Chester, Cheshire - St John the Baptist

The date of foundation in 689AD by Aethelred King of Mercia may be revised to as early as the 3rd or 4th century as further scholarship reveals new information. It was enlarged by Aethelfleda, the daughter of King Alfred the Great and her husband Aethelred in 907. King Edgar came here in 973 to receive the homage of the sub-kings of England, Scotland and Wales, and in 1075 Bishop Peter de Leya the first Norman Bishop came from Lichfield, pulled down the Saxon Minster and began building a new cathedral, which took hundreds of years.  King Richard II enhanced the cathedral church in memory of his late father, the Black Prince.  Henry VIII and Edward VI despoiled it, and King Charles I was shot at by a sniper from the roof of the West Tower as he stood on the tower of the new cathedral to watch the battle of Rowton Moor.

The Great West Tower collapsed in 1881 and together with the ruins at the east end is now part of the Scheduled Ancient Monument and Grade I listed building that is this church.


These two stones, laid as paving outside the church, are in memory of an Iron Master, and an Ostrich Feather Manufacturer - most unusual!


The notice says: " Effigy of a Knight.  This knight, in chain mail and tunic, once held a shield, reputedly showing the Carrington coat of arms.  The cross-legged, sword-drawing attitude is typical of the late 13th century."



This monument shows a skeleton holding up a sheet inscribed with details of Diana Warburton, Wife and Relict of S. George Warburton.  There are more skulls at the base of the monument.



This elaborate wall memorial bears an image of the deceased, a member of the Warburton family, who died in 1728 aged 63, and a lengthy inscription in Latin.


John Powell was sexton of this parish for 37 years, and died in August 1881.  His son Frank Powell was sexton and verger of this church for 47 years and died in August 1931.  


A wonderfully elaborate memorial to Mathew Anderton, who died in November, 1693.


St Maughans, Monmouthshire - St Maughan

St Maughans has origins in the 13th or 14th centuries, though there is evidence of earlier work, including a 12th century font.  The church was reconstructed in the late 15th or early 16th century, and extensively rebuilt in 1865-1866.  It has a combined nave and chancel, and the two storey timber belfry is a 19th century addition.

John Axten was "a staunch servant of the Bank of England".  He and his wife were both churchwardens of this church.  She outlived him by about 37 years, and lived to be over 100 years old.


This memorial plaque inside the church must have been very colourful when it was installed after the death of John Lewis in 1740.


Monmouth, Monmouthshire - St Thomas the Martyr

The fine Norman style doorways are well worth admiring.


Close to the church, the gate tower on the Monnow Bridge is a unique example on a medieval bridge.



Monmouth, Monmouthshire - St Mary Priory Church



The church was dedicated in 1101 by Bernard, chaplain to Henry I, in the presence of Gwethenoc, the founder, and Abbot William of Saumur in Anjou.  The church was rebuilt in 1882, retaining Norman remains and the 14th century tower.


This most unusual gravestone has a "wordsearch" type inscription which reads "Here lies John Renie" in every direction.  Start at the large central "H".

W. Howse was a saddler in Monmouth.


Eleanor was the wife of George Bennett, a pawnbroker, who died in 1826.


Elizabeth Powles was "for Several Years Principal Treble in the Choir of St Mary's Church". 


"Reader only stand and think That I am in Eternity And thou art on the brink."


Belfry Rules

Staunton Parish Church

1863 re-illuminated 1904

1.  The Ringers to be sober well conducted men and regular attendants at Church.

11.  No Ringer to be taken into the company except with the consent of the Rector and Churchwardens.

111.  The Bells are never to be rung to celebrate any political triumph nor any marriages except such as are celebrated at Church.

1V.  The ringing shall always cease at ix p.m. except on Christmas and New-Year's Eves.

V.  Every Ringer shall be present in due time before Morning and Evening Service on Sunday, to chime the Bells, (if required) except when obliged to be absent.

