is not supported by the regional name for this plant, “furze”. A third theory, claiming a derivation from “God’s Port” is believed to be a 19th-century invention, and yet this is the slogan of Gosport as seeen upon its emblem. The Rowner area of the peninsula was settled by the Anglo Saxons and is mentioned in the Anglo Saxon Chronicle as Rughenor (rough bank or slope). Both Rowner and Alverstoke, the name coming from the point where the River Alver entered the Solent at Stokes Bay, were included in the Domesday Book. Rowner was the earliest known settlement of the peninsula, with many Mesolithic finds.

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

 

St Mary the Virgin Church with gravestones relating to the Clarke bloodline…

Grail Bloodline Connections:

  • Baron George Neville (1440) Aberga 14 x GGF

All in all a marvelous quest-listen to Karl sharing the bloodlines and chewing the cud!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_k8KuzYV2s&t=5s

“So thus this marvelous and amazing quest has come to an end, and because of the infamous ‘Miss Rona’ we will be enforced to take a sabbatical from roaming for the time being. Memories are very sweet and long lasting though, and will more than treasured over the winter months with so much to mull over and to continue to digest and learn from, in some cases until the end of time.

During my time as Craft i have given up all my past beliefs. It has been very freeing, they were nothing but manmade chains around my soul. Religions are all a form of control. One can still enjoy all the many myths as good old stories, for hidden within them one can still find the truth if one has faith and looks hard enough, just as in life too, one can, if loyal and steadfast and with faith discover the truth and the Grail….

and so the Grail Quest continues…..”

“The Keeper of Scrolls”

AKA Reverend Janis

AKA ‘moon.willow@ntlworld.com’

December 2nd 2020

THE GRAIL QUEST

“The Grail was claimed to have healing abilities and to bring enlightenment connecting it to the metaphysical realms. Long before the time of Jesus, (the Jesus) stories tell of Angels (Djinn) (Ninansians) bringing the ‘cup’ from heaven and given to ‘sacred’ or round table knights, which ties in nicely with the tales of King Arthur’s knights partaking of their quest to find the Holy Grail. If the grail was bought from heaven, which seems very likely, to Tara, then why and what was it’s purpose here on this earth, has it still got a purpose today and how or if, does it connect to humankind?”

QUEST 28: GERMANY & LUXEMBOURG

31ST OCTOBER 2019

Germany into Luxembourg

  • Basilica of Saint Castor Church, Koblenz: Germany
  • Notre-Dam Cathedral, Luxembourg City
  • Notre-Dam Church, Wiltz, Luxembourg
  • Saint Sebastion Church, Ettelbruck

Day Five: We knew we would have a long day ahead as we made our way on day five on Thursday 31st October (a memorable date in many calendars) driving from Germany into Luxemboug, but with some lovely places to see on the way and the weather was most definitely in our favour. The sun was shinning and the weather was extremely warm as we arrives at our first and most beautiful destination of the day. Even the chemtrails in the skies above (not often seen in Germany) did not lower our spirits. After a two hour drive we arrived in Koblenz, Germany.

Basilica of Saint Castor Church, Koblenz, Germany: Modern day Koblenz is very popular with tourists and one can certainly see why; it is very pretty with mountains around and sits on the banks of the Rhine, where the river is joined by the Mosselle. It is full of energy and life; i had visited before as a pure tourist and my memories of it were very possitive. Koblenz was established as a  Roman military post by Drusus around 8 B.C. Its name originates from the Latin meaning “(at the) confluence” of the two rivers. The actual confluence is today known as the “German Corner”, a symbol of the unification of Germany that features an equestrian statue of Emperor William 1. As the Roman Soldier that he was, King Arthur travelled through here; and a representation of him inside the church certainly attests to this fact. The history of the area has a strong connection to the Romans which one can read much more anout in the link below.

Koblenz is a principal seat of the Mosel and Rhenish wine trade, mineral waters, the manufacture of automotive parts, pianos, paper, cardboard, machinery, boats, and barges. Since the 17th century, it has been home to the Konigsbacher brewery, the Old Brewery in Koblenz’s city centre, and now a plant in Koblenz-Stolzenfels. It is an important transit centre for the Rhine railways and for the Rhine navigation. The headquarters of the German Army Forces Command was located in the city until 2012. It’s successor, the new formed German Army Command is based at the von-Hardenberg-Kaserne in Strausberg, Brandenburg. In the more ancient part of Koblenz stand several buildings which have a historical interest. Prominent among these, near the point of confluence of the rivers, is the Basilica of St Castor or Kastorkirche, dedicated to Castor of Karden, with four towers. The church was founded in 836 by Louis the Pious, but the present Romanesque building was completed in 1208, the Gothic vaulted roof dating from 1498. In front of the church of Saint Castor stands a fountain, erected by the French in 1812, with an inscription to commemorate Napoleon’s invasion of Russia.

