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Thursday, 5 January 2012


A day out in the Gloucestershire countryside saw me, Sarah and Phil visit Deerhurst.
We were going somewhere else, but this unscheduled stop proved too interesting to go elsewhere.
Deerhurst is a tiny Gloucestershire village, but remarkably home to two Saxon places of worship.
These are St Mary's Church  founded circa AD 800 , and Odda's Chapel built in 1056

After a short walk along the banks of the river Severn we made our way to the smaller of the churches.

The property alongside Odda's Chapel is Odda's Barn, a former B & B.Recently on the market for £275,000.Not a bad price down here.

The chapel is attached to a 16/17th century timber framed farmhouse.It appears to be occupied.

The inside is quite delightful.

In the quiet Severn Valley, where it seemed as if at last
Very peace had spread her wings on ev'ry hand,
Stood an old and battered farmhouse, where for generations past
Dwelt the yeomen and the tillers of the land.

Till in time, the hand of progress came to try what could be done'
Both to modernise and renovate with care,
So they chipped away the plaster of the ages dead and gone
And they found - a little Saxon Chapel there.

And I chanced upon the chapel when the world was full of strife,
Entered there, to rest in silence and alone,
And it's spirit bare me backward just as far from modern life
As the name of Odda graven on it's stone.

For the centuries were speaking thro' the lichen and the moss
Till it seemed that it was blessed but yesterday'
And I thought I saw the Saxons as they knelt before the Cross,
But I'm certain that I heard the Saxons pray.

Their petitions were as humble as the House in which they knelt,
And their faith was just as simple as their prayer,
And I knew the place was crowded, and instinctively I felt
That they always must have found an answer there.

For the truth was in it's cradle, so the word was very near;
"What I think" had yet to conquer "What I know".
And they sang a hymn together that the angels stooped to hear
In the quiet Severn Valley long ago.

And I thought of Church and Abbey, half forsaken, nearly all,
Of their splendour, and the learning and the creeds
Of the party of Apollos, or the men who followed Paul,
With their turmoil, and their striving - and their needs.

Then the sunset lit the valley like a beacon from above,
Till I seemed to hear the answer to a prayer:
"An should they pull away the plaster from the England that they love
They shall find - a little Saxon Chapel there."

The original stone is in the Ashmolean museum in Oxford.

The chapel's historic significance was realised in 1865, but the restoration of it's roof only started 100 years later in 1965.

Looking on as the sunlight from one window shines on  a wall feature.

View from the rear of the chapel.

Now we move on to St Mary's
It's known that there was a 7th Century church here of which little remains, but much of what remains dates back to the 8th century.

This is one side of a guide sheet.The other side is a bit further down. (Open in a new tab to magnify)

There's a variety of old graves with interesting epitaphs throughout the graveyard.

Here above is the 8th century angel.

The nave goes back to the 8th century.

Reverse side of the guide sheet.

The Ten Commandments.

Chest made in 1674.

Interior floor gravestone.

Above top left at the top is a dedication stone with reused roman stones 10th century.
Above top right is a saxon font, rescued in the 19th century from being used as an animal trough.
Bottom left Order of the Garter ?
Bottom right known as 'Label Stops' is a 9th century animal head.

Door memorial

Maddona and child, possibly from the 7th century.

Church entrance, bell tower and bell tower door.

We could have stayed all day exploring this fascinating look back at the past.
A lovely day guys, thanks for getting me there.


  1. i love all the old details of these buildings, tombstones, trunks. wonderful! good week to you~

  2. What a cheery blog with all its churches and graveyards. You need to get out more often my boy!!

  3. Lovely Pictures of a very special place.

  4. I love those go to the coolest places. I am jealous!

  5. Thanks Tammie, it's a very historic site.

    Gordon, there's more life in the graveyards than there is in the current economic climate.I'm looking for inspiration.

    Thanks Marie, I know you got there before I did.

    And I'm jealous of your palm lined beaches Lisa

  6. Wowee, there's some great shots here.

    I like the angel fading back into the stonework from where he/she was released by a talented hand in the first place.

  7. Like the gargoyles Jim.The sound effects however remind me of bedtime in the average club hut.
    Hope you are feeling better and enjoying your grub again :)

  8. Cheers Bob, I hope you're on the road to recovery

  9. A couple of interesting looking churches Jim of some impressive agedness. I do like to see where churches have grown and indeed shrunk over the ages.


Thanks for all your comments. I may not get to reply to them all, but you may be sure they'll be appreciated.

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