Tag Archive: Hidden Histories


QUEST 31 CONT: “Still very much walking in Arthur’s footsteps and continuing our quest for the grail in the magical and beautiful south-west lands of England, we left our apartment in Roman Cirencester on Sunday 2nd of August to travel in a southerly direction towards Plymouth, yet with lots of exciting stops along the way. This day was to take us even nearer to Arthur and The Grail”

‘WHAT DID RALPH LEAVE BEHIND?’     

DAY THREE: SUNDAY 2ND AUGUST: ST MARY REDCLIFFE CHURCH. REDCLIFFE BRISTOL.   

Framed by the River Avon and the Floating Harbour, Redcliffe is a bustling commercial hub. It is home to ancient landmarks such as the medieval, Gothic-style St. Mary Redcliffe Church with its with stained-glass windows and 18th-century ironwork, residential tower blocks and the port of Bristol. It is bounded by the loop of the Floating Harbour to the west, north and east, together with the New Cut of the River Avon to the south.nn Redcliffe takes its name from the red sandstone cliffs which line the southern side of the Floating Harbour. These cliffs are honey-combed with tunnels, known as the Redcliffe Caves, constructed both to extract sand for the local glass making industry and to act as store houses for goods. Interesting to us, in the 12th century, Robert Fitzroy gave the Knights Templar part of Redcliffe, which then became known as Temple Fee. The Templars were granted the power to hold courts and execute felons. This right passed, along with the fee, to the Knights of St John of Jerusalem after the suppression of the Templars.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redcliffe,_Bristol

The parish church of  St Mary Redcliffe is an impresive looking church within a setting of green grounds; it is one of Bristol’s best known churches, with the spire at a height of 292 ft (90m) making it the tallest building in the city, and one of the largest parish churches in England, yet sadly on the day we visited, the church was well and truly locked to all visitors. Whether this was due to corona virus or whether it was the policy to keep G-d’s door so unwelcoming is anyone’s guess, but either way the small amount of pilgrims and visitors would pose no threat at all and if the reason was not because of the virus, one does have to question why such an important church would be so locked?

The church itself is an Anglican parish church, the bulding being constructed from the 12th to 15th centuries and has been a place of Christian worship for over 900 years. It was famously described by Queen Elizabeth I, who spoke highly of the church, as “the fairest, goodliest, and most famous parish church in England”. Yet the mystery of our quest remains of just what was left behind? Little is left of the earliest churches on the site although a little of the fabric still remaining has been dated to the 12th century. Much of the current building dates from the late 13th and 14th centuries when it was built and decorated by wealthy merchants of the city. The spire fell after being struck by lightning in 1446 and was not rebuilt until 1872. Although the church plan dates from an earlier period, much of the church as it now stands was built between 1292 and 1370 and the first church was built in Saxon times. Obviously there would have been some fascinating artifacts to see, but sadly today we were unable to enter this church.

During the Bristol Blitz in the Second World war a bomb exploded in a nearby street, throwing a rail and tram from the tramway over the houses and into the churchyard of St Mary Redcliffe, where the rail became embedded in the ground. The rail is left there as a monument. An accompanying memorial plaque reads “On Good Friday 11th April this tramline was thrown over the adjoining houses by a high explosive bomb which fell on Redcliffe Hill. It is left to remind us how narrowly the church escaped destruction in the war 1939-45.”

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

St Mary Recliffe – important yet sadly very closed…. <please click on image to enlarge>

GRAIL BLOODLINE CONNECTIONS:  

  • Earl Ralph Neville;1364 Raby Durham (16 xGGF)  “What did Ralph leave behind?”

‘FROM LEFT TO RIGHT’

BRISTOL CATHEDRAL BRISTOL:

Bristol is a city in south-west England with a population of 463,400, between Gloucestershire to the north and Somerset to the south, with South Wales just across the Severn Estuary. Iron Age hill forts and Roman villas were built near the confluence of the rivers Frome and Avon, and also around the beginning of the 11th century, the settlement was known as Brycgstow “the place at the bridge”. Bristol was a starting place for early voyages of exploration to the New World and on a ship out of Bristol in 1497 John Cabot, a Venetian became the first European to land on mainland North America. At the height of the Bristol slave trade from 1700 to 1807, more than 2,000 slave ships carried an estimated 500,000 people from Africa to slavery in the Americas. The Port of Bristol has since moved to the Severn Estuary at Avonmouth and Royal Portbury Dock. Bristol’s modern economy is built on the creative media, electronics and the aerospace industries, and the city-centre docks have been redeveloped as centres of heritage and culture.

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

BRISTOL CATHEDRAL: formally the Cathedral Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity, is a Church of England cathedral in the city of Bristol. Founded in 1140 and consecrated in 1148, it was originally St Augustine’s Abbey but after the  Dissolution of the Monastries it became in 1542, the seat of the newly created Bishop of Bristol and the cathedral of the new Diocese of Bristol. It is a Grade I listed building and as with many of our cathedrals, stunning to look at both inside and out inside, but all spirituality or sacred energies long dissapated. Covid restrictions were very much applying here, so visitor numbers limited yet sadly the visitors whom were there, were unacknowlegded by the clergy there….

