When Alansin discovered Geocaching he wanted to place a Church Micro cache in the churchyard of St. George’s, Brede and obtained permission from the current Rector, the Rev’d. Martin N. Harper. Aware of the poignant story of Damaris he intended attaching a black magnetic micro on the metal fence behind the simple wooden cross on her grave. However, having been beaten to it by Church Micro #1963 he then considered establishing a cache further down Waterworks Lane but never got around to doing so. He has now given me his material and invited me to complete the task which, of course, I am happy to do.
Damaris Richardson was an orphan and lived with her uncle in Rectory Lane. She developed into a very beautiful girl and became engaged to Lewis Smith, the son of wealthy parents living at Church House who, considering her social position to be inferior to their own, forebade the marriage thereby wrecking two young lives.
She died of a broken heart at the age of 22 and was laid to rest on 4 September 1856 in a grave on the exact spot by the wall where she kept tryst with her lover on the other side. Some years later a gentleman called on the Rev’d. A. A. Aylward, enquired about her and, having been shown the grave, ordered the oaken cross with the inscription to be placed there.
(Source: Edmund Austen’s “Brede: The Story of a Sussex Parish.” 1946)
The Song and Music
Patrick Wolf (Singer/Songwriter born 1983) in tracing the roots of his father under the family name of Apps back to a family of ferret-catchers and blacksmiths in Brede, stumbled across the small wooden cross engraved with the name ‘Damaris‘ among the gravestones of his ancestors. From that moment, he began to research who Damaris might be, and it came about that the cross told a larger tale than anyone could have imagined. Patrick writes the song from the perspective of Lewis Smith after discovering that she had ‘died of a broken heart’, which, in the 19th Century was a polite term for either suicide, or a romantic notion that someone can be so heartbroken that they give up on life. The song is a musical iconisation of a true life Romeo and Juliet from Sussex. Two star-crossed lovers who were destined to be together, but were denied, due to the repression and sign of the times.
The church organ in the song, played by Patrick, and the drums by Marcello Vig, were both recorded in 2008 on location in St. George’s Church, the very church ground where the romance took place a hundred years before between Damaris and Lewis.
The beautifully choreographed video of the song with its haunting melody can be found online.
The Memorial at St George’s Church, Brede
To work out the coordinates for the final cache location answer the following questions:
Q1: How many nail heads in the horizontal face of the cross? = A
To the right of the ‘'Memorial” is a large head stone with the name ‘William North’ on it:
Q2: What 2 digit date did William die? = BC
Q3: What Year did Mr North die? = 1DEF
The Coordinates to the final cache are: N50 55.(A+6)EB E0 35.(D-4)C(F-6)
goes to MintysGT well done.