Monday, 24 March 2008

Church of All Saints Waldershare.

Today was just about the coldest March Day I can remember. I had a short trip down to the bay where Jack told me that a total of five Marsh Harrier had come in from the sea in the morning, but that there were few birds around. Pam and I decided to take a look at the Church of All Saints at Waldershare. It is looked after by the Churches Conservation Trust and is open from 10.30am to 3.30pm each day.

The church is set in the north-east corner of the Waldershare estate, and is the quintessential estate church reflecting the history of the owners and occupants of the estate for nearly 1000 years. You enter through the Lytch gate, a fairly modern addition in 1920. The North Downs Way passes through the Churchyard and then on through the estate.

A poignant and rather sad reminder of the recent past is the Headstone to 14 years old Arthur William Moore, killed on New Year's Eve 1936 at Tilmansworth Colliery.

Of particular note are some very old Yew trees, the trunk of the largest is shown above. I wonder if they've been here as long as the church.

The proportions of the building are dramatically affected by the two reed-brick chapels on either side of the chancel.The south chancel was built around 1697 and the almost identical north chapel some 15 years later.

The church was declared redundant in 1982 and the churchyard is considerably overgrown. The bellcote seems to have disappeared and the bell that Anthony Syms writing in 1987 said was beside the porch is no longer there.

The nave and the church roof are a surprise but even more so where the memorials in the two chapels. I have taken more photos that can be found here.

The Churchyard had become quite a wildlife sanctuary, with calling Goldcrests, Great, Blue, Coal and Long-tailed Tits all around. We also found some fungi, this "Jews Ear" being particularly impressive.


Warren Baker said...

A very pleasant post Tony, I do like an nice overgrown churchyard. So many churches have a tidy up when they are put into a trusts hands.

Tony Morris said...

St Margaret's is quite tidy, but still good. It has hosted a couple of Yellow-browed Warblers.