Some years ago now, Steve (my husband) did the MA in Celto-Roman Studies offered by the late lamented University of Wales, Newport. He got particularly interested in the stone monuments of early medieval Wales and wrote a short article on the ways that the stone of these early monuments was reused. I never managed to persuade him to publish it, but it turned up a few days ago when we were sorting out old hard drives and back-up folders. So here it is.
I have been sent this update on the project. The tour is being developed by the Carmarthenshire Antiquarian Society to raise awareness of the roles of Carmarthenshire people in the legacy left by Griffith Jones, especially Peter Williams, as this is the tercentenary year of his birth.
The Carmarthenshire Enlightenment Project: TOUR (and local Trails)
General tour: The proposed tour will use HistoryPoints QR plaques for on-site information and linkages between sites. It tells the story of the significant multiple legacies left by Rev Griffith Jones, Llanddowror. They include:
- development of Welsh literacy across all of Wales through Circulating Charity Schools supported and continued by Madam Bevan, with her continuing legacy and his publications;
- his prolific writing plus promotion of Welsh Bibles, which indirectly supported Carmarthen’s printing industry;
- his fame as a preacher and embrace of all-comers that inspired so many others to follow his example, such as Peter Williams; William Williams, Pantycelyn, Thomas Charles, David Charles – all from Carmarthenshire;
- the unintentional support of the eventual formation of the (Calvinistic) Methodist Church;
- and, through all of those, the resurgence of the Welsh language in the C18 and C19.
Trails: At some of the locations (Llanddowror, Laugharne, St Clears and Carmarthen) there would also be linkage to a local trail, which will also have HistoryPoints QR plaques to guide the walker, and for qseveral also link to the Wales Coast Path.
Currently there are seven locations planned, as highlighted on the map, with the possible addition of Derllys.
But it could also be possible to extend further at any point in the future e.g. to include the County Museum at Abergwili and Llandovery sites (William Williams Chapel, and Pantycelyn) if they so wish.
Promotion: Each QR can be linked to further supporting information e.g. on C.A.S. website e.g. to Antiquary articles on GJ, etc. The tour will be promoted on the following websites: Carmarthenshire Antiquarian Society; HistoryPoints; Discover Carmarthenshire; the National Churches Trust as well as the local council websites and possibly Celtic Routes. An official launch is planned for the 23/24th September 2023 as part of CADW’s Open Doors with events at the locations, and an exhibition is planned for November in Carmarthen town centre. A touring exhibition and booklet are also planned, which will help promote awareness.
In addition in, autumn 2024 the County Museum will hold their own exhibition on the same theme.
The proposed route, the sites, an outline of the relevant content and trail links are all shown in the table:
|SITES, in route sequence||CONTENT||PROGRESS
|TRAIL||FOCUS OF TRAIL||LINK TO WALES COAST PATH LINK|
|Llanddowror||Griffith Jones’ overall legacy||QRs funding applied for||Yes (funding ditto) plus pos. Youtube video.||Training CC School teachers||No|
|Eglwys Gymin||Church history Peter Williams and John Evans||QR in place||No||–||No|
|Pendine Peter Williams Memorial Chapel||Peter Williams’ early life and achievements||Display panel + QR in place||No||–||Yes – directly on the WCP|
|Laugharne St Martins church||Church history and Griffith Jones preaching fame||QR in place||Yes – plus pos. Youtube video.||Link to Madam Bevan’s house site with blue plaques and display panel, in place plus school + port QRs||Yes – via the trail|
|Y Gât, St Clears – &/or Pentre Farm, adjacent||Circulating Charity Schools; Thos & Dd Charles||Funding applied for from Town Council||? Yes||Story of the Circulating Charity Schools||Yes – if trail(s) can be approved|
|?Derllys||John Vaughan and Madam Bevan charity||Display Panel in place – QR needed, if agreed||No||–||No|
|Heol Dŵr Chapel, Water Street||Peter Williams’ development of chapel, printing of bible 1770 + rise of Methodism||Funding applied for||Yes – funding applied for||Port, Academy, Grammar School. St Peters, Printing trade, Peter Williams||Yes – via the trail|
|Llandyfaelog St Maelog church and Village||Peter Williams’ grave, former home||Two QRs agreed inc funding||No||No|
The church of St Michael and All Angels, Lower Machen, is the old parish church for the whole of the Machen area. Among its treasures are the monuments and funeral hatchments of several generations of the great Morgan family of Tredegar Park. This summer, the Church is open to visitors every Sunday until the 24th of September from 2.00 until 5.00. The author of the church guide book will be there on the 31st of July & 28th of August and will happily do personalised guided tours. If you prefer, bring a smartphone to access our digital experience. The church also has children’s packs so they can find interesting things in the church.
