Widecombe History Group Talk October 2000
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Services were held in The Church Houses while restoration and alterations were taking place. In one you can still see today the cross carved in the woodwork, several became hostelries. It was the Church House at Broadhempston, now known as The Monks Retreat.
All churchyards should have yew trees in them. It was decreed by the Monarch, way back in the 1300s. The connection with the yew tree and religion goes way back into mythology. The yeomen of England got their bows from the yew. In 1450 when Edward II was on the throne, he decreed that every man should have a bow of his own height. made of Ash Elm or Yew and he should be given the opportunity to practice archery. On some churches can be seen scratch marks where they sharpened their arrows and of course they practices with Butts, there are fields where this took part still named Butts Park.
Memorial tablets and gravestones carry some amusing engravings. Example from Kingsbridge:-
Here lie I at the chancel door
Here lie I because Im poor
The further in the more youll pay
Here lie I as warm as they.
Michael concluded by saying that all the examples that he had shown the meeting are in a radius of 15 miles from Torquay. There is plenty more to see, and the further you travel the greater the chance of seeing and trying to ascertain even stranger items of interest. He encouraged us to continue the trend of having a:-
"Light-hearted look at The Parish Churches"
The information on this page was last modified on March 18 2013 12:53:35.