The unique representation of King Arthur, situated just inside the side door, testament to him having travelled through here as a Roman soldier which is of paramount importance for people to know; nearby a winged serpent and and angel keep silent watch over….

The Basilica of St. Castor:  is the oldest church in Koblenz situated at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle. A fountain called Kastorbrunnen (Castor Well) was built in front of the basillica during Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812 and the church is worth seeing for the historical events that have occurred in it. See link below for deatailed history.

The church of St. Castor was built between 817 and 836 by Hetto, the Archbishop of Trier with the support of Emperor Louis the Pious, just outside the city of Confluentes, the city founded by the Romans and dedicated on 12 November 836, but Louis did not come to Koblenz until after the consecration of the church, pointing to the importance of the Archbishop in the building of the church, especially as the church was until the 13th century outside the city of Koblenz. The church honours St Castor who is said to have worked as a missionary on the Moselle in the 4th century and to have founded a religious community in Karden, Rizza, the alleged daughter of Louis the Pious, is venerated in the church as a saint of the city of Koblenz and her shrine still stands in the church.

As one would expect the church is kept in immaculate condition with many piecies of fine artwork displayed

An extra treat of the day, and a very enjoyable one at that was a ride on the cable car across the beautiful Rhine, which was situated just behind the church, so far too good an opurtunity to miss and one could also get a great view of the equestruan statue mentioned above. What a lovely day it had turned out to be!

Grail Bloodline Connections:

  • King Arthur as the Roman Soldier travelled through Koblenz.

It was an interesting two hour drive as we made our way across the German border and into Luxembourg, over what proved to be a very mountainous and scenic route, but as we got higher and higher nearer to the clouds the weather closed in and it was a very wet day as we pulled into Luxembourg City; still very exciting though!

Notre-Dam Cathedral, Luxembourg City: The cathedral here is situated in a very built up area so it was very hard to get good views of it especially in the rain and gloom, and the photos did i manage to take were quite atmospheric. Howerver once inside the cathedral it, is a whole different story and it really was most beautiful, full of many paintings and tapestries and also very busy with tourists on such a wet day. It was originally a Jesuit church, and its cornerstone was laid in 1613. It is the only cathedral in Luxembourg and is a noteworthy example of late gothis architecture; however, it also has many Renaissance elements and adornments. At the end of the 18th century, the church received the miraculous image of the Maria Consolatrix Afflictorum, the patron saint of both the city and the nation.  Around 50 years later, the church was consecrated as the Church of Our Lady and in 1870, it was elevated by Pope Pius IX to the Cathedral of Notre-Dame.

Luxembourge and cathedral on a very wet and gloomy day!

From 1935 to 1938 the Cathedral was enlarged and expanded: the rebuilding of the exterior architecture on the Gothic-style cathedral presented a challenge, since the goal was to harmoniously integrate the church with the surrounding buildings, as well as the old residential houses. The Cathedral has three towers, the west tower, which was the tower of the Jesuit church and which contains the bells, the east tower, and the central tower, which stands over the transept. When the Cathedral was enlarged in 1935-1938, the east and central towers were added. The central tower, which is only a third of the height of the other towers, consists of a wide, pyramid-shaped base and a narrow peak covered with copper. On Good Friday, 5 April 1985, around mid-day, work on the roof caused the west tower to catch fire. The church bells, i.e. the Virgin Mary bell, the Willibrord bell, the Peter bell, and the Cunigunde bell were destroyed in the fire. When the tower collapsed, the roof of the central aisle was also partly damaged. It took until 17 October 1985 for the tower to be repaired. It was here that King Arthur found his information and instructions in his quest for the Grail, at this pivotel point in time; a point in time indicated as to its true meaning by researching the old maps of Luxembourg…

The many stunning artworks inside the cathedral <click to expand>

Grail Bloodline Connections:

  • King Arthur found his information here in his quest for the Grail.