In a beautiful setting and ‘Covid ready’ <please click to enlarge>

The eastern end of the church includes fabric from the 12th century, with the Elder Lady Chapel, which was added in the early 13th century. Much of the church was rebuilt in the English Decorated Gothic style during the 14th century despite financial problems within the abbey. In the 15th century the transept and central tower were added. The nave was incomplete at the Dissolution in 1539 and was demolished, but in the 19th century Gothic Revival, a new nave was built. The western twin towers, showing a big similarity with Wells Cathedral in Somerset, designed by John Loughborough Pearson were completed in 1888. The cathedral has tall Gothic windows and in addition to the cathedral’s architectural features, it contains several memorials and an historic organ. Little of the original stained glass remains, some being replaced in the Victorian Era with further losses during the Bristol Blitz.

Stunning to look at yet no spirituality left… <please click to enlarge>

https://bristol-cathedral.co.uk/

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

GRAIL BLOODLINE CONNECTIONS:

  1. Sir Ralph Neville : 1301 Raby (18 x GGF) ‘From left to right’

“WHAT CONNECTIONS?”

THE NINE MAIDENS STONE CIRCLE/BELSTONE STONE CIRCLE. OKEHAMPTON. After the heat and sterile enviroment of the city i was pleased to be driving all the way to Dartmoor where i knew great adventures and true spirituality would great me. Dartmoor has always had a place in my heart and although it was a long drive, it was a relaxing and enjoyable drive through gorgeous scenery and pretty villages. This was to be the highlight of the day by any mile! When we reached Belstone village it was quite a little trek upwards and over the moors to gain access to the circle and one had to take ones time, but the steady walk was enjoyable and well worth it. There was hardly anyone around and the few folks whom were there were chatty but did not linger. The sacred energies and earth magnetics are very evident and strong here; the St Michael Ley Line runs right through the circle or rather the stone circle was purposefully placed upon the ley line; the frequencies are very strong here and at times felt as if time was truly standing still and the stones breathing…. A powerful place on so many levels, the day being full of revelations…..

The Belstone Circle – full of magic and mystery <click to enlarge>

The Nine Maidens, is a bronze age circle and settlement located near the village of Belstone on Dartmoor, in Devon, and one can still see evidence of the settlement in the landscape all around the circle, and yet it was so much more than that. It is also known as the Seventeen Brothers, for there were in actual fact seventeen stones, including an altar stone, just outside the main circle; in these days is no longer complete. It is said that the circle may have been called the ‘nine maidens’ due to the origins of the number nine and to the connections of the site of the number nine, ie the ninth, the ‘hidden one‘. The number nine in sacred geometry from a Ninansian perspective (grammer and language) means ‘the hidden one’. The number nine has many magical or occult meanings such as the ninth gate, the nine stones, the nine maidens, the nine ships, the nine battles. All relating to the ‘hidden one’, the secret underlying knowledge of Craft. Folks whom are astute and tuned in will certainly pick up on this while visiting the circle and will feel the energies for themselves. And of course there are secrets hidden there that maybe no one in our life times will ever know, things forever hidden from the current cycle of mankind. The stones here are so much more significant than Stonehenge or Avebury yet are almost deserted so maybe the curse is working and is in actual fact a blessing?

The stones here are so much more significant than Stonehenge or Avebury<click to enlarge>

There are many folklore tales attached to the stones and despite the fallen stones of the past, the locals are said to be apprehensive of restoration work, believing that anyone whom tampers with the stones will be cursed. Locals cite a film crew which added an extra stone to the circle in 1985; the ‘curse’ was the unfortunate loss of the only copy of the film, ‘The Circle of Doom’, in the post. The St Michael’s ley line, which runs 350 miles from Lands End to Hopton on Sea, Norfolk, via Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk, is one of our points of study and focuss on this quest, and runs right through the Nine Maidens. This ley-line goes through many sites dedicated to St Michael, such as St Michael’s Tower on Glastonbury Tor, with the line matching the sunrise on 8 May when the Catholic Church celebrated the apparition of St Michael. Local folklore too suggests that the stones dance: The stone circles on Dartmoor, are said to have been made “when there were wolves on the hills, and winged serpents in the low lands.” On the side of Belstone Tor, near Okehamton is a small grave circle called “Nine Stones.” It is said to dance every day at noon. The stones are also said to have originally been nine maidens who were cast into stone and damned to dancing every noon for eternity as a punishment for dancing on the Sabbath. Equally, the story has involved seventeen brothers. It is also said that the ringing of the nearby church bells brings them to life.

