Religion => Places of Worship (Former) => Topic started by: Philio81 on April 01, 2009, 17:47:29

Title: Eastwell Church
Post by: Philio81 on April 01, 2009, 17:47:29
This Church was Bomb Damaged in WW2 and left to Decay here`s some photos
(http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn70/philio1981/WESTWELL%20CHURCH/184.jpg)
(http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn70/philio1981/WESTWELL%20CHURCH/186.jpg)
(http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn70/philio1981/WESTWELL%20CHURCH/185.jpg)
(http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn70/philio1981/WESTWELL%20CHURCH/182.jpg)
(http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn70/philio1981/WESTWELL%20CHURCH/174.jpg)
(http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn70/philio1981/WESTWELL%20CHURCH/173.jpg)
(http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn70/philio1981/WESTWELL%20CHURCH/176.jpg)
(http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn70/philio1981/WESTWELL%20CHURCH/172.jpg)
(http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn70/philio1981/WESTWELL%20CHURCH/177.jpg)
(http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn70/philio1981/WESTWELL%20CHURCH/205.jpg)
(http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn70/philio1981/WESTWELL%20CHURCH/195.jpg)
(http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn70/philio1981/WESTWELL%20CHURCH/198.jpg)
(http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn70/philio1981/WESTWELL%20CHURCH/197.jpg)
Title: Re: Eastwell Church
Post by: Riding With The Angels on April 01, 2009, 23:46:11
Philio - where is your evidence for this statement? I am seeing this more and more and the only sources I have suggest that although it may have been weakend by the tank activity in the park during the war (see other links), it collapsed in the '50's from saturation of its chalk block structure likely to have been caused by the construction of the lake in the 1800's so close to the church.

Dave
Title: Re: Eastwell Church
Post by: Philio81 on April 02, 2009, 14:53:02
Am going of what what I found on the net and what I was told by my dad when we used to go there when I was young. I`ve never heard of what you wrote there, Riding With The Angels. but it seems you have looked into this more than I. Be interested to find out.
Title: Re: Eastwell Church
Post by: Riding With The Angels on April 02, 2009, 21:50:23
It does seem to be a common misconception and I think gets confused with nearby St Mary's at Little Chart which was destroyed by a V1 flying bomb. Eastwell Park Historiette by Philip Dormer details the history of the estate and is a fascinating read. It details the account regarding the church too.
Title: Re: Eastwell Church
Post by: colin haggart on April 06, 2009, 16:49:26
The hole shown in the last photo look like where the rope for the bells came through.

Where is the church?
Title: Re: Eastwell Church
Post by: Philio81 on April 06, 2009, 17:40:07
It`s just north of Kennington in Ashford. Here`s a google earth overview of it to help you locate where it is  ;D. Got a copy of the Eastwell Park Historiette, fascinating read. It`s a shame Philip Dormer died before the book got published  :(. It says a fair bit of damage was caused by blasting during training in early 1943 and this caused plaster to fall off walls and doors to burst open due to pressure waves!!! and they didn't bother fixing this. Such a shame, cheers for the heads up on this book. Wonder if they would have built the lake if they knew that one day it would finally cause the church to collapse  :'(
(http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn70/philio1981/WESTWELL%20CHURCH/ge.jpg)
Title: Re: Eastwell Church
Post by: Riding With The Angels on April 07, 2009, 01:54:48
Glad you found the book. I got mine at Bybrook Garden centre some time ago now. If you ever get the chance to get to the V&A, have a look at the removed memorials, which are in the east end of the main sculpture gallery. They are some of the best specimens around and whilst it would have been lovely to have seen them in situ in the church at least they are well cared for where they are - and the V&A don't house any old tat!
Title: Re: Eastwell Church
Post by: farmer on April 07, 2009, 09:24:15
I'd like to get hold of Phillip Dormer's book, could you give me the ISBN number please? Is there any mention in his book of any incident on 9-09-44? From what I can find on the internet, its not clear what damage caused the roof collapse, a variety of causes are mentioned. Just trying to find out some ACTUAL evidence, as there is a lot of rumour and suggestion out there but no solid evidence. Having said that, actual lack of evidence for anything else probably suggests it did just collapse, and war damage from tank manoeuvers, explosions and water absorbtion from the lake could have all added up. Sounds logical. Pity though, once something makes it onto print, it usually then becomes a myth.
Title: Re: Eastwell Church
Post by: Riding With The Angels on April 07, 2009, 18:07:42
Hi Farmer - the ISBN is 0-9519732-7-4