For more information visit
REQUEST FOR HELP
The Parish Trust https://theparishtrust.org.uk/ needs your help.
In these difficult times, the services of the Parish Trust are in demand more than ever as people wrestle with ever-increasing prices. Charities too are facing increasing costs and at the same time, their income from public funds and private donations is diminishing. This is certainly our recent experience at the Parish Trust and in time will affect our ability to support the vulnerable in our society.
During the lockdown, Wayne Barnett wrote two booklets about the church, The ‘Remarkable’ Morgan Chapel at Lower Machen Church and The Morgan Family Hatchments at Lower Machen Church (Parish of Machen, 2021). Pbk, 43 and and 27 pp., fully illustrated in colour. Available from the parish, https://lowermachen.church/books/, in return for donations to the Parish Trust CARE project, which provides social support and parcels of essential goods. The parish suggests a minimum of £5 for the Hatchments book and £6 for the Morgan Chapel or £10 for the set, plus £3 for p&p.
If you would like copies or already have copies and would like to make a donation please visit
If you are able please use the HMRC Gift Aid scheme to make your donation worth 25% more to the charity.
To whet your appetite for a visit, here’s a sample of the monuments and a hatchment:
I was supposed to be going to Capel-y-ffin, just north of Llanthony, back last January to make a radio programme about Thin Places – then the lockdown struck. We decided to have another go on Tuesday. In folklore (and in some pre-Christian traditions), thin places are literal doors to the Other World. Stories of shepherds who walk into a stone circle or a cave, find themselves in the land of the fairies, dance with them all night, fall asleep, and when they wake up they find that a hundred years have passed and everyone they knew is dead …
In the Christian tradition, it’s a bit different – they are places where you are particularly aware of the presence of God and the nearness of the Other. But are they inherently like that, or are they created by the prayers of the faithful – what T. S. Eliot called places ‘where prayer has been valid’? Llanthony is a bit of both. The legend is that the medieval priory was founded by a young knight of the local de Lacy family. Out hunting, he became separated from his companions and got to a little ruined hermitage. He was told it was where St David had gone in retreat. He became a hermit there, and attracted so many followers that his hermitage developed nto a community of Augustinian canons.
So did the place speak to him, or did he realise it was holy when he found about St David? And was St David ever really there? And are thin places always quiet, remote retreats? For me, the ultimate thin place is Penrhys – which is a busy and sometimes troubled housing estate on the site of a medieval shrine to the Virgin Mary. The estate church is a centre of prayer and social activism, somewhere the Gospel is really being lived – but it isn’t everyone’s idea of a spiritual refuge.
We stopped off on the way to Capel-y-Ffin at Llanthony Abbey. As well as the abbey ruins, the parish church was made out of the abbey infirmary. It has some splendid painted wall memorials – none by the famous Brute family of stonemasons but plenty to admire. Bob Silvester’s article in the current Church Monuments is a really good study of these local stonemasons My photos aren’t brilliant because I only had my phone and it was very dark, but they give you an idea.
The Trumper monument
commemorates several generations of the family. There’s a particularly good angel at the top, with the trumpet of the Last Judgement (a pun, maybe?) standing on some very fluffy clouds.
Next to this, the monument to William and Sarah Jones
has two urns at the top and a sort of bathtub with the text ‘The just shall live by faith’.
There’s an intriguing difference in the lines under their names. His reads
Time swiftly flies, and calls away
Our spirits to their home;
Our bodies mingle with the clay
And rest beneath the stone.
Resignation, and the earthly fate of the body.
Hers by contrast reads
Strong was her faith in him
who died to save
And bright her hope of joy
beyond the grave.
more of a sense of religious belief. I’ve seen the same difference between men’s and women’s inscriptions elsewhere but I’m not sure if it’s a real gendered difference.
I couldn’t get a good picture of the one above
but it commemorates an earlier William Jones with the lines ‘Remember man that die thou must, and after death return to dust’ and ‘The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.’
