Tag Archive: St Mary’s Church


“A three night stay in a very rural and scenic area and this view greeted me from my bedroom window this morning!”

“Time to breath…”

Tuesday 21st September 2021: Day Ten Waterford: What could be more exciting than a whole day of historical adventures in the bustling and vibrant city of Waterford! Waterford is full of trails, museums and acivities that connect to it’s historic past, its seafaring ways and of course its viking connection, all of which make it the fascinating city it is today. Lots to explore in the city’s historic streets and waterfront with some gorgeous and unique little shops and cafes to linger in – i can just smell that espresso!

The name Waterford comes from the old norse ‘Port Láirge’ meaning “ram (wether) fjord”) and is a  city in County Wexford in the south-east of Ireland, in the province of Munster. The city is situated at the head of Waterford Harbour and is the oldest and the fifth most populous city in Ireland. According to the 2016 Census, 53,504 people live in the city, with a wider metropolitan population of 82,963. Viking raiders first established a settlement near Waterford in 853. It and all the other  longphorts were vacated in 902, the Vikings having been driven out by the native Irish. The Vikings re-established themselves in Ireland at Waterford in 914, led at first by Ottir larla (Jarl Ottar) until 917.

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

Waterford Treasures. Medieval Museum: Wow! What can i say – what a stunning and fascinating museum to visit! It actually consists of the Three Museums in the Viking Triangle, situated in the heart of Ireland’s oldest city. Three museums within a few paces of each other tell the 1100 year old story of Waterford from its foundation in 914 AD by Viking sea pirates. The massive stone fortress, Reginald’s Tower, houses Waterford’s Viking treasures. The Medieval Museum, the only purpose built museum specialising in medieval history in Ireland, showcases spectacular treasures from the Middle Ages. The elegant Bishop’s Palace, dating from 1743, is the home of the treasures of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. We were there a long time and so i will allow the photos to speak for themselves…but further historical info is in the museum link below:

https://www.waterfordtreasures.com/

The colourful history of Waterford – warts and all! <click to view>

The Viking Museum is housed in Reginald Tower, the oldest building in civic use in Ireland, said to date from 1003 A.D. The museum houses extensive artifacts, plus a video screening. The Medieval Museum includes two medieval chambers, the 13th century Choristers’ Hall and the 15th century Mayors Wine Vault and a surviving peice of clothing worm be Henry VIII, a cap of maintenance, awarded to the Mayor of Waterford, along with a bearing sword, in 1536. The Bishop’s Palace Mueum is a 250 year old Geogian structure, containing artifacts from 17th century Waterford to the present day. The Anglo-German architect Richard Cassels designed the palace, which was constructed in 1741. Many artifacts and manuscripts and histories ect can be seen in the photos above.

Grail Bloodline Connections:

  • All connections and references will relate here

St Mary’s Church, Church Street, New Ross, County Wexford: New Ross and this  beautiful church were just a few miles away and our next port of call. New Ross was very colourful and quite ‘arty’ with very vibrant painted buildings and plenty of street art and after our visit to the church we fould a lovely little resturant for a home cooked meal. New Ross in Irish is Ros Mhic Thriúin, formerly Ros Mhic Treoin, and is a town in southwest County Wexford, located on the River Barrow, near the border with County Kilkenny. In 2016 it had a population of 8,040 people, making it the fourth-largest town in the county.  The port town of New Ross dates from the pre-Middle Ages. The earliest settlement in this area dates to the 6th century when St. Abban of Magheranoidhe founded a monastery in what is now Irishtown. The original earthen banked circular enclosure of his monastery was visible around the graveyard until it was removed by the council.

The colourful streets of New Ross <click to view>

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

St Mary’s church was built in 1210 on the site where St. Abban built a monastry in the 6th century. It was was founded by William Marshall, 1st Earl of Pembroke or his wife Isabel de Clare, a daughter of  Strongbow. The bells were stolen in 1654 by a  Liet-Col Beale, during the Irish Confederate Wars. Divine Service was performed at St. Mary’s until 1811 or 1812, when the west aisle was demolished to make room for the modern church. Many stories are associated locally with the ruins, including one about a soldier who entered the “Black Hole” under an archway with his dog; only the dog returned. In another, a man who attempted to take the cross out of the old chancel had his brains dashed out.