The Altar Stone and Burial Chamber <click to enlarge>

From our point of view, from a Craft and Quest point of view this is said to be a far more important site in the true tellings of King Arthur, of Lancelot Desposyni and the Fordham line, than even Tintagel, which is a bit of a very big red herring. Also we know that in the distant past the site has in actual fact been used as a burial chamber – yet for whom, being far enough above sea level to be placed forever safe in this realm. I was very relunctant to be leaving the moors and the stones behind after our visit.  So it was a sad farewell and heavy heart i felt in leaving this wild magical beauty behind me to trave to pastures anew. I attained new knowledge up on those moors and felt the energies of the land shift and change, felt time stand still as vibrations pulsed, and dimensions shifted. I felt acknowledged as a part of a whole. Up on the moors, the energies were very strong; a place where the metaphysical truly connected to the physical and whispers on the winds told a hidden tale or two….

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

GRAIL BLOODLINE CONNECTIONS:

Sir John H. Fordham: 1423 Kelshall Hertfordshire (18 x GGF) ‘What Connections?’

And so after a magical end to day three of Quest 31 we made our way towards our very posh apartment at Phoenix Quay, Plymouth where we would be spending the next three nights. The apartment overlooking the harbour and night ferry terminus to Spain treated us to some lovely views and sunsets from its huge windows.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHEFtsG5tjE

Please enjoy our (very windy!) video of Belstone Circle

 

‘The Keeper of Scrolls’ September 2020

‘moon.willow@ntlworld.com’

“Onwards then as our quest continued, to Buckland near Plymouth, Brentnor near Tavistock, Tideford near Saltash, Talland Bay near Loo, Charles Town near St Austell, Trevone near Padstow and Temple near Bodmin. Not all would be opened to us but the ‘jewel in the crown’ would prove to be the amazing Temple Church on Bodmin…”

 

‘Our Grail Quest Continues, seeking out the places in these lands that were important to ‘Arthur’ and ‘Lancelot’; following in their footsteps and knowing them and their journeys too…’

QUEST 31: Travelling around the beautiful lands of the south-west was amazing and was everything we had hoped it would be, despite the very intense heat, and being so thankful for air conditioning in the car, our quest was a triumph where much knowledge was assimilated and new places explored. All the apartments stayed in whilst journying had been more than up to scratch and the places visited and knowledge gained has been second to non. As said before, our quests are all for an ultimate purpose within the transitioning sphere of time; past, present and future becoming one as knowledge gainrd becomes personal power…

DAY ONE: FRIDAY 31ST JULY: CIRENCESTER:  With the boundaries of Cambridge left miles behind us, we escaped to the first destination of our quest; the tranquill beauty of Cirencester, a market town in Gloucestershire, 80 miles west of London. Cirencester lies on the  River Churn, a tributary of the Thames, and is the largest town in the Cotswolds. The Roman name for the town was Corinium which is thought to have been associated with the ancient British tribe of the Dobunni, having the same root word as the River Church. The earliest known reference to the town was by Ptolemy in AD 150. I had never been to Cirencester before and it was much prettier and older than i was expecting, and had a most definite ‘Roman’ feel to it, and the ‘energies’ there reminded me of Autun in France.

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

 

The Roman town of Corinium, now known as Cirencester <click to enlarge>

“FOUND HIS HEART IN JOHN”

CHURCH OF ST JOHN THE BAPTIST:  Sadly closed due to the virus; a situation that was to follow us around on this quest, we never the less did what we needed to do… The church is a medieval Church of England parish church, and is the largest in Gloucestershire.  Some parts date from the 12th century, though most is from the 15th and 16th centuries, of the perpendicular gothic style. The chancel is the oldest part of the church; construction starting around 1115. To the north of the chancel is St Catherines Chapel, which dates from around 1150 and contains a wall painting of St Christopher carrying the Christ child and vaulting given by Abbot John Hakebourne (whom liked to be simply called John), in 1508. The church was originally part of a monastery (Augustinian), founded here by Henry I in 1117, on the site of an earlier Saxon church replacing an ancient Roman settlement. Because of its size, grandeur and historical importance, the church is known, informally, as the Cathedral of the Cotswolds, and is constructed out of the local yellowish Cotswold limestone, which illuminates lovely in the sun.

Besides the tall tower, the exterior is also notable for the south porch, originally a separate, administration building, connected to the church in the 18th century. The church interior includes five chapels and an assortment of historical artefacts including a 14th century font, a 15th century pulpit, fragments of wall paintings, coats of arms, a collection of tombs and memorials, often very ornate, and the Anne Boleyn cup, given by Anne to a local doctor (Richard Master) who treated her, and presented to the church in 1561. Sadly non of these artifacts did we see due to the church being closed but we took some good exterior photos.