Next to this is a monument to Mary Davis and her husband Roger Davis, perpetual curate of the parish
with a trumpet-wielding cherub at the top and the lines ‘How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!’ – very appropriate for a cleric.
The Lewis monument
is particularly colourful, and has something of a gendered difference in the poems. His is
Behold o mortal man
How swift thy moments fly
Thy life is but a span
Prepare thyself to die.
Extend to me thy favour, Lord,
Thou to thy chosen dost afford.
When thoui returnst to set them free
Let thy salvation visit me.
Sorting out the Joneses was tricky, but this one came from the neighbouring parish of Craswall, across the Hatterall ridge and in the next county and diocese.
An urn sitting on a bath tub (technically they are called ‘wine coolers’) this time, with the words ‘Memento mori’. Underneath is the verse
The soul prepared made no delay,
The summons comes, the saints obey;
The flesh rests here till Jesus comes
To claim the treasures from the tombs.
Really difficult to photograph, this one, on the east side of the chancel arch
Mary and William Parry of Nantycarne, a farm tucked into the hillside just north of the abbey. Both have Bible quotes. His is from the Book of Revelation: ‘Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord. Yea, saith the spirit, that they may rest from their labours.’ Hers is really unusual, lines from chapter 7 of the Book of Job. ‘The eye of him that hath seen me shall see me no more. His eyes are upon me and I am not. As the cloud is consumed and vanisheth away, so he that goeth down to the grave shall come up no more.’
What can have led Mary (or her family) to those strangely disturbing lines? Extracts from the Book of Job feature heavily in the medieval Office of the Dead, the night prayers said after a death and before the funeral. But that would have been in Latin, and those particular verses only appear in a couple of unusual variants of the liturgy.
The other interesting thing is that the wording isn’t exactly that of the Authorised Version, which is ‘…thine eyes are upon me and I am not’. It does sound as though the wording was given from memory, suggesting it was a text known well but not quite well enough.
But the real excitement was this
half hidden in the south-west corner. How many times have I been to the church and failed to spot it – how many groups of students have I taken there – I’ve been there with the Stone Forum, with the Church Monuments Society –
and there it was, hiding in plain sight, a medieval cross slab, trimmed on a slight slant, repurposed at least once with a later inscription.
The detail of the head
suggests a late date, probably fifteenth century. The base
has a fleur-de-lys decoration rather than a stepped base which makes me think it’s 15th rather than early 16th. And the inscription –
two family tragedies. Frederick Gwillim, Died 1 Decr 1822 aged 11 months, and Ann Gwillim, Died 18 October 1828 aged 6 months. How did they bear it.
Probably the stone came from the abbey – possibly the grave of a leading member of the community, possibly a lay person who had been generous to them. Who knows.
Llanthony was a bit disconcerting, being full of young army recruits, all spick and span in their new camouflage gear and 20 kilo overnight packs, off on an exercise in the mountains. The road to Capel y Ffin was nearly blocked by a landslide but Steve managed to get through. And the recording went well. They didn’t really want a lot of detail, and it was good to see the little church again.
The main purpose of our visit to Llanfair-ar-y-bryn was to check the memorial to the great Welsh hymn-writer William Williams Pantycelyn and his family (see https://welshtombs.wordpress.com/ ) but there was a lot else of interest in and around the church. It stands on the site of a Roman auxiliary fort, and there is Roman tile and brick in the church walls.
The church was built by the Norman Robert Fitzpons, who built the first Llandovery Castle. He established a small Benedictine priory here, dependent on the abbey at Malvern. When the area was reconquered by the Great Lord Rhys, he allowed the monks to remain, but they were turfed out by his son Rhys Gryg in 1185. (The story is that the behaviour of the monks had become scandalous. These little dependent priories could go bad, but theat may have been an excuse.)
The church was deliberately damaged by fire. It was rebuilt by Sir John Giffard when he was constable of Llandovery castle. There were later alterations – the installation of a rood screen, some new windows. The floor of the original church sloped down hill to the east, but at some point the chancel floor was raised, leaving two rather odd windows low in the east wall.
The church as it stands is big enough, but it was even bigger at one time. There was a south transept, but it was in ruins by the eighteenth century and used as a dumping ground for skulls and bones from the graveyard. There may also have been a north transept.
