An English Country Churchyard


After dinner yesterday evening we popped down to Barton on Sea to view the sunset.

This morning we drove around the forest.

The thatcher I spoke to at East End, where the albeit somnolent donkeys were having fun with the traffic,

replied that the project was “beginning to take shape”.

Jackie on tree seat

Our next stop was at St Mary’s Church at South Baddesley, outside which Jackie sat on a seat cut into a very large tree stump.

Ken Allen gateposts

Gateway and church

Alongside the church stretches a patch of uncultivated land accessed from an open gateway dedicated to Ken Allen 1918 – 2005.

Path from church to playground 1

From here a  path leads down


to a playground beyond a locked five-barred gate. I was unable to gain any information about Mr Allen or the leisure area that I speculated must be related to him.

It was quite refreshing to discover that the Victorian church itself was unlocked and welcoming. I found the stained glass windows particularly attractive.

Cap on pew

Hanging on the edge of a pew was a gentleman’s cloth cap. If it is yours it awaits your collection.

Primroses, English bluebells, and other wild flowers wandered, as did I, among the gravestones in this English country churchyard.

Angel gravestone sculpture

Most of the stones were quite simple, but there was one angel and child,

and the amazing resting place of Admiral of the Fleet George Rose Sartorius, GCB, Count de Penhafirme who died on 13th April 1885 in his 95th year. This was 70 years after he had served with Nelson at the battle of Trafalgar.

Admiral Sartorius's grave 2 – Version 2

What is particularly astonishing is the knowledge that the credible articulated linked anchor chain winding around the cross was carved from stone.

After lunch Jackie continued working her magic in the garden where I did a bit of clearing up and repelled some invading brambles along the back drive.

This evening we enjoyed our second serving of Mr Chatty Man Chan’s Chinese Take Away with which I finished the madiran. Jackie didn’t imbibe because she had drunk her Hoegaarden in the Rose Garden where we had a drink first.

P.S. Bruce Goodman, in his comment below, has provided a link to Ken Allen, which, incidentally explains that the playground I noticed is attached to a school. This is no doubt why the entrance would be locked during the Easter holidays.


64 responses to “An English Country Churchyard”

  1. Such an incredible drive.. and what a wonderful set of photo’s.. Loved the man at work on the thatched roof… and that Anchor chain in stone in the church yard.. Amazing craftsmanship..

    Thank you Derrick.. I always feel I am right there inside your photos..
    Sue πŸ™‚

  2. It’s astonishing that the chain is actually stone! And it was lovely to see a photo of Jackie. I enjoy taking photos in the old cemeteries near my home. We have a number of graves from the Revolutionary War which surprised me as I’d thought Michigan wasn’t really settled then.

  3. So many things to comment on in this post–the photo of Jackie is lovely. I like that seat from the tree stump. In some of the shots of the church yard, it looks as though it’s still the nineteenth-century. The stained glass windows are beautiful, and that carved stone chain is amazing!

  4. Er…that would be 80 years after Trafalgar, I think. πŸ™‚

    Great photos of the glass and graveyard, I really like churchyards. Love the Sartorius gravestone – I see from Wikipedia that he was also present when Napoleon surrendered on board HMS Bellerophon, and that two of his sons won the VC. You do find some interesting stuff in your travels.

  5. 80 years after the Battle of Trafalgar. 21st October 1805.
    He must have been a 15 year old midshipman at the time.
    I’m starting to wonder.
    Did you deliberately state 70 years to test me; make sure I read the post and wasn’t nodding off?
    Thats the sort of thing a Mordred would do!

    • Well done, Bruce, and thank you. So the playground was in fact a school. This would explain why it was locked up for half term. I’m adding a P.S. alerting people to this comment.

  6. It was a post full of unique elements, realistic chain carving, beautiful stained glass church windows, the memorial for a child meeting their Angel. It included roof thatching and donkeys. Lovely and full day of photographs, Derrick.

  7. The title reminds one of Thomas Gray’s masterpiece. Eventually, you did break into the resting ground of some very illustrious folks. The angel and the child make me think, and so does the stone carved chain-link to the anchor. What patience and hard work must one put for a priceless work of art like that. Those will remain frozen in time.

    Whenever I have visited churches, the stained glass windows invariably hold me still. They can do so even through a photograph. Was I a Christian in my previous life? How old is the cap? I hope the master can still adorn his pate with that.

    Beautiful post.

  8. I don’t hear the word, “somnolent” often, so it was refreshing to find it. The grave markers/tombstones are extraordinary; especially the stone carved chain — I’ve never seen anything like that! You always write your posts with such care and attention to details.

  9. It’s a beautiful area. I’ve always told you what a wonderful countryside you have. But between you and Beetley Pete, I’m beginning to think the UK is always losing their clothing to a tree!! πŸ™‚

  10. So many things to marvel at—the thatcher, the stained glass, the chain carved from stone, the whole post! A great way to start this rainy, gray day in Maine.

  11. The stained glass windows are so beautiful. I was delighted when I read the Church was unlocked. I loathe the fact that due to thieves, the vast majority are locked up with padlocks and metal chains. Although the Church doors are locked when Mass is not taking place, the gates are not with the Church I attend. It’s somewhat reassuring.
    The Anchor tombstone is so unusual. Thanks for sharing, Derrick. Max and I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend.

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