St John the Baptist Church Cirencester <please click to enlarge>

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_St._John_the_Baptist,_Cirencester

https://www.uksouthwest.net/gloucestershire/church-of-st-john-baptist-cirencester/

Grail Bloodline Connections:

UNDERSTOOD THE ROMAN CONNECTION’

THE ROMAN AMPHITHEATRE: Just a short drive from the main town centre is to be found the wonderful Roman Amphitheatre, which would become in time, the second largest in the UK. Archeological digs have uncovered earthworks revealing the outline of the construction, with the banking reaching 25 feet from the bottom of the arena. The arena itself is approximately 150 feet by 135 feet. Roman artefacts including coins and pottery have been discovered on the site. It is estimated that it was constructed towards the beginning of the 2nd century. The earthworks show evidence of tiered wooden seating, for around 8000 people, placed upon a terraces of stone, although a timber only structure may have existed before the 2nd century. There are two entrances, located at the North-Eastern and South-Western ends of the stadium. During the 5th century, when the Western Roman Empire was under attack and soldiers returned to Rome to defend it, the amphitheatre was fortified to defend against the invading Saxons. Unlike other amphitheatres, it is aligned in parallel to the streets of the town itself. It has also been referred to as the ‘Bull Ring’ due to the ‘sport’ of bull baiting taking place there; yet also ‘human sport’ would have taken place there too. It also has one or two other secrets hidden in plain sight within the arena itself; the Romans of course understanding completely the geo-magnetics of this site…

Corinium’s Amphitheatre <plese click to enlarge>

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

https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/cirencester-amphitheatre/history/

‘See our video below for a trip to the Roman Amphitheatre’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKjdx036OHA

GRAIL BLOODLINE CONNECTIONS:

  • James Fordham: 1697 Ware Herts (9 x GGF) ‘Understood the Roman Connection’

So after a very long and busy day we had a lovely meal and coffee in Cirencester, using the (then) new phone scanning method of ordering and paying, before retiring to our very nice apartment for the night.

DAY TWO: SATURDAY 1ST AUGUST: BATH AND AVEBURY. Because of the restrictions of covid we had booked in a time slot for the Roman Baths in the beautiful Roman city of Bath which in many ways is not unlike Cambridge. Bath is the largest city in Somerset, known for and named after the Roman-built baths.  The city became a spa  known as Aquae Sulis (“the waters of Sul”) c. 60 AD when the Romans built baths and a temple in the valley of the River Avon, although  hot springs were known even before then.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bath,_Somerset

‘OF SECRET MEETINGS’

THE ROMAN BATHS: It was an extremly hot day and we were so greatful to be queing in the shade of the baths entrance, albeit only for a short while. Navigating the labyrinth of the baths proved to be very challenging due to covid distancing, and although it meant only a few people in any one space at any one time, it did mean movement around the baths was very slow. The baths are very well-preserved and certainly worth a visit. A temple was constructed on the site between 60-70CE in the first few decades of Roman Britain and its presence led to the development of the small Roman settlement known as Aquae Sulis, around the site. The Roman baths, designed for public bathing were used until the end of the Roman rule in Britain in the 5th Century CE. According to the Anglo Saxon Chronocle, the original Roman baths were in ruins a century later but the area around the natural springs was redeveloped several times during the Early and Late Middle Ages. Although i have visited the Roman Baths before, they never cease to amaze me and I wondered upon, what meetings and social occasions must have been held here; many a secret assignations too… Some even say that this was the place where secret meetings were held with King Henry VI himself, in the year 1459 – what were these meetings about i wonder. A hot sacred spring fed from below ground, the Penyquick fault, where ‘fault lines’ hold their own secrets too, looked very inviting…. This was also a place of worship by the Celts, so always sacred and special throughout the years.

The amazing Roman Baths, where new bathing areas are still being discovered were a place of social activity and shall we say ‘fun’ and where a hot spring bubbles up an from underground fault <please click on an image to enlarge>

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Baths_(Bath)

https://www.romanbaths.co.uk/

GRAIL BLOODLINE CONNECTIONS: Barron George Neville: 1440 Aberganveny (14 xGGF) ‘Of secret meetings’

“A MEETING HELD IN SECRET”   “A SECRET TO TELL”

BATH ABBEY & ST THOMAS CHURCH Both sites over time would have had many secrets to keep and maybe keen ears overhearing secrets whispered in the pews would have voved never to tell. One of these meetings held in secret at Bath Abbey was with a king with Jacobs Ladder upon their lips, a meeting so to ‘enhance’ the Ladder, but sadly today due again to ‘Miss Rona’ and social distancing, entry into the Abbey was via a very long queue in sweltering sunshine, which was not possible to do. The abbey is a parish church of the Church of England and a former Benedictine monastery. It was founded in the 7th century and was reorganised in the 10th century and rebuilt in the 12th and 16th centuries; major restoration work was carried out by Sir George Gilbery Scott in the 1860s. It is one of the largest examples of Perpendicular Gothic Architecture in the West Country. Although we were unable to enter in we made notes of the important features of both ‘Jacobs Ladder’ and also the ‘Tree of Life’, both very significant on a Craft level, upon both sides of the entrance to the Abbey.