The outside of St Mary’s Church New Ross showing some beautiful carvings and mosaic <click to view>

It is now a Church of Ireland building that now occupies the site the nave of the old building; only the chancel and trancepts survive. The chancel has an aumbry, sedilia, piscina, tomb canopy, and two doorways: one transitional and one Gothic.  There are three lancet windows in the east gable. The old chancel and the north and south transepts contain one of Ireland’s largest collections of medieval funerary. One features a cross with Lamb of God, symbolism associated with the Knights Templar. Another rarity is a woman buried next to both of her husbands, a rarity in the Middle Ages.

Many stunning artworks and artifacts on display in St Mary’s Church, New Ross <click to view>

Grail Bloodline Connection:

  • Earl William Neville: 4th Earle of Abergavenny (5th Great Uncle) 1792-1868

 

“As we had a very busy day and took many lovely photos, i shall leave day ten as it is and not add another day. Returning back to our digs, almost on the coast this time, we took time out to chill before a 5 minute ride back to our digs…”

 

Carnivan’s stunning beach at near sunset… <click to view>

 

‘The Keeper of Scrolls’ February 2022

<moon.willow@ntlworld.com>

 

“Grounding and settling down in Ireland was a much quicker process than last time we were there; tuning into the energies, we quickly found our feet and indeed became energised by it all. With lovely realxing views from our accomadation, we swiftly settled in, full of anticipation into quest mode…”

Thursday 1st July: St Coleman’s Church: Newcastle: St Colemans Church is situated in a quiet area of Newcastle, in lovely spacious grounds with views all around. Newcastle is a small yet beautifully vibrant coastal resort in County Down, with a population of 7,672 at the 2011 Census. It lies within the Mourne Mountains district and is extremely popular. The name of the town is thought to derive from the castle built by Felix Magennis of the Magennis clan in 1588, which stood at the mouth of the Shimna River. This castle was demolished in 1830. The Mourne Mountains are the setting for many local myths and legends. There are stories of ‘The Blue Lady’, a woman abandoned by her husband whose ghost still haunts the mountains, and more recently the idea of a wild cat living in the Mournes. Many of the stories although having true origins are only folklore and give many of the towns attractions their names, such as Maggie’s Leap being named after a local girl called Maggie, who leapt over the impressive chasm to her death while fleeing soldiers with a basket of eggs. You can read much more via the link below:

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

A peaceful site but little known about the church….

Sadly though, this little church was closed to us on this day: it was erected and opened in 1927, but the site would have been established long before that. There are some interesting artworks and pulpit to see inside, if we had been able to actually get inside. The parish graveyard adjoins St Colman’s. The churchyard is about 1 mile from the Church of Ireland Church, to which it belongs. It is therefore, technically a church cemetery as it is detached from the church. There are two Commonwealth burials of the 1914-1918 war here. One of which, in the South-West part, is the grave of an unidentified Naval rating whose body was sadly washed ashore in May,1918.

Such a peaceful gravyard with some splendid memorials within. Many of the relevant churches upon this quest are shut do to covid and so i cannot show you any of the amazing artifacts and symbols that may be inside – instead some peaceful strolls around the grounds to soak up the enegies there… <click to enlarge>

It is written that St. Colman’s mother Queen Rhinagh, when in an advanced state of pregnancy in late 559 A.D., became the object of jealous hatred of her husband the King. The King had heard that according to a prophecy of authority his future son (St. Colman) was destined to surpass in greatness all the others of his illustrious lineage. Fearing the worst for her child still in her womb and for herself, Rhinagh was obliged to flee her husband’s company. She was nevertheless caught by the King’s men and cast with a heavy stone tied around her neck into the deepest portion of the Kiltartin river. Miraculously, Our Blessed Lord intervened, and in an instant, the heavy stone floated like a cork to the surface, bringing Rhinagh and her future offspring (St. Colman) safely to the river’s bank.

