Thursday, February 25, 2021

MORE ON OUR VISIT TO WIDECOMBE IN THE MOOR

I am sharing more photographs from our visit to Saint Pancras Church in Widecombe-in-the-Moor several years ago.  My other post can be found here.
Saint Pancras is cruciform in shape and consists of a chancel, nave, north and south aisles, north and south transepts, south porch and a 135 foot tower which contains six bells of various dates, the earliest going back to 1632.
The church was originally built in the 14th century in the late Gothic style, and was nicknamed "Cathedral of the Moors" because of its relatively large capacity for such a small village.  People would have to walk miles for services.   

It was also badly damaged in the Great Thunderstorm of 1638 which I mentioned in my previous post, in which during the month of October a ball of fire passed through the church (long before lightning rods were even thought of I suppose).  Wallboards in the church tell the story.  More details of this event can be found at this site.
This area is steeped in folk lore and superstition, and there are many ghost stories, one involving American actor Daniel Stern, though I could not find what this experience was about.  He said that he had 'an unsettling and possibly supernatural experience' there.  You might remember him from Home Alone 2, City Slickers, and he also narrated the TV show Wonder Years.  What I found interesting was that he had visited Widecome-in-the-Moor briefly back in 1980 when he was on his honeymoon.
I found the above picture on line, as I did the painting below, which shows the village as it was long ago.

So, who was Saint Pancras?  Pancratius was born at Phrygia in around AD290.  He was an orphan who at the age of 14 was taken to Rome by his Uncle, Dionysium, where he was converted to Christianity.  As with many saints it seems, he came to a sorry end around AD304.  You can read his whole story here if interested, which is where I got some of my information.
We were very happy that the church was open and had a good look around.  


 





















On the old stone floor.




The following is an explanation of the above.
There were display cases with items from previous wars.






An impressive model of the church made by a local gentleman out of what looked like matchsticks. 
In the churchyard is the grave of novelist Beatrice Chase who lived for much of her life in a cottage close to the village.  Her real name was Olive Katherine Parr and she was a direct descendant of William Parr, the brother of Catherine, the sixth wife of Henry VIII.















This flower below is called a Narrowleaf plantain, a species of Plantains (Plantago), also known as English plantain, Ribwort plantain, Buckhorn plantain, Lamb's tongue and Buckhorn.  It's botanical name is Plantago lanceolata.
Below is the Golden chain tree bloom I mentioned in my other post, link already provided.


Near the entrance of St. Pancras there is a giftshop and out front is a 15-inch naval shell.  It was donated to the village after the First World War, to thank the villages for supplying troops with sphagnum moss.  This grows in abundance in the damp Dartmoor conditions and is said to have healing properties.  It was used as an emergency field dressing for injured troops.

Lastly, a few more scenes of the English  countryside.









The next photo was taken of the Church in the distance, center of photo. 
I have one other post about the church which I will share as soon as I can put it together.  I had a wonderful time researching and finding out some of its history, and there is a lot more I have learned but it would take another dozen or so posts and I think I will stop here. 


Thank you so much for looking and enjoy your day.



36 comments:

  1. These landscapes remind me of Darrowby in "All Creatures Great & Small. And the church is wonderful, with the stone floor, relief walls, and unusual ceiling! The graveyard. as well, is from another time, where time stands silently still.

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    1. A lovely description of this place Ginny, thank you :)

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  2. What a beautiful post, and an amazing place.

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  3. Hi Denise, lovely scenic images.
    Hope you are keeping well.

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    1. Hi Roy, so good to see you my friend. Thank you, we are keeping well and I hope the same for you :)

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  4. The countryside is so beautiful and that church is just amazing! Thanks for sharing with us Denise.

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    1. I am happy you liked it Martha and you are very welcome :)

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  5. +They just don't make beautiful churches anymore. Some churches here are now made to look like some kind of industrial building. That's a very pretty area.

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    1. I hold a great fondness for the old stone churches Red. They are the only ones I knew of growing up and living in England. Thank you :)

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  6. Lovely countryside and interesting history, thanks.

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  7. Hello Denise,
    One of our beautiful old countryside churches, full of character and signs of individuals inputs. Love the Border Collie sewn onto the cushion. A really delightful post to take my time looking through. Thank you
    You stay safe.
    John

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    1. Hello John, I loved the old Border Collie cushion also. Thank you and you stay safe too :)

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  8. So sad when these old buildings have fires or get bombed. So glad the restoration was successful. Lovely set of pictures and the surrounds. Keep safe Diane

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    1. It is indeed Diane. Those who restored the churches were true masters of their skill. Thank you and you keep safe also :)

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  9. Wonderful post, history, photos and information. I'd love to visit this area!! I tried to comment on the photo of your son in the Hills but for some reason blogger got weird. Such a wonderful shot of him! Precious!

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    1. Thank you Ellen, I noticed that blogger was having some issues the other day. All seems to be okay now thankfully :)

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  10. Denise, I so enjoyed reading more about St Pancras. Such a history lesson! The beautiful countryside of England always makes my heart happy. It's lovely to see it through your camera.

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    1. Very happy you enjoyed it Martha Ellen. And I am happy this makes you happy. Thank you so much :)

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  11. This is such a lovely post, I enjoyed it.
    Thank you.

    All the best Jan

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    1. Great, thank you Jan and all the best to you too :)

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  12. The church is quite beautiful, as is the surrounding landscapes.

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    1. Thank you William, that area is so very tranquil too :)

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  13. Since we can't travel the world right now, I sure do appreciate your sharing your gorgeous photos and knowledge with us.

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    1. Happy you enjoy this virtual traveling Kay. I know I do when I visit other blogging friends, you included :)

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  14. Beautiful images! Thanks for the tour.

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  15. what a lovely church this is, i always enjoy seeing the beautiful stained glass windows. the architecture and layout is especially pretty, we are so lucky to have these memories now, while we can't travel!!

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  16. Interesting post, and beautiful pictures.

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  17. That church is so beautiful...and the countryside is to die for.

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