Saturday, 3 November 2007

There's Something About Mary

St Mary's Church is the parish church of Cheltenham and lies right in the heart of town. It is encompassed by Clarence Street and the Lower High Street and is adjacent to Cheltenham Library. Where, as once, it was visible by all in the town, today it is surrounded by shops and offices and is hidden from view. It is accessed by Well Walk and several alleyways from the High Street and is defiantly worth venturing off of the beaten track to find. The church is the oldest building in town and the only surviving Medieval one. St Mary's was built by the abbey of Cirencester in the early 12th century although the majority of the church is from the 13th and 14th centuries. In 1859 the church was closed by the Rev. E. Walker as it was deemed no longer fit for public worship. It under went extensive work and renovations and reopened in 1861. The Parishioners were re-homed at the tin church of St Matthew's, which was eventually replaced by a stone church between 1872 and 1895. The two Churches are now linked as Cheltenhams parish church and under take many significant religious programs, including the creation of schools in Africa. There are many old grave stones and plaques in the graveyard one of which reads - "To the memory of John Higgs, died 1825. Here lies John Higgs, A famous man for killing pigs, For killing pigs was his delight, Both morning, afternoon and night, Both heats and cold he did endure, Which no physician could e'er cure, His knife is laid, his work is done, I hope to heaven his soul is gone."
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9 comments:

magiceye said...

wonderfully composed!
both the picture and the epitaph!!

Hilda said...

Now I understand why you just had to show this off again. It is a gorgeous shot, especially with that sky!, and a great capture with that bird.

And now you have your comments ;D

Tash said...

No comments? How is that possible? (I think everyone was just real busy). I like the photo very much - it has my favorite - a clock and the bird is caught just right for a bit of added interest and I like the way you framed it - in the center (or centre or middle or middel?). Great photo.

Hyde DP said...

nice how you've captured the bird flyin past the spire

Bibi said...

Four people beat me to it, and some also commented on the bird, which makes the photo even better!!

Jackie said...

I wonder what I was doing on 3rd Nov that meant I couldn't comment on this? Cool shot!

Mo said...

No wonder you wanted to lead us back to this photo. its worth a second post.

slim said...

Wow, this is an "oldie but goodie". The bird definitely makes the photo special and the epitaph is a real great one. Thanks, Marley for directing us back to this one . . . we had missed a good one.

Dusty Lens said...

Excellent architectural image. Would like to see more of this wonderful old church.

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