Tag Archive: Truth


‘The next day, day six was a beautiful sunny day as the photos will testify and it was just a ten mile drive from Clonakilty, Cork where we were staying for the next 4 nights, to Rosscarberry and our first port of call for the day’

Day Six: 17th September: St Fachtna’s Cathedral. Rosscarberry: (Irish: Ros Ó gCairbre, meaning ‘Cairbre’s wood’) is a town in County Cork that sits on a shallow estuary, opening onto Rosscarbery Bay. The area has been occupied since at least the Neolithis period, as evidenced by several Neolithic sites such as portal dolmens. The area is also home to a number of Bronze Age remains, including stone circles, ring forts and holy wells. Due to its popularity as a centre of pilgrimage it was also known as Ros Ailithir (“Wood of the Pilgrims”). The hereditary chieftains of the area, or tuath, were the O’Leary’s, known as Uí Laoghaire Ruis Ó gCairbre, until it passed to Norman control in the early thirteenth century. In March 1921, during the Irish War of Independance, Tom Barry’s 3rd Cork IRA Brigade attacked and destroyed the Royal Irish Constabulary barracks in Rosscarbery. Two RIC officers were killed in the attack, and nine others were injured. There is a plaque on the site of the former barracks, beside the current Garda station, commemorating the event. In the 20 years between the 1991 and 2011 census, the population of Rosscarbery grew by approximately 17%, to 534 people. As of the 2016 census, the population of the town was then 490. Although it looked an interesting place to explore, it was the catherdral which was our focus of attention and we spent an interesting time there.

A gorgeous day to visit St Fachtna’s Cathedral, one of the keystone churches <click to enlarge>

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

Although at first the cathedral appeared to be locked, a quick phone call was all it took for us to be let in by a very chatty and obliging guy, attached to the church of course. He of course turned out to be the very kind Rector Chris, whom shared his history and knowledge with us. He certainly knew his history of the cathedral and the area, so we were treated to a personal guided tour. It was so important to be able have access to St Fachtna’s Catherdral today, as it is a Keystone Church, an energy point and it is said that there are some very important remains hidden within it’s walls… This cathedral is one of the smallest in Ireland, yet lovingly looked after and beautiful inside and out. St. Fachtna’s Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral Church of St Faughan, has been a place of Christian worship for over 1400 years and is one of the most significant religous sites in Ireland. The current cathedral dates from the 1600’s, and was extensively restored in the 19th century. It is the smallest cathedral in Ireland, being the size of a small parish church. It is also the only cathedral in Ireland in which the bellringers can be seen from inside the building. There are a fine set of six bells here, in the key of G, and they are regularly rung.

 

The interior was immaculate and beautifully cared for <click to enlarge>

Here St. Fachtna founded a monastic school in AD 590. Pilgrims and scholars came from near and far and gained for Ross the title “Ross Ailithir”: the wooded headland of the pilgrims. The ruins of a church erected by St Faughnan still exist on the southern slope of the land on which Rosscarbery is built . A church or cathedral has occupied the site since at least the tenth century, and after Bishop John Edmund de Courcy resigned in 1517, Pope Leo X ordered an inquiry into the state of the diocese, and it was noted that by then a cathedral stood on the site. It was known at that time as Tiompal mor Feachtna, or “Feachtna’s big temple”

Such wonderful carvings to see, and very much a part of our Grail Quest, with subtle clues for the keen and learned of eye <click to enlarge>

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

The first reference to a Cathedral on this site is in the 12th. century. The present building dates from 1612 and was extensively rebuilt following the Rebellion of 1641. Significant developments occurred within the building in the nineteenth century. The spire of the original building was removed in either 1785, 1793, or 1795, with the current spire being added in 1806. The walls of the church were freestone, but what remained of the old walls were plastered and dashed in 1880. Storms have blown the top of the spire over on two occasions, once in the winter of 1886, and then again in February 1923. Between 2002 and 2005, major restorations were carried out on the cathedral, including rebuilding the organ and restoring the bells. In 2012, an additional bell was added to the tower.

A joy to see so many treaured artifacts still in place <click to enlarge>

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cathedral_Church_of_St._Fachtna

 

Many stunning windows and plaques tell the history of the cathedral <click to enlarge>

Grail Bloodline Connection:

  • A Keystone church and energy point

Drombeg Stone Circle Co Cork: Just a very short drive away was this very impresive stone circle, a small axial stone circle, also known as ‘The Druid’s Altar’. Luckily it was quiet when we arrived even though a very popular place to visit. The stone circle originally consisted of seventeen closely spaced stones, made of local sandstone, of which 13 survive. The circle spans 31 ft in diameter. As an axial or “Cork–Kerry” stone circle, it contains two taller entrance stones placed opposite a recumbent axial stone. Its axis is orientated south west towards the setting sun. The most westerly stone is the long recumbent and has two egg shaped cup marks, one with a ring around it. An axial stone circle, also known as a “Cork–Kerry type” stone circle, it is flanked by a pair of high axial portal stones, which mark the entrance to the stone circle, and face the recumbent altar stone. This arrangement creates a south-west axis, and orients the monument in the direction of the setting sun during the midwinter solstice.

Drombeg Stone Circle: an amazing site with powerful energies, interesting features and of course Craft/Grail quest connections hdden within the land. Old stories, from the physical and the metaphysical realms never fail to delight….  <click to enlarge>

Near the stone circle, approximately 40m to the west, are two round stone-walled prehistoric huts and a fulacht fiadh which evidence suggests was in use until approximately the 5th century AD. Of the two huts, the largest had a timber roof supported by timber posts. The smaller hut contains the remains of a cooking sport on its eastern side. A causeway leads from the huts to the fulacht fiadh, which has a hearth, well and a water trough.

The domestic areas, although some parts allude to a more sinister past (as the energies testify) especially as bones have been recovered here…<click to enlarge>

Following a number of surveys in the early 1900s, the site was excavated and restored in 1957. Radio Carbon Dating of samples taken from the site suggest that it was active c. 1100 – 800 BC. An inverted pot, found in the centre of the circle, contained the cremated remains of a young adolescent wrapped with thick cloth. The pot was found close to the centre of the circle and was found alongside smashed sherds and a collection of sweepings from a pyrle, so one could hazard a gues that it was a place of sacrifice too…. Parts of the site are still to be excavated, so who knows what will be discovered there.

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

A riddle from Mr Karl Neville to make you think about the secrets of the stones & what they may have witnessed…

Grail Bloodline Connection:

  • King Niall Mac Echdach. King of Ireland (53rd GGF) 311 – 378 (67)

Mizen Head: Not a part of our quest but this stunning area was recommended to us by some fellow travellers and as we were in the area it proved to be well worth a vist, for the views of the coastline are simply out of this world! It is a stop on the ‘Wild Atlantic Way’, a route that takes in all the wild and ancient places. Ireland truly is the land of dreams…. 

It was a stunning drive to reach it too. Mizen Head is one of the extreme points of Irealand and is a major tourist attraction, noted for its dramatic cliff scenery. One of the main transatlantic shipping routes passes close by to the south, and Mizen Head was, for many seafarers, the first (or last) sight of Europe. The tip of the peninsula is almost an island, cut off by a deep chasm, now spanned by a bridge; this gives access to an old signal station and a lighthouse. The signal station, once permanently staffed, is now a museum housing displays relating to the site’s strategic significance for transatlantic shipping and communications, including the pioneering efforts of Guglielmo Marconi. The “99 steps” which formed part of the original access route have been supplemented by a series of paths and viewing platforms, and a full range of visitor facilities is available at the entrance to the site, however it is not for the faint-hearted or for those challenged by walking, for there are lots of steps and very steep slopes to navigate up and down the rocky cliffs.

Mizen Head: A most stunning place, one of the most stunning on the planet! <click to enlarge>

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

Day Seven: 18th September: Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral. Cork: It was another gorgeous day as we left our digs in Shannonvale, Clonakilty for a very full day ahaead but not before we espied the welcome sign over the door!

The city of Cork: (Irish: ‘Corcaigh’ from ‘corach’ meaning “marsh) is the second largest city in the Republic of Ireland and is  located in the south-west of Ireland, in the province of Munster, in 2019 it’s population was 210,000. The city centre is an island positioned between two channels of the River Lee which meet downstream at the eastern end of the city centre, where the quays and docks along the river lead outwards to one of the largest natural harbours in the world.  Cork was originally a monastic settlement, reputedly founded by Saint Finbarr in the 6th century and became (more) urbanised some point between 915 and 922 when Norsemen settlers founded a trading port. The ecclesiastical settlement continued alongside the Viking longphort, with the two developing a type of symbiotic relationship; the Norsemen providing otherwise unobtainable trade goods for the monastery, and perhaps also military aid.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cork_(city)

 

Views of Cork from the car <click to view>

This cathedral is stunning both inside and out and we spent quite a long time there, as there was so much to see. It is full of symbolism, beautifully represented in astounding pieces of artwork. We met some really kind and freindly people there and took part in a little personal service too. Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral (Irish: Ardeaglais Naomh Fionnbarrra) is a Gothic Revival three-spired Church of Ireland on the River Lee, dedicated to Finbarr of Cork, the patron saint of the city. The Christian use of the site dates back to the 7th century, when according to local lore, Finbarr founded a monastry there, which survived until the 12th century, when it fell into disuse, or was destroyed during the Norman invasion.

The stunning architecture of Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral <click to view>

Around 1536, during the Protestant Reformation, the cathedral became part of the Church of Ireland, but the previous building constructed in the 1730’s was regarded as plain and featureless, so a demolition and rebuild was commisioned and work began in 1863; a project for Victorian archetect William Burges who designed most of the archetecture, stained glass and interior features etc, including the beautiful angel on the roof. Saint Fin Barre’s foundation stone was laid in 1865 and the cathedral consecrated in 1870 and the limestone spires completed by October 1879.

So many amazing artworks and treasure inside the cathedral, it is hard to know where to look; and maybe some grail clues too… <click to view>

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Fin_Barre%27s_Cathedral

Because we had a personal tour kindly given by one of the guys connected to the cathedral, we were shown a few things that many visitors would just pass by, and thus learned some interesting infomation about te cathedral too, such as seeing the original artworks and designs of the cathedral. They were right at the back of the building, so easily missed. We were also shown a simply amazing register of some of the fallen of the parish, hand written and guilded as of times of old.

The original designs for the cathedral <click to view>

“A grand cathedral yes, but hidden amongst all the ‘pomp and circumstance’ of that which stands in for spirituality these days, one can still feel the energies of an older site, an older place, older energies of that which went before, and that which we seek both in the metaphysical and physical can surely be found within the subtle clues that are all around us and that which is hidden can be revealed…..”

Grail Bloodline Connections:

  • Earl Gospatrick Mac Maldred (26th GGF) 1042-1082

Christ Church: Rath-Healy, Fermoy, County Cork: So the last location of the day, on what had been a very busy and interesting day. Sadly though as it turned out this church was closed and looked to be it really in much use, although i still took some lovelt photos! Fermoy(Irish: Mainistir Fhear Maí, meaning ‘monastery of the Men of the Plain’) is a town on the River Blackwater in east County Cork. As of the 2016 census, the town and environs had a population of approximately 6,500 people. The town’s name comes from the Irish and refers to a Cistercian abbey founded in Fermoy, in the 13th century. At the dissolution of the monastries during the Tudor period, the abbey and its lands passed through various dynasties. However, the site could hardly have been regarded as a town and, by the late 18th century, was little more than a few cabins and an inn.

Mick Davis’s powerful sculptures from 2001 reference the Cistercian monks in Fermoy and they stand as guardians outside Christ Church. <click to enlage>

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

Christ Church, Fermoy was designed by Abraham Hargrave the Elder, and consecrated in 1809. The land on which it is sited was donated by the Baylor Family, whose descendants worship in Christ Church to this day. The majority of the building costs were paid by John Anderson, Founder of the town of Fermoy, and John Hyde of Castlehyde. There is not a lot  on the internet about this particualar church and many visitors whom like us, could not get in, seem to think it is closed premantly, which is a shame. It is a classical town-church by Abraham Hargrave, 1805-1810 with a  south transept added by Welland and a north transept not built, but with a vestry by Arthur Hill, 1890.

Sadly closed but it still felt nice to be there with the flowers and guardians watching over…. <click to enlarge>

A broach spire and transepts in the Hiberno-Romanesque style were added in the late nineteenth century. The attenuated neo-classical proportion of the windows are typical of County Cork, while the east window case, which incorporates ionic columns and robust scroll brackets, is the most interesting feature of the building.

http://www.blackwater.ie/fermoy/ferpchr.htm

Grail Bloodline Connections:

  • Lord Robert De Neville (21st GGF) 1237-1271

And finally some words to share…

“Truth within
And truth without
Through many realms
Through many years
I tell my tale
For i have known
An older truth
Not often told
Maybe a song upon the wind
Maybe a wave on mankind’s shore
Maybe a hand that offered love
For i have come this way before
And so within
As is without
I’ll keep my truth
And all who doubt….”
 
The Keeper of Scrolls” February 2022
<moon.willow@ntlworld.com>
 

 

 

The Grove…..

A different poem for this time of year as memories manifest….

I remember that time of year
When the darkness lingered longer

And the shadows came out of hiding to drape themselves lovingly across the land.
I remember dressing in all black, in readiness, waiting
I remember a time before the modern world earased the old times from the memories of mankind
A time before the world of men was filled with the chatter and clatter of a manufactured reality
I remember the moon shinning upon the grove
And the ladies waiting there
I remember the energies of the night
That night
I remember the purpose and the point
Although no one had ever taught me
But the truth, the blood, the energy was inside me, living
I remember pulling my black lace shawl tightly around my shoulders as i made my way towards the moon grove
I knew the wolves would be watching on this night
Watching, waiting, testing
My old blood, the bloodline of my forefathers i knew would keep me strong and see me through
We had great things to achieve on this the darkest day and longest night
A prophecy to fulfill, a blood challice raised, a divine point in time to invoke and preserve, not only blood memories, but to acknowledge the ‘ladies of the line’ both past and present.
I remember on that long dark night, when the cold seeped into our very bones, i remember us all being as one, yet separated upon the points of time.
The old ways preserved within ‘the ladies of time’, the ladies of the grove.
Now as then, connecting
Blood ties held safely within under the protection and magic of our grove.
Keeping faith, preserving truths, a world apart.
I remember that night of unending darkness
That longest night when realms collided
When the Old Ones shared and dared to reveal themselves
Under the moon
In a grove
Hidden forever
Within the memories of time
‘The Keeper of Scrolls’
December 21st 2021
<moon.willow@ntlworld.com>

 

 

 

“It was day nine and we were on the road again. We travel many hundreds of miles on these quests, through many counties (even countries). Through changing scenery and variable weather – yet it all delights the senses and i have perfected the knack of taking photos on the move! So leaving the beauty of County Meath behind us; it was an early start for an epic journey and adventure. We travelled through misty mountains and rugged terrain, a landscape that has inspired inunarable poets and writers over the years. But our part in the annuals of the earthly plain was just begining, in respect of this part of our quest. For we were journying toward the magical and mysterious Achill Island, where time and tide really do keep their own council”

On the road through Ireland to Achill Island. An amazing adventure….

Day Nine: 7th July 2021: Achill Island (Co Mayo) (Irish: Acaill, Oileán Acla) is the largest and most magical (for many reasons) of the Irish isles and is situated off the west coast. It has a population of 2,594 covering an area of 57 sq miles). Achill is attached to the mainland by the Michael Davitt Bridge between the villages of Gob an Choire (Achill Sound) and Poll Raithní (Polranny). A bridge was first completed here in 1887. Other centres of population include the villages of Keel, Dooagh, Dumha Éige (Dooega), Dún Ibhir (Dooiver), and Duggort. Early human settlements are believed to have been established on Achill around 3000 BC. The parish of Achill consists of Achill Island, Achillbeg, Inishbiggle and the Corraun Penninsular. Roughly half of the island, including the villages of Achill Sound and Bunacurry are in the Gaeltacht (traditional Irish-speaking region) of Ireland, although the vast majority of the island’s population speaks  English as their daily language. It is believed that at the end of the Neolithic Period (around 4000 BC), Achill had a population of 500-1,000 people. The island would have been mostly forest until the Neolithic people began crop cultivation. Settlements increased during the Iron Age and the dispersal of small promontory around the coast indicate the warlike nature of the times. Megalithic tombs and forts can be seen at Slievemore, along the Atlantic Drive and on Achillbeg. Although the population has increased, Achill Island is still a very wild and rugged island with much of it’s very early history forever lost in time and legend…
St Dympna’s Church and Holy Well: Achill Island. When one enters into this graveyard by the shoreline, one can not help but notice the ‘energies’, for it feels almost ‘otherworldly’, dreamlike, between the worlds and with very good reason too…
The sense of ‘otherwordliness’ is extremely strong here; a feeling of being between the worlds permeates. Could it be the most profound and magical place in the world…?
St Dympna’s 17th century church is built on the south-east coast of Achill Island. An early church was founded here by St Dympna in the 7th century. The placename is derived from ‘Cill Damhnait’ meaning ‘ Church of Davnet (Dympna)’. After crossing the bridge from the Irish mainland onto Achill island, a most magical drive awaits you, as the forgotton history of these lands seeps into one’s veins. The roofless church is situated in Kildownet cemetery, about 250 metres north of Kilavnet Castle. Kildownet old cemetery is located near the southern tip of Achill Island, and about a quarter mile from Grace O’Malley’s 15th century castle. The Old Cemetery extends from the edge of the main road to the shore of the bay and encompasses the partially restored ruins of St Dympna’s Church, originally founded in the 7th century.There is a T-shaped altar at the eastern end of the church and an aumbry can be found in the north-east corner. Scattered around the graveyard are a number of medieval stone crosses, two of which have been cemented into the cemetery gate-posts. St Dympna’s Holy Well sits on the shoreline to the east of the church.In the graveyard are also some of the ‘famine graves’, very poingnant and sad to see, an echo of hard times once lived (and died) through. There is also a memorial to the thirty-two young people who died in the 1894 Clew Bay drowning tragedy, and buried in the cemetery, They had been heading across Clew Bay for the Steamer in Westport that was to take them to Scotland for potato picking, when their boat capsized in a sudden gust of wind. The tragedy is remembered in the song ‘Hills of Mayo’.
There are energies of a different kind here at St Dympna’s <click to enlarge>
Of course this is a Craft site and part of our quest,  so hence why we are here, but the energies here are very special; almost of another dimension, one gets a feeling of being outside of time here, not of the current timeline at all. It felt like looking through a mirror into the outside world, time moved at a slower, different pace in that graveyard. On a personal note, i also had some revelations there; experiences of a very metaphysical nature, peronal to me…
A sense of time and tide and ‘other lands’coming to the surface…. <click to enlarge>
Grail Bloodline Connection:
  • John Fordham 1823-1895 (Collooney, Sligo) Had a particular interest here (4 x GGF)

 

Achill Henge: Keel East: It was with a lot of sadness that i left St Dympna’s behind for i could have stayed and soaked those beautiful energies up all day…. but time and tide wait for no man (or lady), and so it was, into the car again and off on the road to find a modern-day henge. We drove along the shore line, but all the time, going up and up the high cliffs, almost tottering over the edge in some places – but the veiws were magificant! We eventually reached a point where we could drive no further, so walking up the boggy mountainside was the only option. It was hard going and my feet were saturated, frequently dissapearing into the boggy ground. Goodness only knows how the sculptor managed to get his henge up there!

What beautiful views over ancient lands that time and history have somehow lost sight of, maybe some of our ancient legends can provide answers…? <click to enlarge>

 

Achill-henge is a concrete modern structure on Achill Island off the northwest coast of Co Mayo. Achill-henge is over 4 metres (13 ft) high and 100 metres (330 ft) in circumference. It consists of a circle of 30 concrete columns topped by a ring of stone. It’s not a replica of any ancient structure and does not pretend to be. It does not pretend to be anything other than what it is and love it or hate it, it is certainly impresive and is a scuptoral huge feat. Achill-henge was constructed over a weekend in November 2011 by Joe McNamara, a property developer and convicted criminal. A team of workers hauled the large concrete slabs up the hill and sank them in the bog. Mayo County Council requested a court order to force McNamara to remove the edifice as it had been built without planning permission. McNamara claimed that the structure was exempt from planning rules as an “ornamental garden”. Theresa McDonald, Director of the Achill Archaeological Field School, also raised objections on the grounds that the structure may be less than 500 m (1,600 ft) from a Bronze-Age archaeological site. The High Court required McNamara to cease further work on the site, and, as he was found to be in breach of this, he was jailed for three days for contemp of court. The Court referred the planning decision toAn Bord Pleanala, which in July 2012 upheld the Council’s decision. Some local people have expressed admiration for the work as a feat of engineering, and a newspaper poll found a majority of locals in support of keeping the structure. On 8 January 2012, it was featured as part of the Prime Time programme on RTE 1 in Ireland.