Inside, on the north wall, is this medieval cross slab.
Probably mid-late 13th century, measures 88.5 x 32 cm maximum. Turn it upside down
and the inscription reads …S: CVIV… (in other words, …s, cuiu[s anime deus propitietur], on whose soul may God have mercy).
There is also a strange little face with jug ears
– could this possibly come from an effigy? There are two sepulchral niches in the north wall of the chancel, one part obscured by subsequent rebuilding.
The church also has a little bit of decorative medieval paint and this
probably late 16th or early 17th century text, so far undeciphered. It could be Welsh;
the medieval font in which William Williams was baptized;
and some rather splendid hatchments of the local Gwynne family.
And the King’s Head in Llandovery does a full vegan menu including some vegan chocolate brownies.
Llanfair Cilgedin, north of Usk in Monmouthshire, is one of the loveliest of the many lovely churches in the care of the Friends of Friendless Churches. It is most famous for the sgraffito work with which it was decorated by heywood Sumner in the 1880s. The panels illustrate the Benedicite – ‘O all ye works of the Lord, bless ye the Lord’.
We used to sing that every week in Mattins but not many churches do a sung morning service any more.
Being naturally contrary, I went to Llanfair Cilgedin not to see the sgraffito but this
the early 14th century tomb of a priest. But while we were there, I noticed some medieval stained glass in the chancel (these are mostly Martin Crampin’s photos)
and high above the west door.
The chancel glass is particularly intriguing.
The word Credo suggests a set of the Apostles with their clauses of the Creed. This
must be the feet of the crucified Christ. The word Sanctus on a plinth must belong to a saint – possibly one of the apostles – but what to make of the text to the right? And the English words at the bottom here –
‘schall do no …’ The glass looks medieval: is it possible that there might have been English text in a window by the early 16th century? And what might it be? My first instinct was a version of the Ten Commandments – ‘thou shalt do no murder’, maybe? Recently, I tweeted the photo of the magnificently-bearded man above and asked for ideas. Angela Graham suggested it might be a version of Isaiah 11, which also has the prophecy of the rod from the stem of Jesse. The bearded figure could be a king of Israel from a tree of Jesse. I can’t find an early translation with that exact wording, though.
The head in the west window looks like Christ, and this
could be God the Father. We have so little medieval stained glass in south Wales (there is a lot more in the north) that these remnants seem worthy of more thought.
I do have to go back, to look for another tomb carving. Bradney drew this
in the churchyard. Medieval and reused, or another of those post-medieval cross slabs that are such a feature of the area? The scrolled base certainly looks like other post-medieval examples from north Monmouthshire, including the Grosmont one that first got me thinking about post-medieval cross slabs.
(or How the Old Poet Got to Penrhys – part 2)
The route over Mynydd Maendy and the Afan-Ogwr watershed still looks like the best route for the Cistercian Way – clearly an old trackway, magnificent views (weather permitting) and the shortest off-road route. But it probably isn’t the way medieval pilgrims like Gwilym Tew would have gone. Old, overweight, carrying that massive candle, he would most likely have taken the gentler route from his home near Llangynwyd, via Llangeinor and Llandyfodwg (now better known as Glyn Ogwr) and over Mynydd William Meyrick. According to the RCAHM Glamorgan inventory the route over Mynydd William Meyrick is medieval. The rest has to be deduced from the line of byways and green lanes.
I’ve been meaning to look at this route for some time. Then I went to Llandyfodwg with Tristan Gray Hulse to look at the famous medieval effigy slab there.
It depicts a pilgrim with staff, satchel and badges including a scallop shell, the crossed keys of St Peter and – crucially – another badge showing keys on a ring. Tristan thinks this may actually show the saint himself. According to legend, Tyfodwg locked himself in chains as a penitential act and threw away the key. He then went on a pilgrimage to Rome, where he found the key in a fish he was given to eat.