You can read more about St Coleman and his miraculour birth and life here:

http://www.stcolman.com/life_baptism.html

Grail Bloodline Connections:

  • John Fordham 1883 Collooney, Sligo (1858 – 1932)  Karl’s 3 x GGF

Inch Abbey: Downpatrick: (from Irish Dún Pádraig,) meaning ‘Patrick’s stronghold’ is a small town about 21 miles south of Belfast in County Down, Northern Ireland. It has been an important site since ancient times and it’s cathedral is said to be the burial place of Saint Patrick. Downpatrick had a population of 10,822 according to the 2011 Census. It is known for it’s historical connection to St. Patrick; the town being named after him. It is believed during the 5th century he had lived in Downpatrick and is currently buried in Down Catherdral. An early Bronze Age site was excavated in Downpatrick, revealing two round houses and some archaeological evidence indicates a Neolithic settlement at the Cathedral Hill site.

Lots more to read here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Downpatrick

Inch Abbey, located on the north bank of the Quoile River, was founded by John de Courcy in atonement for his destruction of Erenagah Abbey. The buildings are mainly from the 12th and 13th centuries. The first monastery established on the northern banks of the river Quoile in 800 AD was known as Inis Cumhscraigh, but clearly the area was in use way before that, in order (from a Craft connection) for King Niall (see below) to have an interest in the area. Nothing remains of the early monastery, but traces of the Early Christian earthworks enclosure can be seen on aerial photographs. The setting is really beautiful, and you can see why the Anglo-Norman knight John de Courcy established the Cistercian abbey here in c.1180. It is believed the Abbey was founded as an act of repentance for his destruction of the Abbey at Erinagh three years earlier.

Layout of how Inch Abbey would have looked <click to enlarge>

The abbey was colonised with monks from Furness Abbey in England. It was built to a typical Cistercian layout, a large cruciform church with a low tower at the crossing of the north and south transept. The cloister garth is situated to the south of the church. Along the east of the cloister are the ruins of a vestry, chapter house, parlour and day room. To the south is the refectory and kitchen. There was a well and a bakehouse situated to the southwest of the cloister. The abbey, which retained a strong English influence refusing to accept Irish monks into the community, was remodelled in the 15th century, before being suppressed in 1541. It’s name is derived from the Irish word inis, meaning ‘island’, referring to the fact that the monastery was originally surrounded by the River Quoile. Interstingly another ‘Game of Thrones’ location.

Inch Abbey where time reveals the hidden and ancient energies reveal. Inch Abbey still has many secrets yet to be revealed, many buried underground, within time. Many secrets, of a kind not visible, only sensed, waiting hidden in time, maybe never revealed….  Ireland, whatever the weather, is a beautiful country full of surprises and interesting enenergies. <click to enlarge>

At the time of King Niall (Karl’s 46th GGF) there was also a lot of Danish influence in the area, which will be a story for another day, but the Vikings did plunder the settlement in 1149 AD and carried out a great deal of destruction, that later had to be rebuilt, so the abbey has always been under attack over the years. What is interesting is that it was almost ‘lost in time’, because of how the valley is situated and how the land lies, a lot of the valley area was covered up totally, and it was only through exavations, that what was hidden was revealed again and the abbey discovered underground. This does prove that there is so much history hidden underground, and still to this very day much lies hidden, Sometimes the history is only revealed when new bulidings or carparks etc are excavated, so much still hidden within the earth. But in a way this is similar to history and knowledge being buried within the minds of folks, especially Craft or spiritual folks; the knowledge is buried deep within but unlike the buildings, time will forever hide it, and the passing of a person, unlike the simple passing of time will never reveal the knowledge gained – unless of couse we of Craft, of these modern times can pass it on to true and willing students – the ball is in your court guys – do you or do you not wish to learn the ways and knowledge of Craft or shall it be forever hidden within time itself?

More words and pictures here: http://www.megalithicireland.com/Inch%20Abbey,%20Downpatrick.html

 Grail Bloodline Connections

  • King Niall 342 AD.  Karl’s 46 x GGF but with a big connection here to the Neville surname.

Ballee Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church. Downpatrick: This T-shaped meetinghouse has been at Ballee since 1721, originally a thatched building but at some point, later in the eighteenth century, a new roof was built from Memel pine. Later still the old box pews were removed and used to fit out new rooms in the church. But the walls are the same walls that have stood as silent witness for three hundred years. There’s no minister here and the church is amalgameted with a nearby church. We were very lucky to meet and chat to Lorna, who was very kind and made a special effort to get the key to let us in. So very lucky to get inside to take some good photos but sadly no video for we were escorted around on this occasion, not underestimating the kindness shown though.