 

Bath Abbey showing ‘Jacobs Ladder’ and the ‘Tree of Life’ <please click to enlarge>

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

GRAIL BLOODLINE CONNECTIONS: Barron George Neville: 1440 Aberganveny (14 xGGF)A meetig held in secret’

Sadly in respect of St Thomas Church, tucked away on a quite hillside just outside the main centre of Bath (blink and you would miss it) in a very peaceful spot, we yet again found G-ds doors well and truly locked, so lovely exterior photos were all we could manage. St Thomas à Becket Church is a parish church of  Widcombe, Bath and is one of a number of churches named after Thomas Becket and a Grade II listed building. The church was built between 1490 and 1498 by John Cantlow, Prior of Bath Abbey and took the place of an older Norman church. However, there was a common tradition that a weaver was the founder of the church, and an escutcheon bearing a weaver’s shuttle can be seen on the outside of one of the north battlements of the tower. It is believed that there was originally a Saxon chapel on the site. The church was commonly called Old Widcombe Church and used to be the principal church of the parishes of Widcombe and Lyncombe. The Domesday survey of 1086 shows a small settlement around the church although no trace of it remains. the wardens of St Thomas’s.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Thomas_%C3%A0_Becket_Church,_Widcombe

https://www.batharchives.co.uk/cemeteries/st-thomas-%C3%A0-becket-and-st-marks-widcombe

St Thomas Church where there are writtings hidden within this church <please click to enlarge>

GRAIL BLOODLINE CONNECTIONS:

  • Barron Edward Neville: 1518 Newton Somerset (12 x GGF) ‘A secret to tell’
  • St Thomas Beckett: Archbishop of Canterbury from 1162; murdered by followers of King Henry II in 1170

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

‘UNDERSTOOD THE IMPORTANCE OF A COLLECTION’

AVEBURY STONE CIRCLE: Thought by many to have ‘pagan’ connections, this enigmatic site may in fact have other secrets to tell, other stories hidden firmly in time with similarities to other significant sites recently visited and connecting to our Craft Quests. Here at Avebury in the beautiful countryside of Wiltshire, important messages were given and recieved (for me), messages that will change my outlook for ever and will forever have far reaching effects (for me) in this physical world. Of course i had been to Avebury on a few occasions before for different reasons, but this time with fresh eyes wide open i saw a very different Avebury indeed, and those marvelous structures whispered a few secrets to me of past times, past ocurences and past peoples. Avebury Stone circle in Wiltshire, contains the largest megalithic stone circle in the world and is a place of many pilgrimages and rituals alike, for modern day pagans. Yet its history does not connect to the pagan world or pagan ways and is certainly not what it is commonly thought to be (even though many say its original purpose is unknown. It was constructed in a different time period than is usually thought; the following link is here for reference only, and the true history and purpose of the site is different than many previously think. It was a lovely day out and the structures were shimmering in the sunshine.

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/avebury

https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/avebury/

Avebury: modelled to be ‘The Stones of Time’ and created in 3,000 BC (5K years ago) <please click to enlarge>

GRAIL BLOODLINE CONNECTIONS:

  • Sir John H. Fordam: 1423 Kelshal Hertfordshire 918 x GGF) ‘Understood the importance of a collection’

‘Watch our video of our Quest so far: the round up with lots of interesting facts’

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

“A day where more pieces of the Grail puzzle fell into place and a time and history previously thought known was scattered as ashes to the sands of time”

“The Keeper of Scrolls” September 2020

‘moon.willow@ntlworld.com’

Next: Day three and four: On the Dartmoor trail…..

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

IRELAND: QUEST TWENTY SIX:

Day Four: Dublin: Although sadly we never had time to see anything of the city of Dublin as such, i did manage a few quick photos whilst traveling to our designated destinations, but certainly a city to come back to and explore at leisure.

 

Driving through Dublin!

 St Andrews Church: Although we were unable to actually stop here due to location and parking challenges, we did indeed drive past and acknowledged that it is now the Central Tourist Office for Dublin! Times change, people change and the use of buildings change, but let us not be sad as it is indeed good to see the building being used and vibrant, even though not in a religious sense.

The original St Andrews Church was located on present-day Dame Street, but disapeared during Oliver Cromwell’s reign in the mid-17th century. A new church was built in 1665, a little further away from the city walls and due to its shape was commonly known as the ‘Round Church’. Thomas Dalton, Lord Chancellor of Ireland was buried here in 1730. The population of the parish in 1901 was 3,058, in 1971 it was 300. It has to be noted also that there is a high Lithuanian population here.

You can read more about St Andrews Church in the link below:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Andrew%27s_Church,_Dublin_(Church_of_Ireland)

 

  • Bloodline Connections: Both Albert John Fordham (1928-1987) and John Fordham (1892) were baptised here.
  • Also connection to the Neville line.

Christ Church Cathedral/The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity: This is the cathedral of the United Diocese of Dublin and Glendalough and the cathedral of the Ecclesiastical Province of the United Provinces of Dublin and Cashel in the Church of Ireland. It is the elder of the capitals two medieval churches being founded in c.1030, the other being St Patricks Cathedral. There were extensive renovations being carried out while we were there which were tad disorientating, but the hoardings themselves were fun and very photogenic in themselves, giving an opurtunity for some colourful photography!

 

Christ Church Cathedral: There are many richly sumptuous artifacts and fine decor here, yet at the same time there are equally (or in fact more) relevant and important histotical artifacts seemingly hidden away in corners…

 

The ‘hidden’ artifacts; many of which relate directly to ‘The Neville’ bloodline; but just why would they be kept low key and mostly unmarked?