It says
 'It was reported that much damage occurred early in 1943, when blasting, during training operations caused plaster to fall, and doors to be burst open through pressure waves. This was a recurrent problem, and repairs were not carried out. This was to save possible injury workmen. Later notices were apparently put up saying, "Keep out, you may be killed"

 When the area was used for tank training a sentry was posted at the top of the lane leading down to the church, turning back anyone attempting to enter. Owing to the secret nature of the place the whole area was closed to the public. Burial of the dead was carried out with the co-operation of the police and military. The grave diggers had a military escort, as did the burial party.

 It was early in February 1951 that a workman on the road repairs near the church reported that whilst working he heard a loud noise and a rumbling, "like a bomb", so he went to the church to investigate. The roof was still intact, and it was only when he was peering through a side window that he actually saw the roof collapse, as had three centre pillars and arch.'
Title: Re: Eastwell Church
Post by: Philio81 on April 07, 2009, 20:23:12
Glad you found the book. I got mine at Bybrook Garden centre some time ago now. If you ever get the chance to get to the V&A have a look at the removed memorials, which are in the east end of the main sculpture gallery. They are some of the best specimens around and whilst it would have been lovely to have seen them in situ in the church at least they are well cared for where they are -and the V&A don't house any old tat!

That`s where I got my copy from  ;D there`s still another copy in there farmer y,ou could try giving Bybrook Barn a ring and see if you could sort out getting it delivered, you never know. Went to the V&A last year, wish I had known about this then!  :D
Title: Re: Eastwell Church
Post by: Riding With The Angels on April 07, 2009, 21:21:14
Monuments in the V&A

(http://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h282/RidingWithTheAngels2/sub%20album%202/DSCF8837.jpg)

(http://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h282/RidingWithTheAngels2/sub%20album%202/DSCF8843.jpg)

(http://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h282/RidingWithTheAngels2/sub%20album%202/DSCF8892.jpg)

(http://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h282/RidingWithTheAngels2/sub%20album%202/DSCF8893.jpg)

(http://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h282/RidingWithTheAngels2/sub%20album%202/DSCF8894.jpg)

(http://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h282/RidingWithTheAngels2/sub%20album%202/DSCF8844.jpg)

(http://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h282/RidingWithTheAngels2/sub%20album%202/DSCF8846.jpg)

(http://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h282/RidingWithTheAngels2/sub%20album%202/DSCF8849.jpg)

(http://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h282/RidingWithTheAngels2/sub%20album%202/DSCF8847.jpg)

(http://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h282/RidingWithTheAngels2/sub%20album%202/DSCF8851.jpg)

(http://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h282/RidingWithTheAngels2/sub%20album%202/DSCF8854.jpg)

(http://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h282/RidingWithTheAngels2/sub%20album%202/DSCF8884.jpg)

(http://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h282/RidingWithTheAngels2/sub%20album%202/DSCF8883.jpg)
Title: Re: Eastwell Church
Post by: farmer on April 08, 2009, 11:25:07
Thanks RWTA and Philio. I'll get the book. Incredible the things done in the war, real pity. I've seen a few other churches dealt with in the same way over the country, still on firing ranges in Salisbury Plain and Thetford Norfolk. Incredible to see what was in that church, just glad it got to the V and A rather than peoples gardens. Wonder where the bells went?
Title: Re: Eastwell Church
Post by: Riding With The Angels on April 08, 2009, 23:58:19
Useless fact time - Look at the Moyle Finch tomb and read the explanatory note. It is widely accepted now that if a persons effigy has the eyes closed then it was carved after their death and if the eyes are open then they were alive when constructed. In this case this can be seen to be correct as he has them closed and she open.
Title: Re: Eastwell Church
Post by: Riding With The Angels on April 09, 2009, 19:54:14
The words on the sides of the white lady plinth were found on a piece of paper under her pillow when she died. Very sad story!
Title: Re: Eastwell Church
Post by: Riding With The Angels on October 27, 2009, 17:38:33
I like the place and have been there frequently since I found it about 5 years ago. I seem to recall seeing a similar sign back then but not for some time. In the time I have been going there I have never found any problems there other than the odd tile going missing from the white lady chapel. Perhaps they just ended up in such a state they were taken down and left to chance. It is the responsibility of the local parish council and appears to be in good repair although I wish they would uncover and clean the headstones that were laid down. There is so much history just under the turf that is gradually being lost including the memories of the deceased and their lives.
Title: Re: Eastwell Church
Post by: John E Vigar on March 12, 2010, 16:46:09
This church is in the care of a national charity, The Friends of Friendless Churches.
www.friendsoffriendlesschurches.org.uk