Ballee Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church. Downpatrick <please click on the image to view>

There are some lovely artworks and plaques on the walls, a wonderful collection of vintage religious books; any antique book lover would be in a personal heaven here, as indeed i was after just a short glimpse at the archives here. Elaborate timbers/roof beams, imported from the far eastern end of the Baltic Sea, from trees 100’s of years old, from the lands that were once East Prussia, adorned the ceiling overhead. Trade links with the Baltic were already established at the time by the Presbyterian merchants in Belfast. The church inside is very well looked after, with lots of natural wood used and the flaming emblem of the non-subscribing church on the pulpit cloth and plaques are indeed very striking. I noticed the interesting barrel-shaped mausolea, mostly dating from the late eighteenth or early nineteenth centuries in the graveyard here and other graveyards in the area too. Downpatrick has a large number of what have been describes as being of ‘the barrel-vaulted variety, rather like a Nissen-hut ’.

Karl discovered some of his own family line here in the cemetry; the ‘Hill’ surname <click to enlarge>

Again a connection here to King Niall 342 AD; the name of which would later become the Neville surname, in time becoming the House of Neville, traced into Scotland, County Durham, Raby and Raby Castle itself (see previous quests), showing how fascinating it is, the migration and movement of names. Lovely energies, we saw what we needed to see.

https://velvethummingbee.com/category/ballee-non-subscribing-presbyterian-church/

Grail Bloodline Connections:

  • King Niall 342 AD.  Karl’s 46 x GGF but with a big connection here to the Neville surname.
Castle Ward, Temple Lake and Audleys Castle, Downpatrick; home to the set of Winterfell, The Battle of Oxcross at Audleys Field from the ‘Game of Thrones’. The quest connection is to the High King of Ireland, King Connal and the Neville surname and to ‘those that are hidden in time’ A lovely day to be in Ireland amongst such magnificant scenery and compelling mysteries.

Castle Ward National Trust: Strangford Downpatrick: ‘The very popular ‘Game of Thrones’ is based in this area, where lots of filming has taken place, and this is certainly what many folks tune into, but these two questers here have never seen it. It certainly is a stunning area, all the countryside around is magnificant. The unique 18th-century mansion, famed for its mixture of architectural styles with its gothic and classical style collide at Castle Ward, rests on rolling hillsides, looking out over the tranquil waters of Strangford Lough. One can walk or cycle along the Lough trail or through the sheltered woodlands and spot butterflies, rabbits, ducks, and swans. One can step into a fantasy world of castles and dragons, when exploring the Georgian farmyard, the lough shore, and film locations for Game of Thrones. The restored Victorian  sunken gardens are a gardeners delight. There is a lot of walking, but even though very beautiful, not really suitable unless one is very fit.

The whole area is connected to the High King of Ireland, King Conaill, 409 AD, in the Ulster area, which folks may know from the ‘red hand’ of the flag, seen in many places and buildings in Ireland.  The Neville house or line has always had a big connection/obsession with the colours of Red, White and Black which featured very prominently in the early degrees of Craft, so there still may be some connections there, yet to be discovered.

The sunken gardens at Castle Ward and the view looking over towards ‘Winterfell’

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

Grail Bloodline Connections:

  • High King of Ireland, King Conaill (409 AD, Ulster) The Neville surname lineage. Karl’s 45 x GGF

Temple Water: Downpatrick: This very picturesque beauty spot is part of the Castle Ward estate and of course a part of our quest too. On foot a lot of walking needed to be carried out to get there but we did get some wonderful views overlooking this artificial, yet stunning lake. There are various trails and walks that take one around the lake, upon the shores. The whole arera is rather focussed on family activities these days.

Grail Bloodline Connections:

  • ‘Those that are hidden in time’….. clues hidden under this manmade lake maybe…..

