old St.Mary's in March 2007
This old building seems to be Perpendicular in style (i.e. from about 1350); the nave, unusually, just two windows, one north, one south. The chancel was given new pews in 1802 and a number of other improvements followed, including a new pulpit and desk in 1805, a west gallery in 1814, a new east end to the chancel in 1819 and new tables of the ten commandments in 1820. By 1826 it seems that consideration was being given to enlarging the church and these resurfaced in 1839, transepts north and south being considered; however, the rector was ill and plans shelved (he died in 1843). The new rector decided that a new church altogether should be built at a more convenient site in the village.
On completion of the new church the old one was converted for use as a mortuary chapel as the graveyard remained open; this involved removing the galleries and pulling down the chancel, re-erecting the 1819 east window in the east wall. Sir Stephen Glynne in 1854 noted that the old church was "A poor, small church on top of a very high hill, having only a nave & Tower, the Chancel having been destroyed, & the Church is apparently now wholly abandoned". Further repairs to the old building were carried out in 1901 but in 1956 the lead was stolen from the roof and so the remaining fittings were removed and the building allowed to fall into ruin.
Thanks to the Bedfordshire archives and records website for the above text and images
A new chapter may be opening in the church's history with plans to turn the building into an ecofriendly walking lodge.
To the cache, you are looking for a small lock and lock box hidden with an unusual view of the church. There is room for small trackables and trades.
There is parking for two cars at the church and for one car on the bend in Great Lane.
Access to the cache is on permissive bridleways so are wide grassy verges. More details on the permissive paths locally can be found here http://mediafiles.thedms.co.uk/Publication/BH-GO/cms/pdf/Walk%206%20Clophill.pdf
There are 2 caches starting from the church itself and can be combined to make a good walk
GCKBA3 - Darker Deeds at St Marys
GC4055E - Haunting Halloween
and another at the new church in the village
GC3WK62 Church Micro 2997...New Saint Mary's, Clophill
If anybody would like to expand this series then 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
To view the church micro stats & information page, please click here