Whelford, Kempsford and Eysey revisited.




Whelford church










St Mary the Virgin, Kempsford



Founded in the 11th century and greatly added to by John of Gaunt in the late 1300's.


The spectacular assemblage of armorial bearings on the lierne - vaulted roof.


Included in the many shields are those of Edward the Confessor and the Dukes of Lancaster and Plantagenet.  











By now I had worked up a thirst.


Inside the axe and compass.  The other bar had a pool table and I had fun impressing the locals with some one armed pool! 




And finally to Eysey (also spelt Eisey and Aisi), the lost village about which I have written on another page but at which time I knew little.  On that day all the pictures I took were blurred so I had resolved to return to re-take them.  Eysey was a flourishing village centered around a crop based farm.  It consisted of the farmhouse (below), several workers cottages and a church.  When cheap American grain began entering England in the mid 1800's they could no longer compete and the farm failed, turning instead to the less labour intensive animal husbandry.  Most of the workers moved to Swindon to take up employment in the railroad industry and their cottages were demolished to build barns etc.  Sadly the church was also demolished and all that remains is the churchyard and some graves.     





The church was situated in what is now a copse on a hill.  I had permission to drive across the field due to my disability.  The going was quite rough so I was glad I had a Range Rover!




This was as far as I could go by car.  An electric fence that I had managed to slide under before but had now got too low for that.  Was this the end of my quest?



Oh no!  I don't give up that easily!  Luckily I carry a large bedcover and used this to protect me from the shock.  I was just able to lift my paralysed leg over. 


The field was very uneven and thick with thistles and stinging nettles! 


Believe me I trod carefully!  Maybe jeans might have been a wiser choice. 


Uh oh.  No way could I get over that.  But the wire was high enough for me to slip under - just. 


And finally I had attained my goal.  Very spooky in there! 


This time the pictures came out fine. 





















Part of the foundations of St Mary's church now inhabited by badgers.  The original church was in operation in 1195 and probably much earlier.  It was demolished in 1844 and a Victorian one built on the same spot.  This in turn was pulled down in 1953.   

The church was called St Mary's.  Eysey was a separate parish which included Water Eaton after that village's church had disappeared long ago. It has been a part of Latton civil parish since the 1890s and a part of Latton ecclesiastical parish since before 1951 - probably from 1947/8.

The population in 1831 was 167 and in 1841 it was 188 - this was for the whole of the parish including Water Eaton. Eysey village was never very large and in 1891, the last census before Eysey was added to Latton, the population had decreased to 128.

The church of St. Mary was a small building of stone in the Perpendicular style. It had a chancel, nave, south porch and a small turret on the western gable with just one bell. This would seem to indicate that there was never much wealth in the parish. There were seats for 100 people. What I cannot find out is when and why the church was demolished. The registers, which date from 1571, end in 1947 and so it would seem that the church was redundant from that year although burials of local people would still have taken place. 



The condition of my feet when I returned home!  I had called in to the Jesmond hotel on the way back and hadn't noticed the stick in my left sandal!


But I had done it! 

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