There is another Welsh parish named after Tyfodwg: the old name of Ystrad Rhondda, between Treherbert and Tonypandy, was Ystradyfodwg. Before the Industrial Revolution, this was a huge and sparsely-populated curacy, covering the whole of the Rhondda and dependent on the rectory of Llantrisant. (This all looks like the remains of a minster church set-up providing for the spiritual needs of a small Welsh kingdom.) The old church in Ystradyfodwg was where Ton Pentre church is now (the Cistercian Way goes past it). As far as we can see from surviving records, though, this church was never actually dedicated to Tyfodwg: the earliest sources record it as dedicated to St John the Baptist. Was this an early second millennium rededication? Possibly – or (the theory on the Llandyfodwg church web site) was Tyfodwg an early Welsh ruler of the whole area who brought Christianity there and was eventually regarded locally as a saint? So the whole Rhondda area was Ystrad Dyfodwg, Tyfodwg’s valley, and Llan Dyfodwg was possibly the church where he died and was buried.
Mike Ash of the Glamorgan Ramblers has looked at old maps of the area around Ton Pentre. A trackway ran north of where the church is now. There seems to have been a bridge just north of the modern bridge, and there are also rocky outcrops which could have provided the supports for a medieval timber bridge. Writing in about 1540, the antiquarian and general surveyor John Leland said there were timber bridges across the two Rhonddas just west and east of Penrhys.
The parish of Llandyfodwg has raised money to conserve the effigy and reposition it off the floor and in a more accessible position. Might there be scope for a parish pilgrimage, from Llandyfodwg to Ystradyfodwg? Time to put the boots on …
The Royal Commission’s route up the ridge from Llandyfodwg isn’t the obvious one along the bridleway from SS 95766 87306. Instead, it goes up the west side of Cwm Dimbath, and along the footpath which leaves Dimbath Lane at SS 94802 87782. The beginning is very overgrown
but there is a hollow lane visible from about SS 94769 87831 (still very overgrown)
and some travellers clearly didn’t make it … .
This hollow lane continues up the edge of the fields to SS 94439 88211, skirts the coal tip (suggesting it was an old boundary) and goes into the forest at SS 94171 88861. From here it follows the forest road to SS 94999 90679 then cuts across the angle of the forest road to the edge of the forest at SS 95271 91052. This section has had a lot of off-roading damage.
Nell likes off-roading damage because it makes puddles. Cara doesn’t like it because she gets stuck in the ruts.
The track continues round the head of Cwm y Fuwch. From there it has been interrupted by the building of yet another wind farm but it should be possible to pick it up again as it climbs to re-enter the forest on Mynydd William Meyrick at SS 95636 92082. From there it slants down along forest roads and presumably follows the line of the public footpath down the steep side of Cwm Cesig and into Ton Pentre.
We thought we ought to turn back when we got to the wind farm. My recently-purchased 1:25,000 OS map didn’t have the wind farm on it, but the online version does. I wanted to cut across to look at the bridleway to the east of Cwm Dimbath. Unfortunately the paths across the moor are confused by the access tracks for the wind farm – we could see the stile but between us and it was knee deep bog. We ended up on a lengthy diversion through the forest but we eventually got back on track. The bridleway is another well-marked hollow trail
and seems to be waymarked from Llandyfodwg at least as far as SS 96269 90405, where it descends into the valley of the Ogwr Fach. This might be a better route for any walk between the two churches. From this point, where the bridleway crosses the windfarm access road, your best bet would be to follow the access road to SS 95711 91940, bear left with the road to SS 95601 91865 and pick up the line of the footpath into the forest.
We are still having fun with the wall paintings at Llancarfan. The most recent phase of conservation work has revealed (what we suspected would be there), facing the Seven Deadly Sins, the Seven Corporal Acts of Mercy. The last two, Visiting the Sick and Burying the Dead, are in superb condition with a wealth of intriguing detail. Clothing the Naked is less well preserved and the others may have been lost under George Pace’s little lean-to vestry.
Recent conservation has also revealed some more blackletter texts on east, south and west walls. We already had some blackletter text overlying the painting of George and the Dragon – here in George Ferzoco’s photos.
I have puzzled over this ever since it was revealed at the beginning of the project. Something including the words ‘dwelleth’ then ‘put thy truste in Christ’ – or perhaps ‘put their truste’ – but it rang no bells.
Then photos arrived of the more recent discoveries. (These are photos by Kevin Thomas, FRPS, (c) St. Cadoc’s Church, Llancarfan.)
This looked like ‘the place where …’. I got quite excited at the possibility of a Nativity narrative – the star that led the Wise Men and ‘went ahead of them until it stopped above the place where the child lay’. But then I realised it was much more likely that it came from Psalm 26 – ‘Lord, I have loved the habitation of thy house, and the place where thine honour dwelleth’. Much more suitable for a church.
