Tag Archive: the Clarke’s


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

St Michael & All Angels Church Princetown

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The beauty of England’s Jurasic Coast Line

Englands Jurasic Coast Line & the Beauty of Devon and Cornwall

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

“The Keeper of Scrolls” May 2019

email me:  moon.willow@ntlworld.com

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

Quest Number Eighteen: The Templar Sites of North Wales

Day Four: 15th January 2017

  • St Thomas Church: Rhyll
  • St Marchellos: Whitchurch, Denbigh
  • St Asaph Cathedral: Denbighshire

Beautiful Colwyn Bay at dusk

Rhyl: is a seaside resort town in the historic county of Denbigshire, situated on the north east coast of Wales, on the mouth of the River Clwyd. To the west is the suburb of Kinmel Bay, with the resort of Towyn further west, Prestatyn to the east and Rhuddlan to the south. At the 2011 census, Rhyl had a population of 25,149.  Rhyl has long been a popular tourist destination for people from all over Britain. Once an elegant Victorian resort, there was an influx of people from Liverpool and Manchester after the second world war, changing the face of the town. The area had declined dramatically by 1990, but has since improved due to a series of regeneration projects, including the sea front re-developement, bring new life to the area.

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

St Thomas Church: This beautiful church in Rhyl is a listed building, containing many beautiful artworks and artifacts of a symbolic nature; it is a very fine example of high Victorian Gothic. The day we arrived was a Sunday and very busy with sunday services and christenings taking place, so we kind of had to sneak in for a quick look around between these activities, trying not to disturb the proceedings at all, so of course no filming though the church staff we welcoming and frindly.

The church is fairly new at 1867, with the spire being completed in 1865 but of course older building had been on the site previously. It boasts some stunning stained glass windows, includng a depiction of ‘The Light of the World’, one of my personal favourite pieces of art.

http://www.britishlistedbuildings.co.uk/wa-1422-parish-church-of-st-thomas-rhyl#.WJcurDhAHIU

Wood carvings inside the church looking rather interestingly like a set of Tracing Boards…

Beautiful embroidery and other stunning artworks plus the two beautiful stained glass windows depicting the following quotes…

“I am The Good Shepherd, the good shepherd giveth his life for his sheep”

“I am The Light of the World, he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the Light of Life”

Bloodline connections: The Parry’s were very strong here; we had hoped for some Fords (Ffords, Ffoords) but no evidence…

st-th-ryhl

St Marchellos: Whitchurch Denbigh: Following a very scenic drive we arrived at the equally scenic St Marchello’s church; a grade one listed church in the vale of Clwyd, with stunning views towards  Moel Famau. The grandest of all medieval Denbighshire parish churches, St. Marcella’s (or Llanfarchell) is also known as Whitchurch or Eglwys Wen ‘the white church’, probably from its originally whitewashed exterior. Its patroness Marchell the Virgin is said to have established her hermitage by a holy well here in the 7th century, and clearly the site was honoured as especially sacred. For though it now stands alone a mile from the present town centre (and further still from the old walled town by the castle), St. Marcella’s has always been Denbigh’s parish church. As such it was lavishly rebuilt in the local double-naved form during the late 15th century, with an imposing tower and a noble range of big ‘Perpendicular’ style windows.

One can see from the style of building that this is a true Templar church <click on image to enlarge>

Happily we were able walk straight inside this very beautiful Templar church, which stands upon a hillside commanding magnificant views across the countryside. The church is very old and one gets a real sense of history and peace within it. The ravages of time always take their toll on these old building yet thankfully much is left here to appreciate, including some depictions of very unusual animal carvings…

http://medieval-wales.com/site_31_denbigh.php

Our video clip will show and explain more and the photos show many details

ST MARCHELLO’S CHURCH NEAR WHITCHURCH

 

Many treasures to be found inside St Marchello’s Church (click on image to view)

 

Bloodline connections:

  • The connections here are of Gabrielle Parry of 1613, who was the Vicar here, and  then from 1290 Henry de Clerk; both noteworthy finds.
  • Saint Marchello herself was what would be known as a pilgrim, but who was she really and where did she come from? I am reminded of a little church in Cormwall; similar names…

 

St Asaph Cathedral: And so we had reached the last part of the journey of this particular quest to North Wales. St Asaph’s cathedral is in the centre of the town and dates back 1,400 years, though the current building dates from the 13th century. It is sometimes claimed to be the smallest Anglican cathedral in Great Britain. A church was originally built on or near the site by Saint Kentigern in the 6th century. Saint Asa (or Asaph) a grandson of Paba Post Prydain, followed after this date. The earliest parts of the present building date from the 13th century when a new building was begun on the site after the original stone cathedral was burnt by King Edward 1 in 1282; this present building being established in 1285.

