Like so many buildings of that era, this church too was built of stone, both cut and what I would call cobbled. Some buildings used a material called clunch which, according to Wikipedia, is "a traditional building material used mainly in eastern England and Normandy. It encompasses a wide variety of items such as irregular lumps of rock either picked up from the fields, orquarried by being cut from the bedrock in regular-shaped building blocks. Clunch is predominantly chalk/clay-based and is bedded in mortar to form walls. It is a particularly soft building material. It can be cut by a saw when in its softer state; when it has been quarried out of the ground it still contains a large amount of water. When the stone dries out it becomes harder, and is not as easy to cut.
Stones old and new dotted the grounds. This one is for John Radford, one of my ancestors.
I heard Julie give a little yelp of pleasure; under a tree in an area of the graveyard not as well cared for, she had found the grave of Susanna Radford which she had been looking for. The stone was barely readable. I thought how odd it was that my mother should have chosen the name "Susanna" for me. She had expected me to be another boy after three boys in a row and planned to name me Stephen. She ended up picking my name from a name book. And here in this cemetery I find that what she chose was a name that appeared twice in our family history.
A murder of crows cried overhead while we walked the grounds, somehow in keeping with the feeling of going back in time here.
An intriguiing design on this headstone caught my eye. A sleeping angel, perhaps?
Just on the other side of the hedge was the parish hall. I believe Julie said this used to be the school and would have been where my mother attended classes.
And so our day ended; it had been a full one from start to finish; I had much to think about, much to try to remember, and I am so grateful to my cousin for taking the time to show me places that have placed my mother's memories and stories in context.
Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.