Achill Henge is still standing as of August 2021.

A shame the henge wasn’t being very well looked after and is now covered in graffitti, a sad sign of our times. Of course it had been a place of power, of immense energy (pyramid energy) and even had a connection to the metaphysical realms; hence why we were there…

As always on these quests, it is what lies beneath that is important

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Achill-henge

Grail Bloodline Connection:

  • John Fordham (1823 – 1895) (Collooney. Sligo) Had a particular interest (4 x GGF)

 

Dooega: Dumha Éige (anglicised Dooega) is an old fishing village in the south west of Achill Island on the west coast of Ireland in County Mayo. It is in the Gaeltacht and is the home of  Colaiste Acla. The scenic area is part of the Achill Atlantic Drive. Dumha Éige/Dooega has a Blue Flag beach, a church, a pub and a guest house. We were there to round off the day and to relax before our long drive to our next digs. Dooega Beach is a small and sheltered beach set in a small coastal inlet at the south west tip of the Minnaun cliffs, located on the south side of Achill Island and is perfect for summer sunbathing due to its south facing location. It is within the Keel Machair/Minaun cliffs Special Area of Conservation. The beach and surrounding area is habitat rich in birds, plants and insects and is a special area for protection and conservation. The beach backs onto low grasslands and the old fishing village of Dooega, one of the last native language speaking villages on Achill; its a lovely bay with a very ‘old fashioned’ feel to it. Going way back in time it was home to one of the very first settlements of mankind on this planet.

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

Chilling out before our big drive to our next digs, but sad to leave this special island, forever wondering as to what could be under those waves…

Grail Bloodline Connections:

  • John Fordham (1823 – 1895) (Collooney. Sligo) He had a particular interest (4 x GGF)

 

Day Ten: 8th July: Galway Cathedral. Galway: (or it’s rather lovely full name of Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and St Nicholas, Galway). (Irish language: Ard-Eaglais Mhaighdean na Deastógála agus Naomh Nioclás), commonly known as Galway Cathedral, is a Roman Catholic cathedral and one of the largest and most impressive buildings in the city of Galway, although in the past not always liked by everyone.

Galway is a very vibrant lively city, full of street art, resturants, pubs and lots of old interesting streets – and of course the magificant cathedral. It is in the West of Ireland in the province of Connacht. It lies on the River Corrib between Lough Corrib and Galway bay, with a population at the 2016 Census of 79,934. Located near an earlier settlement, Galway grew around a fortification built by the King of Connacht in 1124. A municipal charter, received in 1484, allowed for the citizens of the then walled city to form a council and mayoralty. Controlled largely by a group of merchant families, the Tribes of Galway, the city grew into a trading port. Following a period of decline, as of the 21st century, the city is a tourist destination and is known for hosting numerous festivals, celebrations and events.

The city’s name comes from the Irish name Gaillimh, which formed the western boundary of the earliest settlement, Dún Gaillimhe “Fort Gaillimh”. (Mythical and alternative derivations of the name are given in History of Galway. Historically, the name was Anglicised as Galliv or Gallive, closer to the Irish pronunciation. The city’s name in Latin is Galvia. Residents of the city are referred to as Galwegians. The city also bears the nickname “City of the Tribes” (Irish: Cathair na dTreabh) because of the fourteen merchant families called the “tribes of Galway”who led the city in its Hiberno-Norman period.

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

Construction of the cathedral began in 1958 on the site of the old city prison. It was completed in 1965, making it the last great stone cathedral to be built in Europe. It was dedicated, jointly, to Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and to St Nicholas. A very modern cathedral then, it was opened on 15 August 1965. The architect of the cathedral was John J. Robinson who had previously designed many churches in Dublin and around the country. The architecture of the cathedral draws on many influences. The dome and pillars reflect a Renaissance style. Other features, including the rose windows and mosiacs, echo the broad tradition of Christian art, yet not only christain art, the cathedral is full of deeply symbolic art, that not everyone would know the meanings too and one often has to look twice for hidden in the art are many significant meanings to true history on earth. The cathedral dome, at a height of 44.2 metres (145 ft), is a prominent landmark on the city skyline. The beautiful connemara marble was used in the construction of the cathedral, on the floors.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cathedral_of_Our_Lady_Assumed_into_Heaven_and_St_Nicholas,_Galway

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

‘BENEATH A ROCK ALIVE’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Grail Bloodline Connections:

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

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

‘OF BATTLES DRAWN’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Grail Bloodline Connections:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

   

‘OF  KINGS ATTUNED’

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

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

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

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

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

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

Grail Bloodline Connections: 

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

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

SOLDIERS WARS’

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

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

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

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

https://nothefort.org.uk/

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

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

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

Grail Bloodline Connections:

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

AND KNIGHTS THAT FALL’

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

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

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

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

Grail Bloodline Connections:

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

TO MOTHER’S WOMB’

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

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

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

Grail Bloodline Connections:

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

‘IN SALISBURY A WIND DID FALL’

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

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

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

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

Grail Bloodline Connections:

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

THE ROMANS HAD THEIR WAY’

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

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

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

 

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

Grail Bloodline Connections:

  • Baron George Neville (1440) Aberga 14 x GGF

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

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

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

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

and so the Grail Quest continues…..”

“The Keeper of Scrolls”

AKA Reverend Janis

AKA ‘moon.willow@ntlworld.com’

December 2nd 2020

A Heartbeat in Time…

A heartbeat in time
A single breath
A sign to savour
An ancient word
A path to walk
Yet non to tarry
A taken oath
In blood not broken
A chalice of hope
A guiding Light
A weary pilgrim
Wandering home
From first to last
From dusk til dawn
An earthly crown
In heaven borne
A ticking clock
A rising tide
A trumpet loud
A clash of thunder
Clouds and sky
Both ripped asunder
Climbing Angels
Giving hope
Catch their hem
A foot on the rung
Alpha to Omega
Nearly home….

 

‘The Keeper of Scrolls’ September 2020

moon.willow@ntlworld.com

QUEST 29: MARCH 2020

It is always so exciting to go on a surprise quest and Quest 29 into Suffolk was most certainly that! It was March 29th and a gorgeous springtime day, a bit chilly but the sky was blue and clear; it was also just before ‘lockdown’ in the UK and so upon looking back i was doubly glad we were able to get out and about when we did. Suffolk is a beautiful area of East Anglia with many pretty, unspoilt villages and beautiful old churches too, with many surpises when it comes to our quests. The churches we visited were of course all Knight Templar related, all a part of, and with connections to our grail quest; the whole area being part of a large Roman encapement in its day.

  • All Saints Church Icklingham
  • Saint James Church Icklinham
  • All Saints Church Wordwell
  • Saint Mary the Virgin Church Cavendish

 

All Saints Church Icklington: The church is set in a pretty landscaped area with wide views across the countryside. All Saints Church is a redundant Anglican church, it is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade 1 listed building and is under the care of the Churches Conservation Trust. It is of Norman and English Gothic architectural style built in the fourteenth century. The church stands in the highest point in the village, adjacent to the A1101 road between Mildenhall and Bury St Edmunds; this was formerly the ancient trackway of the Roman Empire, the Icknield Way, in 120AD. The church was almost completely rebuilt in the 14th century with a south porch added in the 15th century. Sadly the church has been unused for over 100 years, being declared redundant in the 1970s. The roof has been re-thatched in the traditional manner with the rest of the church being constructed in flint rubble with freestone dressing. Read more about the church below:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_Saints%27_Church,_Icklingham

The church has a wonderful feel to it when one enters, no surprise as Icklingham has a important connection to our previous quest to Autun in France. Obviously there was a huge Roman presence in Autun too, which you will know if you have read our previous quest, Icklingham would have been a pathway into East Anglia for the Romans. The whole area here was a very large Roman encampment with thousands and thousands of troops being present in 124 AD, reaching all the way up to Wordwell. It was not only an invasion, but a transformation of the whole area too.

 

The interior of All Saints Church Icklingham <click to enlarge>

There are some stunning medieval tyles on the floor, with very well peserved Templar Symbolism, some with ‘the flowers and the petals of life’ connecting to the Knight Templars, whom would certainly have used this church. We are looking at the year 1314 here, when Jaques de Molay was burnt at the stake; yet the Templars did flee from France to survive in other areas, and Icklingham was one such area where they recieved some kind of unofficial Sanctuary. The tiles on the floor are original and of course we did not walk on them, but they were amazing to see, one that caught our eye, had a great depth of detail on it, which can be seen in our video and photos.

 

The original floor tyles with Templar symbology

The church is still in an original, natural state and has not been ‘victorianised’ at all. It still has most of its original features from the thatched roof, the pulpit, the original spiral stairs (now leading nowhere) and even an old original wrought iron funeral cart with original wheels and spokes, still in working order. One can certainly imaging the pall-bearers pushing it along with its coffin on board, entering the service, with the noise of the iron wheels reverberating upon the stone floors, echoing throughout the chambers of the church. Nearby is a wonderful church organ by W. Howlett and Son, an item any musical person would simply love. Even though it could have done with a very good clean it did add to the ascetics of the church, rather than being of any functionality. The pews of course are original complete with by-gone graffitti, from a time when folks would have sat there in the church listening to the sermons of Reverend, one can well imagine bored tots sittng there and picking away at the wood. So much history here; so many stories to be told.