It is certainly a magnificant building yet not overwhelming or overpowering in it’s pressence at all and luckily it was open to us on this late afternoon visit, so time for a perfect look around. There are some interesting pieces of artwork and evidence of certain names from the bloodline we are researching, so good finds.  Beautiful and meaningful works of art can be found here relating to the Knights Templar, John the Baptist and The Lamb of God etc. Certainly a beautiful cathedral with a very peaceful and serene atmosphere. Much more to see here in our video..

ST ASAPHS CATHERDRAL, DENBIGHSHIRE.

Click to enlarge and view image

Bloodline connections:

  • The Bloodline connection here is to the Clarke’s, the Parry’s and Perry’s.
  • Displayed is a copy of one of Alek’s ancestors bible’s; the bible of Richard Parry, from Alek’s mother’s side.

So a very fitting end to a very memorable quest in a beautiful country; there were two sites we did not gain access too and one further site; Worcester Cathedral, which we paid a brief visit to on the journey home.

Day Five

  • Worcester Catherdral: Worcester
  • Travel Home

Worcester Cathedral: And so the last part of the North Wales puzzle makes itself known; we arrived in Worcester rather late in the day, as an extra treat on out journey home. However we knew the building to be open until 6pm and we just made it by the skin of our teeth. An evening service was going on as we arrived, though visitors were still welcomed with parts of the cathedral made out of bounds while the service was going on. However afterwards, a few minutes were still available to walk around the altar area of the cathedral, despite rope cordens being hasilty erected and an over-zealous chief chorester trying to evict us dead on 6pm, at the poing of us viewing the altar…. We did manage some stunning photos though and see clear evidence of the ‘Clarke’ bloodline here.

Worcester Cathedral, before the English Reformation was known as Worcester Priory. An  Anglican Cathedral in Worcester, England it is situated on a bank overlooking the River Severn.  It is the seat of the Bishop of Worcester; it’s official name is ‘The Cathedral Church of Christ and the Blessed Mary the Virgin of Worcester’. Built between 1084 and 1504, Worcester Cathedral represents every style of English architecture from Norman Perpendicular Gothic. It is famous for it’s Norman crypt and unique chapter house,  it’s unusual Transitional Gothic bays, it’s fine woodwork and its “exquisite” central tower (see above photos)

The interior of Worcester Cathedral showing off it’s stunning Gothic  designs – click on image to enlarge

What is now the Cathedral was founded in 680 as a Priory with Bishop Bosel at it’s head. The first priory was built in this period, but sadly nothing now remains of it. The crypt of the present-day cathedral dates from the 10th century and the time of St Oswold, Bishop of Worcester. Monks and nuns had been present at the Priory since the seventh century and the monastery became Benedictine in the second half of the tenth century although dates do vary here. There is an important connection with Fleury Abbey in France, as Oswald the bishop of Worcester from 961 to 992 and prior at the same time, was professed at Fleury and introduced the monastic rule of Fleury to Worcester. Remains of the Priory dating from the 12th and 13th centuries can still be seen. The Priory came to an end with King Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monastries and thus the Benedictine monks were removed on 18 January 1540 and replaced by secular canons.

It is worth noting that Henry Parry; of the Parry line we are researching and Alek’s own family bloodline, was Bishop of Worcester here from 1610 to 1616 as the plaque below will testify. he was a very important and highly values person of his time.

http://www.worcestercathedral.co.uk/Heritage.php

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

A example of some of the Templar influenced artifacts and carvings and the  Parry and Clarke connections found inside Worcester Cathedral

A few extra snippets to round up our trip below

GATHERING LOOSE ENDS…. ST PETERS CHURCH PWLLHELLI ST THOMAS CHURCH RHYLL ST ASAPH CATHEDRAL DENBIGSHIRE

Bloodline connection:

  • Upon the war memorial we have several Clarkes ver cleary indicated.
  • Th Bishop of Worcester from 1610 to 1616 was indeed Henry Parry no less.

The Clarke and Parry connection

Sadly we never managed to gain access to St Paul’s Church, Colwyn Bay or St Mary’s Church, Menai Bridge due to the late hour of the day when we arrived, nevertheless i have included some info on them anyway for those interested in tracking our quests. However i was unable to document or photo any bloodline evidence at this current point in time due to not gaining access; although the sites are definitlely on the ‘points of time’

c-b

Across Colwyn Bay at night; an apt farewell to an amazing quest in time…

January 2017 ‘The Keeper of Scrolls’

Take a look at the new Priory webpage too: http://priory7.wixsite.com/priory

“The Grail Kingship is within the realm of impossibilities”

%d bloggers like this: