Little stone feet

Last month I took Marjorie over to the village of Oddington, eight miles away, to explore what I had heard was an amazing feature in the little church there. It was indeed amazing, and warranted an entire post to itself. If you want to know what it was, I have blogged it here at 'my other place', Cotswold Peeps. However, before I discovered the mysterious treasure, I found the most beautiful pair of tombstones outside.

One looked to me to be Jacobean, by the decoration; formal stone foliage -

- and a floral motif, looking very much like the kind found on old tapestries and needlework of the time.

This one however I have since found dates to 1690, making it of the Restoration era.

The poor dear has lost her face at some point, but she must have been of some importance and wealth to warrant such a memorial.

I don't know why, but I found myself deeply moved by her little stone feet poking out - almost a tender need to cover them, feeling as I did when I was small and feared dangling my feet over the bed for fear something would grab them.


Charlotte said...

What a lovely church: I am glad you and Marjorie had a good day out. I am also glad I am not the only person fascinated by church grave yards. My family always sigh if we go near one as I like looking for epitaphs.

Claire said...

Looks like it was a lovely day to be out and about Gretel.........

I used to jump onto my bed when I was little so that no one could reach out from under it and grab me.
Don't know where the idea ever came from.........how funny is that!?
Righto off to Cotswold Peeps for a gander.............

Hope you and Marjorie get to enjoy some more lovely adventures. It's grey, cloudy and wet here, just perfick.

Claire :}

Frances said...

Your photos of this beautiful churchyard really did let me have a feeling for the atmosphere of the place.

I so agree with you about those stone feet at rest, and we shall hope not feeling any chill as we admire them.

Since you say that the church is on the edge of the village, and since I don't see anyone else in your photos, am I right in thinking that you had this beautiful place completely to yourself? It is this sort of contemplative possibility, coupled with knowing that others might have shared such moments for centuries, that really separates where you live from my home.

I do think that we are missing out on a lot.


ted and bunny said...

I love the feeling in country churchyards, like nothing has changed for generations and it will always be the same.

When we were in Prague we visited the most incredible cemetery, full of Art Nouveau extravaganza and artists who had designed their own Surrealist memorials and tombstones- arms reaching from the ground etc, but my heart was stopped by a tiny marble cherub, weeping on a leaf. I popped a posy of lily-of-the-valley in his hands and spent the rest of the day wishing I hadn't gone!


Dartford Warbler said...

Beautiful and unusual memorials and tombs. They rarely survive so well, outside in the elements. I can understand why you wanted to cover up those little stone feet against the cold!

I love the stone carvings of flowers and foliage.

Rowan said...

Those tombstones are amazing, to find one as old as 1690 is really unusual. I really like the one with the flower motif on.

Linda said...

What a lovely little visit you had. I can empathise with the childhood dangling feet too!

Anonymous said...

When I was little, I dreaded having to get up in the night, in case something under the bed grabbed me (years later our nephew had a book called 'The Anklegrabbers'!)

The Little Forest, handmade said...

That's beautiful! That's what I'm missing in the area where I've lived for the last 5 years: historic buildings and stuff. I live on land that was claimed from the sea in 1942 so the oldest buildings where build after 1942. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flevoland . I love looking at pictures like these but seeing the real thing would be even better.

Frances Tyrrell said...

I like your observation of the floral motif, it is very like needlework design of the period. And her feet - perhaps reflecting the fashionable hemline of the day?

I remember my brother would take a flying leap into bed when young, lest anything reach out and grab his ankles! I would have evey single teddy and doll under the covers in my bed, not because I wanted them there but because I didn't want to see them looking back at me in the middle of the night.

A beautiful post, as usual!