So the word ‘dwelleth’ came at the end of the text and we needed to look for something different for what followed. Somehow I had got it fixed in my head that we were looking at something about putting our trust in Christ. But on Tuesday I went back to Llancarfan to pre-walk the May Day walk route with Ian Fell (more on that anon). We had a lovely walk in the sunshine, stopped for a drink at the Bells in Penmark and met the Cowbridge Ecumenical Cycling Club. Mostly retired men from all the churches and chapels around Cowbridge, they get together for a gentle ride in the country and lunch in a pub somewhere. All very civilised.
We popped into the church on the way back. I started to wonder if the ‘Ch…’ could be something else.
Psalm 20 verse 7, ‘Some put their trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will remember the Name of the Lord our God.’
The really intriguing thing is that this isn’t the King James Bible version (that is just ‘some trust in chariots’ ) but the older translation by Miles Coverdale that Cranmer used in the Book of Common Prayer. (Plagiarism? Maybe – though I’m sure he asked – but Cranmer was tasked with translating the BCP in 1547 along with all the other tasks involved in trying to complete the English Reformation. I suspect he had done some of the work as therapy in the dark days of the mid 1540s when his wife and children had had to go back to her family in Germany and he was rattling around Lambeth Palace getting just a bit depressed – but he still had plenty else to do in 1547 and one can hardly blame him for not wanting to reinvent the wheel.)
So does the use of the BCP version of the psalm rather than the King James version suggest that we are looking at something late 16th century?
Canon Belcher has another suggestion. He thinks the whole thing may have been part of a process of rededication of the church after the damage caused during the Civil War, when one of the windows was battered down by a farmer named Bush, crying ‘Down with the great whore of Babylon’.
Not sure what the Ecumenical Cycling Club would make of that …
Ian has yet another suggestion. The bit about not putting your trust in horses would have overlain the huge equestrian figure of St George. Was this done within the lifetime of those who would remember the wall painting of the saint – and was it a deliberate dig at the cult of the saints?
All this suggests that we might need to look at the Book of Common Prayer for sources for the other post-Reformation texts. There are fragments on the east and west walls of the south aisle. So far I can’t make anything of them, but little by little we are getting there.
Epic day at Llancarfan yesterday with Christina Welch of Winchester University and Ian Fell. Main purpose of visit was to look in detail at the cadaver in Death and the Gallant but I also photographed the post-Reformation texts. Here’s Ian’s photo of the whole wall
and here are the 2 texts in detail
There’s also an 18th century Apostles’ Creed, very difficult to photograph because it’s between 2 windows on a nice sunny day
and detail of the base
More on the cadaver later.
Our annual field trip up the Usk to Llangybi: we can get there, look at the medieval wall paintings and the holy well and get back within a 2-hour lecture. This year, the church was more than usually mysterious in the mist:
The south wall is full of building history:
probably a sixth-century church of wattle and daub, rebuilt in stone by the Normans but rebuilt again in the fifteenth century. Why? – partly the ravages of a century of economic crisis, partly the enthusiasm of local people for beautifying their place of worship.
Inside there is much to look at:
The stairs to the destroyed rood loft
lit at the top: the lofts were used for singing part of the liturgy, and sometimes for readings.
The famous wall painting of the ‘Sunday Christ’ is virtually unphotographable – it’s easier to understand from this sketch hanging underneath.
And why is this instructional painting, a warning against sabbath-breaking, in the chancel? Was my former student Eluned Martin right – did it mark the location of the Easter Sepulchre?
In the nave, another warning: the Weighing of Souls
but to encourage you, the Virgin Mary is shown placing her rosary in the balance beam to weigh it down on the side of salvation.
These wall paintings were limewashed over at the Reformation and replaced with texts: the Creed
and the Ten Commandments actually over part of the Weighing of Souls
Finally, at the west end, a puzzle:
the font, dated 1662 and decorated with the coats of arms of local families.
The medieval font must have been destroyed during the Civil War and this replacement celebrates the restoration of both monarchy and Anglican church in 1660. In the end, Archbishop Laud got all he wanted: but of course he had been executed in 1645.
(Many thanks to Claire Lindsey McGrath for the photos)