Christ Church is officially claimed as the seat (cathedra) of both the Church of Ireland and Roman Catholic archbishops of Dublin. The cathedral was founded probably sometime after 1028 when King Sitric Silkenbeard, the Hiberno-Norse king of Dublin made a pilgrimage to Rome. The first bishop of this new Dublin diocese was Dunan or Donat; the diocese was at that time a small island of land surrounded by the much larger  Diocese of Glendalough and was for a time answerable to Canterbury rather than to the Irish Church hierarchy. The church was built on the high ground overlooking the Viking settlement at Wood Quay and Sitric gave the “lands of Baldoyle, Raheny and Portrane for its maintenance.” Of the four old Celtic Christian churches reputed to have existed around Dublin, only one, dedicated to St Martin of Tours lay within the walls of the Viking city, and so Christ Church was one of just two churches for the whole city.

 

Some of the amazing and priceless artworks in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin; more photos from this cathedral can be seen in the section on Celtic Crosses (part one) and Templar Symbolism (part two)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christ_Church_Cathedral,_Dublin

https://christchurchcathedral.ie/visit-us/

Right next door to the cathedral is a venue known as Dublinia; a historical recreation (or living history) museum and visitor attraction focusing on the Viking and  Medieval history of the city. Dublinia is located in a part of Christ Church Catherdral, known as the Synod Hall.

 

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

  • Bloodline connection is to the Neville line

St Patrick’s Cathedral: Dublin: On this occasion, although on our itinery, we never actually made it to St Patricks Catherdral which was some distance away; the journey had been fairly long getting to Dublin from our base that morning and still lots lay ahead. But hopefully in the future was shall be sure to visit. Please do follow the links though to read up about it:

https://www.stpatrickscathedral.ie/learn/life-and-history/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Patrick%27s_Cathedral,_Dublin

 

  • Bloodline connection is to the Neville line

St Nicholas Parish Church: Dundalk: After another drive through the Irish countryside we arrived in the busy town of Dunalk in County Louth; part of the diocese of Armagh. This is a bustling and very friendly town, it’s name in Irish is Dún Dealgan, which means “Dalgan’s fort” and it is the county town of County Louth. It is on the Castletown River, which flows into Dundalk Bay, and is near the border with Northern Ireland, halfway between Dublin and Belfast, so we had travelled a fair few miles that day. It has associations with the mythical warrior hero  Cu Chulainn.

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

 

St Nicholas Parish Church, sits on a busy road junction in the heart of the town, surrounded by local shops, cafes and takeaways. Again once inside it is a beautiful church with a very peaceful energy. The original church was built in the 1220’s and some parts of the church have not born the ravishes of time very well, while in other parts restoration has been carried out.

 

The interior of St Nicholas Church

A Dr. Oliver Davies, who examined all the old churches of County Louth in 1945, put the probable date of the church in the thirteenth century and considered that it was the need of a rising seaport which called for its erection. In this connection it is suggestive that St. Nicholas is the patron saint of merchant venturers by sea, and that many sea ports have churches dedicated in his name. During the troubled times of the Rebellion in 1641-50, when Dundalk was taken by assault, and of the campaigns of Schomberg and James II, 1688-90, the church fabric became sadly damaged. It was re-roofed in part in 1702, as a stone in the vestry records, when Rev. Ralph Lambert was vicar, it was “restored in a new and more elegant form.” and as is the case for so many churches restoration continued down the centuries.

 

For a parish church St Nicholas did have some rather stunning stained-glass windows

https://www.stnicholas-greenchurchdundalk.com/history

http://www.buildingsofireland.ie/niah/search.jsp?type=record&county=LH&regno=13701004

  • Bloodline Connection: the home of the ‘Fallen’ Nevilles of the Great War with actual records of the returned on ‘The Returned Army’ page.
  • NEVILLE, C, Royal Irish Rifles. From Church Street, Dundalk. (Tempest’s Annual 1916)
  • NEVILLE, Sapper, E V, 68 Division, Signal Corps, Royal Engineers. From New Street, Dundalk. (Tempest’s Annual 1916)
  • NEVILLE, Lieutenant, ERNEST W, Royal Engineers (Telegraphist). (Tempest’s Annual 1917)
  • NEVILLE, Sergeant, W, Royal Army Service Corps. From New Street, Dundalk.(Tempest’s Annual 1916)
  • NEVILLE, WILLIAM,  HMS Anemone. From 1 Brunswick Row, Dundalk. (Tempest’s Annual 1916)

Actual Records here:- http://www.jbhall.freeservers.com/the_returned_army_page_d.htm

Day Five: Belfast Jewish Community: As part of the Priory teachings we endevour to gain insight and understandings of all the earthly religions; to see common threads but also differences too. The Jewish community in Belfast dates back to 1079, but this building here was built in the 1960’s; as well as a temple of prayer and service it is also a community hub. The people there were very friendly and welcoming, and to someone who’s first time this was, the ladies kindly guided and engaged me in the service which was a massive three hours long due to the time of year!