Audley’s Castle: Portloughan Downpatrick: Again another ‘Game of Thrones’ location and one can certainly see why, but long before that of course and much more important is it’s connection to our quests. One can park quite near, just a short walk up a gentle slope with wonderful views or one can, if up to it, drive up the very ‘off the beaten track’ way. It is a spendid building, what remains of it, with wonderful views overlooking the Temple Lake and it has a small courtyard area alonside it, where one can sit on the wall and admire the view. As a castle in it’s heyday it would have commaded an excellent position. It is 15th-century, located 1 mile north-east of Strangford, County Down on a rocky height overlooking Strangford Lough. It is a three-storey tower house, named after its 16th century owner, John Audley, of an Anglo-Norman family who held land in the area in the 13th century. There are thousands of small stone towers similar to Audley’s Castle in the Irish countryside, made for the lesser lords and gentry. Most were built in the late Middle Ages (roughly 1350–1550). Audley’s was built towards the end of this period. It was sold, with the surrounding estate, to the Ward family in 1646 and used in 1738 as an eye-catching focus of the long vista along Castle Ward’s artificial lake, Temple Water. The site has a number of paths to allow you to get to the Castle.

But also a connection here to King King Conaill, 409 AD, Ulster and of the Neville lineage.

Audley Castle and Temple Lake <click to enlarge>

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audley%27s_Castle

Grail Bloodline Connections:

  • High King of Ireland, King Conaill (409 AD, Ulster) The Neville surname lineage. Karl’s 45 x GGF

Friday 2nd July: St Mary’s Church, Lordship: Riverstown: So the first church of the day and to our delight we were able to get inside. However there is not a lot on the internet about the area or the church. The Parish of Riverstown incorporating Sooey and Gleann is located just off the N4, 15 minutes outside Sligo town. Riverstown, historically called Ballyederdaowen (Irish: Baile idir dhá Abhainn, meaning ‘town between two rivers’), is a village in County Sligo, known for its musical traditions.

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

St Mary’s Church, Lordship: Riverstown; some noce symbolic items and windows here…

St Mary’s Church, Lordship was immaculately kept, both inside and out and there were some beautiful windows and artworks to see inside. Sadly there was not a lot on the interent about it; just a simple word or two such as the fact that the OS 1835 survey shows a cruciform ‘R.C. Chapel’ here and present nameboard states ‘Erected 1834’. Remodelled or rebuilt 1858-74 by architect John Murray. This Catholic parish church in the Cooley Peninsula dates from 1834. It stands alongside the R173.

Some beautiful and symbolic artworks and windows <click to view>

As always on these quests, whether we gain entry or not to a particular church or site we are able to mark off the ‘trail’ of the ‘lines’ as they travelled around, back through time to the days (in this case) of the 1700’s and 1800’s.

Grail Bloodline Connections:

  • John Fordham 1883. Collooney, Sligo (1858-1932) Karl’s 3 X GGF

Church of the Immaculate Conception: Lisaturrin: A stunning looking church, in the parish of Kingscourt, in a very elevated position with amazing views all around and happily again we were able to gain access. This time we managed to squeeze in before the start of a funeral, which at the time we was not aware was imminent. An interesting church with a connection to John Fordham 1883, we do know that the Fordhams were originally out of Colooney, south/east of Sligo and prior to that, they were in France (the Desposyni line) and because of the migrational patterns the Fordhams spent time in this area of Cavan County. The whole area is quite mountainous and one can easily get ‘off the beaten track’ and explore wherever the tracks may lead to, but we do have to stick to the main purpose that is at the heart of our quests.

An impressive Victorian Gothic-Revival church, embellished with fine stonework and stained glass, designed by Cavan architect William Hague (1836-1899), and built to replace an earlier chapel. The plan and elevation are reflective of a literal interpretation of medieval church plan and elevations. The colourful note added by the alternating slate and stone to the exterior are aesthetically pleasing, while the variety of stonework finishes to both interior and exterior exemplify local craftsmanship of the period. The retention of original detailing such as floor tiling and pews is also important. The building is of national artistic significance for its stained glass windows by the Dublin-born painter and stained glass artist Evie Hone (1894-1955), commissioned 1946, as well as windows from the studio of Harry Clarke, added c.1960. There are also some stuning Celtic crosses in the gravyard (see above) and you can read more about the stunning windows and interior from the link below.

