The church was originally built in the fourteenth century, in the Perpendicular style (late Gothic), using locally quarried granite. It was enlarged over the following two centuries, partly on the proceeds of the local tin mining trade. Inside, the ceiling is decorated with a large number of decorative roof bosses, including the tinner’s emblem of a circle of three hares (known locally as the Tinners' Rabbits).
The church was badly damaged in the Great Thunderstorm of 1638 of 1638, apparently struck by ball lightning during a severe thunderstorm. An afternoon service was taking place at the time, and the building was packed with approximately 300 worshippers. Four of them were killed, around 60 injured. According to local legend, the Great Thunderstorm was caused by the village being visited by the Devil .
The size of the parish meant that, for centuries, families were obliged to walk for miles to go to church at Widecombe every Sunday. The task was even more challenging when it came to burying their dead, whose coffins had to be carried over rough ground and both up and down exceptionally steep hills. Halfway up Dartmeet Hill, for example, lies the Coffin Stone, close to the road, where the body would be placed to allow the bearers to take a rest. The rock is split in two, along its length. Local legend has it that the body of a particularly wicked man was laid there. God took exception to this, and struck the stone with a thunderbolt, destroying the coffin and splitting the stone in two.
In Widecombe 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 Katharine Parr, and she was a direct descendant of William Parr, the brother of Catherine, the sixth wife of Henry VIII .
Your first piece of information can be found inside the Church. You are looking for a model of the Legendary Old Grey Mare and Her Riders. A photo of which is in the Gallery. Under which you will see the story about the model. You can get your information from the Story.
Originally Exhibited 19A9 it took 82 year old Harry Price B years to make
Tony Beard, Secretary of Widecmbe local history group was contacted 200C
On the Models 50th Anniversary at Widecombe Fair 200D
Should the Church for any reason be closed or if there is a service in progress the information can be collected from Gravestone #1 Perhaps you would like to include in your log which info you used.
Gravestone #1 Clifford John Riddaway
April 13th 1DBC
Died Aug Ath 1D42
Gravestone #2 Katharine Parr
April E0th 1850
Died Nov 30th 1925
The Cache can be found at
N 50° 34.(ExB)(F+H)(D-A) W 003° 48.G(C-G)(D-B)
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