DSC06586

It is quite a big building; much bigger inside than it appears on the outside and  is decorated  in a modern style with lots of blue and light coloured wood. As expected, treasures of the religion are housed there for services, but as there was a service taking place when we visited (our reason for going) i was unable to take any photos. It has to be noted though that even in these so called enlightened times, there was a small police presence outside the building the whole time that worship was taking place.

http://www.belfastjewishcommunity.org.uk/history/

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

 

Bloodline Connection: The Neville line

St Anne’s Cathedral: Belfast: A beautiful building with the largest Celtic Cross on the outside that i have ever seen! St Anne’s Cathedral, also known as Belfast Cathedral, is a cathedral of the Church of Ireland in Donegall Street, Belfast, Northern Ireland. It is unusual in serving two separate dioceses (Connor and Down and Dromore). A cathedral is the place where a bishop has a seat but Belfast Cathedral is unusual in having the seats of two bishops – the Bishop of Connor and the Bishop of Down & Dromore. It is the focal point of the Cathedral Quarter, Belfast.

 

The first architect was Sir Thomas Drew, the foundation stone being laid on 6 September 1899 by the Countess of Shaftesbury. The old parish church of St Anne by  Francis Hiorne of 1776 had continued in use, up until 31 December 1903, while the new cathedral was constructed around it; the old church was then demolished. The Good Samaritan window, to be seen in the sanctuary, is the only feature of the old church to be retained in the cathedral.

 

In 1924 it was decided to build the west front of the cathedral as a memorial to the Ulstermen and women who had served and died in The Great War. The foundation stone for this was laid by the Governor of Northern Ireland, the Duke of Abercorn on 2 June 1925 and the completed facade, to an amended design by the architect Sir Charles Archibald Nicholson, was dedicated in June 1927. The cathedral is very grand inside and spacious and of course very photogenic!

 

 

Some of the beautiful artworks and stained-glass windows to be found inside Belfast Cathedral

 

The Columba Challice, The Hand of G-d; note the position of the fingers. The Pyramids in stained-glassan unusual design for a cathedral; if one looks close, one can see the sphinx too.

Bloodline Connection is that of the Neville line but we also saw a Forde reference too!

DSC06651

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Anne%27s_Cathedral,_Belfast

Stained-Glass Windows; the stories told: Throughout the lands of mankind, stories and myths have always been told; by scribes, by artisans, by painters, by monks in the old times, verbally by story tellers then and now, and of course by those craftsmen whom painstakingly worked on the stained-glass windows seen in churches all over our lands at certain sacred points in time. To understand the messages contained within, we have to look deep into our past history, yet not as we know it, not as we are told but of the real history, often hidden in plain-sight right there on the windows.

The windows often depict the life and death of ‘The Jesus‘, often showing him with a serpent entwined around a segment of the windows design. One would be forgiven to assume that it was a reference to the serpent of the well-known bible stories and in a way it is.  Yet it alludes to ‘The Serpent Priesthood‘; the path of the true Knight Templar. The serpent connects to freedom,  of being totally consumed by dogma; yet freedom has to be tasted within before it can be tasted without, so one (with knowledge of the Serpent Priesthood) learns over time how to control the serpent; how to be free.

The Jesus is often seen wearing the colours of the Templar (Neville) lineage, of Red and White (silver) representing blood and honour, especially in battle, with honour originating from the past monetery use of silver. Colours are never by accident; they are a very integral part of the hidden symbology and convey numerous meanings.

The lives and deeds of the saints are often depicted and of course it was St Patrick or Saint Columba here in Ireland;  a saint having a certain connection to an area will often be depicted in the local church windows, yet they are also shown in mythological  or esoteric connotations.

Of course many symbols and emblems to be found incorporated in these window designs again relate to the Neville bloodline, the Serpent Priesthood and to the Knight Templars, thus making them a fascinating source of history and thus traceble through time. But just why do these images always connect to each other in the way they do and how or why did they come to be? Enscriptions, together with Masonic and Templar symbols are very often placed strategically on the windows telling a truth without words, hidden from mankind.

The ladies in the life of the Jesus play a big part too, and if one looks closely at the windows, gender is not always what it seems to be either – or what we have been led to believe. Many artists of the day were involved in the creation of stained-glass windows, non more so than the Pre-Raphalite artists who were inexplicitly drawn towards mysticsm and knowledge. Celestial objects; the sun, stars and moon and other lesser-known planets, mean something much different in Templarism and often hold centre stage on many windows, often predicting the future times to come; yet offering a warning too. Caskets, boxes, scrolls, children and of course ‘The Lamb’ are often widely used too, as is nature and flowers, but always with a secret Craft meaning which eludes to the potions of creation.

 

.A selection of the stained-glass windows discovered in Ireland; many with messages hidden well within plain sight

So on these quests we are discovering among many things, how ancient buildings are speaking to us. The stunningly beautiful and exquisite artwork and mosaic tiles that adorn the wall and floors of many a church or cathedral is not just for the sake of the artwork alone, but also for the clues left to us, hidden ‘within stone’ of the true untold history of our country. All left for us to decipher; left for the astute truth seekers to discover and acknowledge – truly and surely a quest for the modern-day Knight…

Dan Brown did kind of have the right ‘idea’ in a very loose sense but was way, way off track with his actual facts and tellings; he had the wrong locations, the wrong churches and followed a few expertly placed red herrings, as one would. However the symbols of the past are all still here, expertly placed within plain sight for all to see, awaiting the astute to rip off their old hoodwinks and to decipher…..