V1.  No idle persons or children shall be allowed in the Church during the Ringing.

V11.  Any money collected to be placed in the hands of one of the company and divided equally at the end of the Year.

V111.  The Ringers should always remember that the Church is the House of God, and carefully avoid all profane language or behaviour.


A careful look at this memorial tablet to the Phillpott family reveals that the inscription appears to have been made on top of an earlier inscription.


This memorial to Joseph Price, born in 1726, and died in 1796, tells that he went to India when young.  In the war with France 1778 he commanded two Forty Gun Ships.  He was afterwards appointed by the East India Company to the Office of Marine Pay Master and Naval Store Keeper.


Robert Bevan was a Physician for more than thirty years to both the poor and the rich.








Skenfrith, Monmouthshire - St Bridget








The church is medieval in origin, with the earliest parts believed to date from the reign of King John (1166-1216).  It was extended in the fourteenth and again in the sixteenth century, with further restoration in 1896 and again in 1909-10.


Captain Thomas died of burns received in a flying accident in 1918, and this plaque was erected by one of his comrades of the battle of the Somme of 1916.

Aged 100 years.


This tomb is described in the notice shown below.

IN MEMORY OF ELIZABETH DAVIS, LATE OF …….?  (HEREFORDSHIRE) WHO DIED IN LONDON JULY 28TH 1878 AGED 96 YEARS.  THE ABOVE NAMED, BY HER WILL PROVED IN LONDON THE 12TH DAY OF NOV.R 1879, GAVE £100 IN 3 PERCENT CONSOLS TO THE VICAR, AND CHURCHWARDENS OF THIS PARISH UPON TRUST. PART OF THE INCOME TO BE APPLIED TO KEEP THE FAMILY TOMB IN REPAIR AND THE REMAINDER TO PURCHASE BLANKETS FOR THE POOR OF THIS PARISH AS THE VICAR AND CHURCHWARDENS SHALL THINK FIT.

Vernon Handley, known as "Tod", a conductor, was particularly known for his support of British composers.  He conducted many well known orchestras both in Europe and in the UK.

Unusually, this wall memorial inside the church is made entirely of wood.  It remembers William Bovan who died in 1760, aged 66 years, and Rebecca his wife who died in 1762 aged 67 years.

This young man is remembered with a verse by C. Day Lewis.


Grosmont, Monmouthshire - St Nicholas.

The church was built in the early 1200s, at around the same time as the nearby castle, and the magnificent Norman nave has survived unrestored.  The Early English chancel was reconstructed in the 1870s by John Seddon, who rescued the whole church from a ruinous state. 






We have seen many slightly different versions of this "Physicians were in Vain" verse.


"Missed by Skip".


The sombre verse reminds us of what may befall us all.



A rectangular tomb slab with marginal inscription and effigies of Charles William of Goytre (Mayor of Grosmont and Deputy Steward of Duchy of Lancaster) and his wife Joan Baker, dated 1636.



Monmouth Cemetery, Monmouthshire

The cemetery was quite extensive, on quite hilly ground, neatly mown, and still in use for new burials.


These gravestones are in memory of men of the Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers who died in the early 20th century.


Joseph Dance was a Malster in Monmouth.


There is no obvious maritime connection for the inclusion of the lovely anchor and rope on this memorial.


The memorial to John Vaughan was erected by his comrades in No. 1 Company, R.M.R.E.(M)


Sgt. Charlesworth, Permanent Staff, R.M.R.E.


Died from injuries received at Bridgewater Station on May 3rd, 1892, aged 38 years.


Two sons, William and Sidney were killed in action in WWI, Bertie drowned at Symonds Yat aged 9 years, and three sons and a daughter died as babies and toddlers.


Aged 108 years.


A missionary in Bolivia for 29 years.


The signature of F.J. Hayes has been used on the gravestone.


John Gordon was born in the U.S.A. and was attendant of this cemetery for 25 years.