A beautiful interior with many symbolic artworks and windows <click on image for close ups>

https://www.buildingsofireland.ie/buildings-search/building/40310009/church-of-the-immaculate-conception-hall-street-dunaree-kingscourt-cavan

Grail Bloodline Connections:

  • John Fordham 1883. Collooney, Sligo (1858-1932) Karl’s 3 X GGF

Virginia Church: Virginia: Quite a large church in big grounds right in the heart of Virginia on a busy road junction. Again we could not get in but had a good look around before having a lovely lunch (outside because of covid) in a bistro across the road. Virginia (Irish: Achadh an Iúir, meaning ‘field of the yew) is a town in County Cavan, Ireland. Founded in the 17th century at  as a plantation town, it now holds both local industry and commuter housing. Founded at Aghanure it was named Virginia after Queen Elizabeth 1 of England, the “Virgin Queen.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia,_County_Cavan

Virginia Church, some lovely old Celtic crosses <click to enlarge>

The church serves as a symbolic focal point in this former plantation town, the church enjoys a monumental setting which is enhanced by its ample grounds and mature trees. The plan is simple but effective, placing the focus on the church tower and spire which can be seen from a distance. The building is a good example of a Board of First Fruits church with early nineteenth century ‘gothic’ style details such as the cusp mouldings in the windows and crenellated parapet buttresses serving more decorative than structural functions. Major alterations were made to the church following a storm on Christmas night in 1818 when the steeple fell and destroyed the roof, and after a fire which caused major damage in 1830. There are some attractive old Celtic crosses in the graveyard.

St Mary’s Church of Ireland: Dillonsland: It was a very fleeting visit to this church as we could not even get into the grounds for a wander around – so a few quick snaps from the roadside had to suffice! The modern Navan Parish is made up of five mediaeval parishes: Athlumney, Cannistown, Donaghmore, Dunmoe and Navan. Although cemeteries still survive in these locations, the churches were suppressed in the Penal Laws era, with many surviving simply as derelict buildings. St. Mary’s Church is named after the mediaeval Augustinian abbey which was located on the outskirts of the Parish called St. Mary’s. St. Mary’s Abbey and its associated granges were suppressed on the orders of King Henry VIII, the English monarch.

Just a few quick snaps from behind the railings!

Detached church, built c.1815, with three-bay side elevation to nave, having single-bay chancel attached to east. Earlier three-stage pinnacled tower, built 1762, attached to west. Set behind railings in graveyard. Double-pitched and hipped roofs, natural slates, dentil eaves course, cast iron gutters. Uncoursed rubble limestone walls with ashlar trims signal and diagonal pinnacled buttresses at corners and west wall – some pinnacles removed. Perpendicular-style openings with stone frames and timber tracery, dark coloured glass, 1870’s east window. Surrounded by graveyard with graves dating from mid 18th century, ashlar gate piers and cast iron railings and gates c.1870.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Mary%27s_Church%2C_Navan

https://www.buildingsofireland.ie/buildings-search/building/14009410/st-marys-church-of-ireland-church-church-hill-townparks-navan-county-meath

http://www.navanhistory.ie/index.php?page=st-mary-s-church-of-ireland

Grail Bloodline Connections:

  • John Fordham 1883. Collooney, Sligo (1858-1932) Karl’s 3 X GGF

See our video on the first few days of our adventure!

Karls Comments on the First Few Days

The Purpose of the Quests from Karl: “The purpose of what the quests are really about, and what we do on these quests is to ‘sign off’ or ‘tie off’ some of the churches that we know from the past, which will of course mean different things to different people. What we are trying to do is to establish the past in order to try and understand the future, and of course we have the Grail in that line there, along the way. As i have said so many times before – what is the Grail? It is a mystery and perhaps it will always remain a mystery, perhaps it is meant to, but what’s interesting is, there are different messages that our forefathers, our ancestors left for us in different places, and these churches often have the signs, and symbols and codes that will allow us to see and know which direction the path is following in. Will we ever find the Grail – who knows, perhaps the Grail has been with us all the time, who knows that?  At the end of the day though the Grail means something, and it’s a pathway to follow”

 

Ireland is a beautiful place and we hope it stays that way for many years to come……

‘The Keeper of Scrolls’ August 2021

<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