As we were staying in Luxembourg for a couple of nights it was nice to not have far to travel to our digs on that very wet night; the modern apartment we stayed in was very posh and shiny with a ‘touch’ button for almost everything! All needs catered for exept as seems the norm in Europe – they dont ‘do’ toasters!!

Day Six: This day started off quite bright but the further we got into the scenic side of Luxembourg and i guess higher up, the weather did close in on us again, but very dramatic no-the-less! Wiltz is a lovely old town in the Luxembourg mountains, although not too much about it or the church on the internet, but according to the internet it is a commune with town status in north-western Luxembourg and situated on the banks of the river Wiltz. It was also a battleground in the Battle of the Bulge, near the end of  World War II.  The name “Wiltz” comes from a Celtic word meaning “on the creek.” Wiltz was originally inhabited by the Celts, and was first documented in 764AD. It received its town rights in 1240. The counts of Wiltz are among the oldest in Luxembourg

Notre-Dam Church, Wiltz, Luxembourg: This church does sit up in the mountains amidst stunning scenery and one often has to take one’s shots on the move as it were, for good views do come and go, so one takes one’s chances. There are many buildings around this church so not many good views down at ground level. There are many churches and cathedrals in Europe, and this is just one, that go by the name of ‘Notre-Dam’, which means ‘Our Lady’, (The Virgin Mary in various forms explained in future quests) yet most folks only know the one in Paris, many thinking that, that one is ‘the’ Notre-Dam, yet that is far from the truth. Although quite plain and stark on the outside, the beauty and artworks within have to be seen to be believed, all so lovingly looked after with a very ancient feel to the church with the the ancient ‘energies’ still there, and it is there that King Arthur recieved further instructions on his quest for the Holy Grail, on his travels/pilgramage around Europe. Sometimes one needs to travel to the ‘back of beyond’ as it were to see the correct and meaningful churches; for we too are travelling the route that Arthur took – what a wonderful journey we are being treated too with knowledge and enlightenment in abundace along the whole route. The church here unsurpringly, given the magnetics of the area, had the most amazing energy, which all connects to the quest for the grail; a very powerful place both physically and metaphysically.

Notre-Dam Church set amidst Luxembourg’s mountains.

In the European churches and cathedrals one can not help but notice that what one in this country would be described as ‘occult’ symbols are very present and evident in these old buildings, hinting at an older christianity very far removed from what is practiced in the UK today. Various versions of ‘The All Seeing Eye’ and the ‘Marasa/Alpha-Omega’ symbols were particulary evident and also if one looks closely quiet a lot of Enochian sybolism. This would indicate a time, a common point in time, before there was a separation of religions. It was here that King Arthur found his information in his Grail Quest.

There are some lovely artworks here, (see above) one wooden-carved statue in particular (guarding the entrance) showing some very unique and meaningful (to Craft) hand gestures – close up shown on the video. There is a wonderful representation of the Ave Maria over a ‘sea serpent’, very unusual and not often seen; she has her foot upon the serpent; obviously Maria/Mary is connected to the sea…. There is also an interlocking Alpha to Omega upon the altar cloth, which of course represents many other things including pyramid energy. In front of the altar is a traditional gong, where it is usually a bell. The Lamb of God here at the High Altar is unusual, a slightly different pose with the ‘All Seeing Eye’ looking down upon it, surrounded by sunflowers, roses and berries and at the very top ‘The Queen’ with her scribe carrying a sword. All very beautifully carved in wood with many historical connections to Templarism and to King Arthur and his pilgrimage, all within this stunning church at Wiltz.

Grail Bloodline Connections:

  • King Arthur found his information here in his quest for the Grail.

Watch our video here:

Germany into Luxembourg – Koblenz, Luxembourg & Wiltz

After a lovely lunch at Wiltz we made our way once more into the mountains of Luxembourg; although it was a damp day, the scenery looked spectacular and oh so green and pretty. Fate took our hand once again and although our next unplanned destination was not a part of the actual quest itself, these little surprises do present themselves from time to time when one is off the beaten track, and who can resist a sign indicating a little historic chapel down a narrow mountain road! Thus we found this little octagonal chapel, dedicated to Saint Kunigunde and the only one of its kind in Luxembourg – so what an amazing find; a treasuee in the green mountains indeed.

