Church Micro 472. St Mary's. East Molesey.
Size:  (not chosen)
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THIS CACHE HAS BEEN AMENDED TO A TRADITIONAL CACHE FROM A MULTI,,,THE LOG IS NEW AND NO FIRST TIME FIND I AM AFRAID,,,,SORRY. ( TWEEZERS FOR THIS ONE)
If anybody would like to expand this series please do, we would just ask that you could let sadexploration know first so he can keep track of the Church numbers and names to avoid duplication. The Co-ordinates are to locate the cache only and it is no longer a multi stage cache... But now a Traditional Cache.
The Domesday Book holds the earliest mention of a church in Molesey. It appears on the holding of Odard Balastarius. Probably the monks of Chertsey Abbey first planted it here for, wherever Benedictines controlled the land, the brethren brought the Cross. No details of the building have survived. It undoubtedly would have been of extremely elementary timber construction, of modest size, and almost certainly on the site of the present St Mary's.
A more solid church of mortar and flint rubble was erected in the 12th century, and survived until the Victorian era. It was still a small edifice, of nave and chancel only, the whole about 52 feet long by 26 feet wide. By 1368 the fabric had fallen into such disrepair that, following a visitation by the Bishop, the Dean was instructed to hold an inquiry to find out who was responsible for its maintenance and to issue directions for its repair. The roof, at first probably thatched but later tiled, was crowned at the western end by a small weather-boarded tower surmounted by a splay-foot spire. On either side of the nave was a family pew, each a small room about ten feet square and entered only from the outside. That on the south side was built in 1712 for Mr Hezekiah Benson of Bridge House and that on the north, which was divided in two, in 1760 for Captain John Clarke and Charles Carpenter. In each case permission was given to enclose part of the churchyard, and to be forever appropriated to their respective houses.
In 1849 the building was described as 'a pretty rustic structure'. Its pride, however, was the number of monumental memorials to be seen on the inside. Some of these were high baroque ornaments, inscribed with a plethora of fulsome compliments such as the epitaph writers could tax their minds to devise. Most of these are now preserved in the base of the tower of the present church, but lack of space makes their display extremely limited.
The church, being so small, could only seat some 135 people, and for many years was far too small for the population of the village. Although St Paul's had been opened in 1856, pressure on the accommodation continued. Agitations had been afoot since 1843 to rebuild the church, but all attempts had been frustrated by lack of funds and personal animosities.
On Sunday 6 December 1863 the people went to church as usual and, being a cold wintry day, the wardens lit the stove to keep the congregation warm, which they evidently failed to make certain was fully dowsed before they left. The next day smoke was observed issuing from the building, where some pews had been smouldering from the heat of the stove; they immediately burst into flames when the door was opened. Help was called and in a short time the fire was extinguished. However, some damage had been done, particularly to the pews, pulpit, and other fittings. References to this fire usually exaggerate the damage caused. In fact the insurance company's estimate for restoration was less than £160. Its importance, nevertheless, lay in that it forced the parochial authorities to act, and they decided on the demolition of the old church and the construction of a new one on the same site.
The coming of the railway in 1849 increased the population of East Molesey rapidly. In 1854 Francis Jackson Kent, who had long campaigned to have the parish church moved onto his new estate, decided to escalate the matter by building a church in the middle of his development, and offering it to the village in lieu of the old overcrowded building.
St Paul’s church (Micro 463) describes how Francis Jackson Kent built St Paul’s Church and funded the building himself. Interestingly, when he died he was buried along with his wife in the grounds of St Mary’s Church Hampton, there you can see their gravestone monument, one would have thought that they should be in St Paul’s Church instead.
NB. Please respect the grounds as you might walk on or near graves. The Reverend has granted permission and is aware that cacher's will visit her church.
Lrj ner ybbxvat sbe n Anab glcr pbagnvare (Crg glcr).
Svfu nebhaq naq lbh jvyy or nybat gur evtug yvar!!
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum