Church Micro 2599…Breedon on the Hill
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Easily accessible micro, bigger than a film canister, contains logbook. Bring your own pen. New container from 17.7.11 is big enough for small items. Added to Church Micro series March 2012. Cache went AWOL in March 2013, replaced and relocated. Site maintenance carried out by workmen in March 2019. Cache still safe and in place, clue updated.
This is a great location for a cache with great views over Derbyshire and Leicestershire.
There used to be a cache nearby called "The Departure Lounge" GCH4F1, but the ammo box was stolen and it has been archived since May 2006. Its too good a view not to have a cache.
Cache location was tidied up in March 2013, ivy cleared and path tidied up. Cache went AWOL at same time. Its made the location better in one sense but worse as a cache spot. So I've replaced and moved it further from the church. Its now where the original "Departure Lounge" cache was.
The priory church of St Mary & St Hardulph is dramatically sited on a limestone hill being cut-away by the quarry below and can be seen for many miles.
The hill has been occupied for thousands of years and the present church is not the first. In 675 a monastery was founded on the hill with Hedda as the first Abbot. The monastery is mentioned in the Anglo Saxon Chronicles and due to its importance various saints were also buried here. The monastery fell into decline after the Danes ransacked the region including probably Breedon itself. But by 966-7 King Edgar (first King of all England) gave Bishop Aethelwold land which included Breedon and the monastery was either revived or re-founded.
After the Norman Conquest Breedon passed to the Augustinian Priory at Nostell in Yorkshire. In 1122 they founded an Augustinian Priory at Breedon and some sign of this can be seen on the west side if the tower. In fact there would have been other buildings leading from all sides of the tower with cloisters and domestic quarters. In the 13th century a wide new chancel was built to the east of the tower and this is now the present church. In the 15th century the clerestory windows were added as well as the aisles.
The priory fell into some disrepair by the 16th century, but a local family in the form of Francis Shirley Esq of Staunton Harold Hall purchased the priory from King Henry VIII after the Reformation as a burial place for himself and his successors. The local villagers also petitioned that the building should become their parish church (as the village church was ruinous) and the rooms above the south porch could be used as a school - this was accepted. They pulled down the old buildings to the west of the tower but removed the Saxon carvings which they placed in the south porch. In 1784 the church was again in a bad state of repair, there were plans to spend £3,340 on the rebuild but this sum was never reached, however the church was repaired and this is what we can see today. Some further restoration took place in the 19th and 20th centuries, and in 1937 the Saxon carvings were moved from the south porch and placed in the main part of the church. The present church consists of a west tower, south porch (with vestry over), nave, north aisle (Shirley aisle), south aisle with Lady Chapel and a Sanctuary.
If anybody would like to expand to this series please do, I would just ask that you could let Sadexploration know first so he can keep track of the Church numbers and names to avoid duplication
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