A unique octagonal chapel chanced upon in the mountains on a wet and pleasant day

Saint Sebastien Church, Ettelbruck:  It was still raining when we made our way into Ettelbuck, which according to the internet is another commune with town status; the towns of Warken and Grentzingen are also within the commune. Until 1850, both Erpeldange and Schieren were part of the Ettelbruck commune as well, but both towns were detached from Ettelbruck by law on 1 July 1850. Ettelbruck lies at the exact spot where three rivers meet: the Sauer, the Wark, and the Alzette. This location has historically made Ettelbruck a major transportation hub for the country second only to the city of Luxembourg.

Germany occupied Ettelbruck on 10 May 1940 and US forces first liberated the town on 11 September 1944 but Germany retook the town on 16 December 1944 during the Battle of the Bulge. US General George S. Patten on Christmas Day, 25 December 1944, led US troops in the final liberation of Ettelbruck from Nazi occupation. One of Ettelbruck’s main squares is named Patton Square, and is located at the exact spot where the German offensive into Luxembourg’s Alzette Valley was stopped, ending its attempt to reoccupy the country as a whole. Since 1954, the town has held a Remembrance Day celebration each July honoring General Patton and the US, British, French, Belgian and Luxembourgish troops who fought with him there.

Saint Sebastien Church and Ettlebruck town square: even though very damp we had a very enjoyable stroll around

The church is situated next to Henri Muller Street, which had a real personal connection to our lead researcher, whom felt very at home there. Again, not a lot on the internet about the church but i did find this with some nice illustations – see link below. The first stone of the present Neoclassical-style parish church of Saint Sebastien was placed in 1841. However, completion of the building was delayed due to marshy conditions. Finally, four lateral circular chapels were added to reinforce the building. Although completed in 1851, the church was not conscecrated until 1864 by the bishop Monseigneur Nicolas Adames. The interior of the Church houses several precious art objects: an oil painting by Joseph Probst titled “Le buisson ardent”, an African Shona sculpture, a beautiful eight-and-a-half register organ and several remarkable stained-glass windows presenting, among other things a panorama of Ettlebruck. The parish church was badly damaged during the Ardennes offensive. The formal reopening of the restored church took place in 1948.

In the church are to be found an emblematical representaion of ‘The Four Corners’ or ‘The Four Directions’ which are of particular interest from a Craft point of view and not generally known of in this context. Shown upon the four windows are The Sash, The Disc, The Challice and The Cross. The quest for the grail was particulary strong there and it was also another site where (King) Arthur found his information in respect of his grail quest.

The Four Corners or Four Directions, emblematical of higher knowledge

Luxembourge had proved to be very revealing in respect of Arthurs grail journey, also to us on our quest; knowledge recieved to be digested and devoured over the weeks to come….

Blood Line Connections:

  • King Arthur found his information here on his Quest for the Grail.

And so we returned to our high-tech digs for one more night before embarking upon a four hour journey into France the next day. Luxembourg had proved to be beautiful, revealing and very wet!

“Let Angels tell tales; and Demons too

Let the secret of The Grail forever ring true”

 

Knights of the Red Order February 2020

The Keeper of Scrolls’

‘moon.willow@ntlworld.com’

In Blessed Darkness….

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In blessed darkness will I walk my path, with footfalls silent on the earth.

Never alone I wander through an age of eternal night time

Yet fear not my lack of human companionship.

Under heavens starry canopy my becoming of self completes;

For I see the world for what it is

And in acceptance I surrender to the future.

I see the dark and light as one as they become each other.

I see the sun, moon and stars revealed through times illusion

And I see the earth bound in sorrow; secrets hidden from mankind’s view.

And yet I also see myself; I see my secret beyond the skin,

I feel the truth flowing as blood upon the land;

In truth and being I unravel upon the sands of time.

Those I knew as kin, never were

And those that truly speak come to me through ages past

Whispering the secrets to my existence from their alabaster beds.

I read the signs left hidden by kindred long ago,

I see the glory revealed in echoes of lives that still resonate

Upon the unending shores of time.

Yet is it only I who truly sees their unwritten language of the past,

Who feels their energy and patterns of life reverberating through my body?

A record left of all times gone and those yet to come.

I tread the path of the guardians, the watchers, the keepers and the protectors of Light.

I know they watch me; yet leave me be; acceptance.

Yet when the blood finally flows and the rising water cleanses

I too will protect and in my becoming, rise to new heights of understanding

Watching from the shadows I bide my time

Wearing this cloak of glorious darkness I await my time

When I too will whisper my tale upon the Hills of Destiny to those whom would listen.

 

‘The Keeper of Scrolls’

September 2017