Tuesday, 24 November 2009

A corner of a country town



Late this morning, I drove up the Avon Valley to the pretty riverside town of Fordingbridge. I arrived twenty minutes early for my appointment, so I took the time to turn down a road that was new to me, just to see what was there. Church Street. A road of old and interesting houses, a little bridge over a stream rushing eastwards towards the river and then, in front of me, the beautiful old Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin. I parked and walked about for a few minutes. I soon had to go on my way, but was pleased to have made the diversion. A corner of this lovely town that needs time to explore another day.






Looking towards the little bridge and the centre of the town


This fine house was the former vicarage of the church, which is just across the road.


A memorial cross, dedicated to a former vicar who served the parish for thirty years, stands outside the main door to the church.

There were a few tombs left standing in the churchyard, but many of the original slab gravestones had been removed from their grass graves and lined up along the wall of the graveyard. I expect there was a good reason for this, but the result looked rather sad.



The Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin was originally built in 1086, ten years after the Norman Conquest. The Normans updated the church in 1150. The tower was built later and still houses eight bells plus the Sanctus bell, but the church has apparently changed little since the sixteenth century. There was a renovation by the Victorians in 1840, when the interior was changed. The flintwork of the church exterior would have originally been covered with a layer of plaster.

(Thanks to Wikipedia for information)

6 comments:

Bovey Belle said...

A bit of Fordingbridge that is new to me. We were there only this summer too . . . We used to stay with friends who have a bungalow on the outskirts.

Dartford Warbler said...

BB, there is a lovely walk that I want to do one day, along the River Avon and including interesting bits of the town. Augustus John lived there for some time and Dorelia was there after his death I think.

Morning's Minion said...

How very odd to remove the grave markers and line them along the wall. I rather like exploring old grave yards--rather quirky, with interesting things carved into the headstones.
Your walk looks like a nice one in spite of grey skies.

Wild Somerset Child said...

I can visualise the location of Fordingbridge on the map but can't recall even having driven through there. It looks lovely - thanks for introducing it to me.

jenny2write said...

I am quite against pulling up gravestones. They are a historic record and it always seems a bit disrespectful somehow to just pull them up. I always think of those people in their top hats and poke bonnets paying out to have a stone carved for a loved one... then someone tidying it away. It's probably over sentimental of me really...

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