The recently thatched roof is beautifully crafted allowing straw to fall naturally to the ground, just as it would have all those many years ago. There is a fairly modern, yet lovely stained-glass window depicting two of the saints, with many theories abounding in the area as to who they actually are; our understanding is that they are James and Peter – James to the left and Peter to the right. Almost under the window is an original wooden built up pew, which one enters by a hinged and brackets door in order to be able to sit down, and with its high bible-rest in front, it is almost like being in the dock! The stone pulpit (or font) is also original and in good condition, save for a bit of wear and tear. We were unable to find the stone carvings we were interested in, neither on the inside or outside of the church, so sadly maybe they never survived the test of time. A very interesting church with lots of references to the Templars, the Roman Empire, but very importantly, let us not forget King Arthur himself. Our Templar history informs us that Lancelot Desposyni was in this area on his travels, journeying through the area, visiting St James Church. King Arthur and Lancelot, when one separates them from the ‘myths and legends‘, did not just travel to one area, they moved around, changing things, transforming things during the times that we know as the ‘Dark Ages’. An amazing church with many untold stories to tell…. This would have been the most ‘energetic’ church of the day.

DSC01193

Standing in front of the old funeral carts

See our video below to take a stroll inside the church:

ALL SAINTS CHURCH ICKLINGHAM

Saint James Church Icklinham: Sadly when we arrived at this church it appeared to be well and truly locked up and maybe closed for health and safety reasons , so just a quick write up with a few shots from outside. It looked a peaceful church on the outside with some important items for us to see inside, but in a fairly built up area and a shame it was closed.

 

 I am including a link which contains several photos of the interior of the church which we did not get to see: http://www.suffolkchurches.co.uk/icklingj.html

In brief, it is a Medieval Church, which has been restored, in an area where there would have been a Roman encampment on land occupied by the Romans in 120 AD. It would have been a Knights Templar preceptory in times past, 1066-1539 AD, even more reason to have been able to go inside. The Knights Templars did exist beyond the burning at the stake of Jaques de Molay in 1314. The namesake of the church St James, was the first disciple of Jesus and the patron saint of Spain, he was sadly executed by sword in 44 AD at Judea, Jerusalem and importantly was linked to Lancelot of Valencia, Spain.

All Saints Church Wordwell: After going slightly off course through the countryside and down a small lane, to end up at a completely different church, we finally arrived at this still out of the way church at Wordwell. All Saints is a redundant Anglican church, it is recorded in the National Heritage list for England as a designated Grade 1 listed building and is under the care of the Churches Conversation Trust. It was established in 1129 AD, prior to a Roman Empire encapement. The present church is a tiny Norman church, restored in the Victorian period and containing some superb medieval and Norman carvings.

‘Wordwell’ is an interesting name, with various meanings just crying out for some further research. All Saints Church at Wordwell still has its original construction; it was established at the time of the Templars, being used frequently by the Knights of the area at the time, and further going forwards into the midpoint of the thirteen hundreds, it was used as Sanctuary for the Templars, as they fled from Europe during the time of their demise, thus the church has so much history attached to it.

The church had a very nice feel to it, good energies were present. There were some interesting windows; one showed a triskellian and upon looking closer a pyramid within a petaled flower, shown in the form of a triangular pyramid ascending within a petaled flower, which is unusual. At first gance this could be seen as very masonic, but one must ask, which came first, the chicken or the egg? As we have learnt previously, the Freemasons were formed after the Knights Templars, lest we forget.

The old original church organ, here in the church with its big square paddles, is now being used as a table for leaflets, but it looks like it may be in good working order. However nearby and just above the organ, is indeed the prize catch of this church in every way, shape or form, in the form of a wonderful oiginal wall carving, which could almost be mistaken for being Sumerian, in style, being very reminiscent of the clay tablets. The people shown in the carving are of quite a short build; the carving having been viewed differently by different people over time; some folks thinking it is of St Catherine or the other saints, but it is non of them; there being other reasons for it being what it is. What is interesting is that the figures are both male, not as in male and female as often thought. One figure is holding a ring which is being given to the other male, but not in a context of marriage, more of in a binding ceremony, a binding with G-d context. A very interesting find indeed, of which one does not often get to see in an English church in this day and age. One cannot help but wonder why it is there and the full story behind it.

The interior of the church, showing the very unusual carving <please click to enlarge>

Moving around, the wooden pews are all beautifully carved with animals and folaige, and have aged wonderfully over the years. The atmosphere of the church, its age and how it has been set out certainly brings to mind that famous Knight Templar painting entitled ‘The Acolade’. The scene here before us, is very reminiscent of that particular painting with the steps acending as the Templar comes forward, to bow and drop three times before reaching the altar (thrice the times). The church is very well looked after and has very well preserved tyles on the floor, with many Galic symbols represented. One can see represented in the tyles;  earth, air, fire and water, with the most important symbols being fire and water, (south and west)  (the water and the fire), which gives us ‘pure light’. We know from history that the south-western quadrant is always the most important; in Masonic terms a candidate is asked ‘Why did you leave the west to travel east?‘ and later on on ‘Why did you leave the east to travel west?‘ The response would be ‘In search of Light in Craft’, however when they reach the west they dont find the Light in Craft because then, in the west, the candidates are later on informed in their degrees (from the 42nd degree upwards), that they need to head south to find the Light in Craft. They have to then journey from the east to the west, and thence instructed to go south, (south-west), which is most important, as it is the ‘pure-light’ of the compass-points.

There are some interesting restored artworks on the other window with a cow emblem at the top, albeit a very intricate stylised design, but i saw it clearly, although some may not see it at all. Also there is the ‘fan-fare‘ wheel in the window and a ‘triklesite’ aspect to the right and to the left. On the high altar is a lovely red and gold altar cloth with some nice old guilding from around the 1900’s, probably replaced at some point, but lovely non the less. At the back of the altar on the wall carvings, one can see the ‘flowers of life’, being the daisy and the tulip, there are other schools of thought on this subject, but this is correct. There are some wonderful quotes upon the wall behind the altar, one in particular from Exodus, see the photo below for the full quote.

Truth and religion in the UK today, has become a very flexible subject and often open to many interpretations, yet for those whom profess to follow the faith and the path; it says very clearly here, that thou shall have non other gods but me, no other gods, apart from G-d; we know already that there are angels and djinn, but no other gods which is very important to not forget. For a small church there is a lot going on here, a lot of history; this church being on a par I noticed, with the one we visited in Mepal recently on our Fenland Quest, the same level and size etc. Much to take away with us from this visit, much to pause and think about. This was probably the best church of the day from a conservation viewpoint, the most enigmatic church.

See our video below to take a stroll around the church:

ALL SAINTS CHURCH WORDWELL

Saint Mary the Virgin Church Cavendish: This was the last church of the day, in the pretty village of Cavandish. St Mary the Virgin Chirch is a grade 1 listed parish church in  Cavandish, Suffolk. It was built in the 1300’s, thus only 700 years old, yet built on much earlier foundations over earlier buildings, earlier temples etc. This church is mostly 14th-century, with building dating from about 1300 to about 1485, with some 19th-century additions and alterations. The oldest parts of the church, dating from about 1300, are the Tower, the Porch and the lower parts of the walls of the aisles. In 1350 the South aisle walls were rebuilt to their present height and new windows were inserted. The exterior of the church is dressed in flint, as are many of the churches and buildings of the area. While we were there extensive renovations were being carried out and much of the church, including the tower were hidden under scaffolding; we were lucky it was actually open to us. Some beautiful artworks are in the church and although it has been modernised over its 700 years of time, this does not distract from its interest and it is kept beautifully clean and tidy. What we noticed straight away upon entering, was the baptismal roles for folks of the area on the wall, showing a Lynne Clarke baptised in 1964, (so could be still alive). Clarke is one of the blood-lines we are tracing, so an interesting find, and on another listing , on the roll of honour from the Cypress Regiment dated 1956, a Cuthbert H. Clark, so maybe her grandfather?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Mary_the_Virgin%27s_Church,_Cavendishhttp://www.suffolkchurches.co.uk/cavendish.htm

The Knights Templar had a preceptory here in Cavandish from 1308-1312, just before the demise of the Templars;  just before the Papal Bull was released from Rome, but they were here for only  a short period of time. The reason being is that they would have been in transit and moving artifacts along ‘upstream’ as it were, up through the country. The church would have been used as a holding place for the movement of treasures and various artifacts.

The church contains an amazingly beautiful piece of carved artwork showing the Knight Templar ‘two swords’ with an inverted challace; the pyramid, the ship, the sea, the ocean are all included.  ‘Pure Light‘ as mentioned before is represented here by the sword (fire) in the water. (Fire in the Water to make Pure Light) The ‘Jesus’ here has sadly lost a finger but would have been showing the ‘Ninasian Salute‘ (the salute of Ninasu)

There is so much Templar symbolism to be discovered in the above artwork <click to see in detail>

There is a small Lady Chapel area to the left hand side, with curtains above its altar, and interestingly, nothing at all behind them which is unusual as normally the curtains are open with a painting or something on display. A window on the right-hand side of the church contains many clues and symbolism to the fact that the knights were indeed here; non more so than the red cross of the Nevilles (our main research blood-line) with the rose in the middle of the Neville cross clearly defined. The window also shows the ‘Flower of Life‘ and moving upwards we see the ‘Lamb of God’ (Agnus Dei), all beautifully depicted, and very much of standard Knight Templar symbolism.  However on moving across to the next panel, we see imagery that is far removed from standard, in the form of what appears to be a bull with wings, amazingly depicted. We also have the cow, the ram and the stag symbolised here in the window, with interestingly a symbolic circle reference to the ‘Fisher King’, which on closer inspection could be a shell, again referencing The Fisher King. In the earlier writings of the Fisher King ‘the winged animals’ are referenced, but suprisingly, not the infamous unicorn of myth and legend as one would expect. Also adjacent on another window we can clearly see the Chi-Rho, a ‘star’ which we are now refering to as ‘The Pyramid of Intergration’, a translation from an earlier language; this symbol has had many names over the years, and is probably best known as ‘The Star of David’, which is not relevant here; also shown is the ‘IHS’ symbol. Moving down the window one can see various other symbols, such as ‘The Jesus’ showing the Ninasian Salute, and also shown with his hands ‘open to all’. At the side of the altar, behind blue curtains, just in front of the vestry, are to be found some very historic paintings, portraits and photographs upon the walls, some of the choir, some of old scenes from outside the church.