These symbols do not connect to ‘modern day Christianity‘ for they hark back to a much older time, travelling through the lineages of The Knights Templars, the Free Masons, the Eastern Star, to the Egyptian Mysteries, to Ancient Sumeria and even much further back in time and beyond our world. The clues and stories have survived, yet few know of the real meanings and of the ‘placement’ of the clues in specific areas. It is truly a quest of a lifetime and most certainly beyond, and that is why we love these quests so very much!

DSC06663

“The Grail Kingship is merely seasons in front.
So be it that all those whom disbelieve shall cease to remain” K. N.

“…show me that L.i.g.h.t that burns bright amongst the stars and the moon. Show me the dawn of a land that was never known and I shall see you in the trinity of time.” K. N.

Conclusion to our Irish Quest; many Templar secrets shared here:

 

‘The Keeper of Scrolls’ October 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please click on all images to enlarge

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

‘The Keeper of Scrolls’ August 2018

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

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

 

 

QUEST TWENTY TWO: YORKSHIRE: For this one-day quest to Yorkshire, we travelled northwards on Thursday 25th May; the day proved to be stunning as we ventured over the mighty Humber Bridge to our first port of call for the day, which was to be Hessle.

  • ALL SAINTS CHURCH: HESSLE:
  • ALL SAINTS CHURCH: PRESTON:
  • ALL SAINTS CHURCH: RISE:
  • ALL SAINTS CHURCH: DRIFFIELD:
  • SKIPSEA CASTLE:
  • HORNSEA:

ALL SAINTS CHURCH: HESSLE: The town of Hessle, near Hull is a pretty little town and the bright sunshine made it extremely picturesque. Hessle has a rather lovely town square with many little shops and listed buldings to it’s credit. It is very near by to that marvelous feat of engineering, the Humber Bridge. In the past Hessle has been a thriving centre for shipbuiding and even earlier on, for the building of wooden boats. It was also a centre for chalk quarying; the largest being at the Humberside Bridge Park, now a nature reserve.

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

The medieval, largely Gothic church itself has been here since the twelth century with modernization in 1884; there are some rather interesting original carvings on dispay to the right of the altar area and more info on them is mentioned in our video; they depict some rather ancient Gaelic symbols together with a representation of a female minatuar. The Neville family shield is on very prominent display here.

Inside All Saints, Hessle showing the Neville Shield & the name of Clarke on the wall plaque; all part of the ‘bloodline’ <click to enlarge images>

http://www.allsaintshessle.karoo.net/History%20-%20All%20Saints%20Church%20Hessle.htm

 

The ancient relics showing the female minataur & the entry to the church vault upon the floor – blink & you will miss it!

ALL SAINTS CHURCH: PRESTON: A short car ride away was the next stop of the day, although the church was sadly locked up with the keys being too far away to collect; even so i managed some good shots of the exterior of the church. Preston is a village in the East Riding of Yorkshire, six miles east of Hull. The parish church of All Saints is a grade one listed building.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preston,_East_Riding_of_Yorkshire

http://www.imagesofengland.org.uk/Details/Default.aspx?id=166663

 

All Saints Church, Preston, showing memorial to the ‘Fords’ & the ‘Clarks’ <click to enlarge>

 ALL SAINTS CHURCH: RISE: Tucked away behind some beautiful tall trees amidst a sea of green countryside; Rise Church is easy to miss and drive straight past, which is exactly what we did do! Rise is a village and small parish in East Riding in Yorkshire, in the heart of a very rural area.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rise,_East_Riding_of_Yorkshire

This beautiful church is a grade two listed building in Rise: this current version of the church was rebuilt in 1844/45 using some old reclaimed medieval roof timbers. There was a church at Rise by 1221 but years of neglect sadly took their toll. The current church was built by local landowner Richard Bethal to designs by R. D. Chantrel.

Rise Church in it’s very rural setting <click to enlarge>

The beautiful painted ceiling here is very similar to other Templar churches we have visited over the past few months and to that also of the Italian Chapel in the Orkneys, Scotland. Quite clearly there is a very strong Templar connection here, especially from the aspect of a sacred site and the church is indeed still used by and supported by the local Freemasons of today. There is also a big connection here to the shipbuilding industry of Hull. Other significant symbols to look out for are the Harp, the tower of Babel with a direct connection to the Unicorns of earlier quests and strong connections to the female Minataur of Hessle, from ealier today. Take note also of the ‘Demons’ wheel; (the Samnu Emua) of the Templar teachings, all of which have strong Priory connections…

The bloodline names are once again the Nevilles, in particular Frederick W. Neville who was christened in this church, but who sadly died at a young age, and also the name of Bethal, the current church warden and estate owners.