We had a query come in via the website from someone tracing their ancestors, so on a baking hot September day, Mark, our resident history-sleuth and myself (keeping him company) took ourselves up to St Nicholas’ to peer at ancient inscriptions and scratch our heads at Victorian paper plans of the graves.
Many are worn beyond reading and apparently you aren’t supposed to scrape off the ancient moss as it could be rare. Rare moss…. hmm. Luckily we were also armed with a book from the Sixties, in which someone had painstakingly typed all the inscriptions legible at that time, which filled in a few literal blanks.
We’d started off our discussion at the back of church to escape the baking heat of the day, and saw that two visitors were looking round, using our new handy quick guides. They had good camera equipment and we left so as not to disturb them.
While kneeling on the grass trying to work out if that was an S or an F on a gravestone, the visitors approached us and got chatting about buildings – one man was a self confessed “Norman architecture freak” and the other “came along to take the pictures”. We were able to point them next in the direction of St Margaret’s at Ifield as another site of interest (especially as it’s near a pub!) and in return, the kindly photographer has just sent me a disk of the photographs he took of St Nicholas’.
A lovely morning for all. Here are some of his photographs. Thank you David!