Title: Re: Eastwell Church
Post by: oldsunset on March 29, 2010, 07:20:06
just stuff to add to your great photos;

According to Francis Peck's Desiderata Curiosa, Richard boarded with a Latin schoolmaster until he was 15 or 16, without knowing who his real parents were (though he was visited four times a year by a mysterious gentleman who paid for his upkeep and who once took him to a "fine, great house" where Richard was met and treated kindly by a man in a "star and garter"). At the age of 16, just before the battle of Bosworth, the gentleman took him to see Richard III, who informed him he was his son. The king told him to watch the battle from a safe vantage point and that, if he won, he would acknowledge him as his son but that, if he lost, he must forever conceal his identity. The latter occurred, with Richard of Eastwell fleeing to London to be apprenticed to a bricklayer, though keeping up the Latin he had learned by reading during his work.

Whilst working on Eastwell Place for Sir Thomas Moyle around 1546, Moyle discovered Richard reading and, having been told his story, offered him stewardship of the house's kitchens. Used to seclusion, however, Richard declined the offer and was granted his request to build a one-room house on Moyle's estate and live there until he died. A building called "Plantagenet Cottage" still stands on the site of the original.[1]

[edit] Re-discovery
The record of Richard's burial was re-discovered in the parish registers around Michaelmas 1720 by Lord Heneage, Earl of Winchelsea, whilst he was researching his own family, and passed on (along with family tradition of his story) to Thomas Brett, L. L. D, who communicated it in a letter to William Warren, L. L. D., president of Trinity Hall, who in turn passed it on to Peck.

The burial record in the Eastwell Parish Register is a 1598 transcript of the original and is dated 22 December 1550. The handwriting is consistent and not considered a forgery.[2][3] The register entry reads: "Rychard Plantagenet was buryed on the 22. daye of December, anno ut supra. Ex registro de Eastwell, sub anno 1550."

In 1861, John Heneage Jesse published his Memoirs of King Richard III[4]. He states:

Anciently, when any person of noble family was interred at Eastwell, it was the custom to affix a special mark against the name of the deceased in the register of burials. The fact is a significant one, that this aristocratic symbol is prefixed to the name of Richard Plantagenet. At Eastwell, his story still excites curiosity and interest ... A well in Eastwell Park still bears his name; tradition points to an uninscribed tomb in Eastwell churchyard as his last resting place; and, lastly, the very handwriting which, more than three centuries ago, recorded his interment, is still in existence.

A rubble-stone tomb with modern pointing, within the floor plan of the now ruined church of St Mary's, Eastwell has a plaque with the following words:

Reputed to be the tomb of Richard Plantagenet, 22. December 1550
Although his name is inscribed on one of the tombs, the grave is more likely to be that of Sir Walter Moyle, who died in 1480.[5] The church, which has been a ruin since the 1950s is cared for by a national charity the Friends of Friendless Churches.
Title: Re: Eastwell Church
Post by: Bryn Clinch on March 20, 2016, 10:32:42
Wonder where the bells went?

According to "Love`s Guide", they were scrapped.

http://kent.lovesguide.com/lost.php.


Title: Re: Eastwell Church
Post by: Bryn Clinch on September 06, 2016, 14:40:00
A few photos from a recent visit . . . .

Title: Re: Eastwell Church
Post by: Bryn Clinch on September 06, 2016, 14:43:31
and a couple more which refused to be added to the previous post
Title: Re: Eastwell Church
Post by: edwin lambert on October 23, 2017, 15:16:19
Lovely disused church, a great pity the church was left to become derelict. Does anyone know where the registers of Birth, Marriage and Death are now kept? Hopefully also the Burial register of the 1900s onwards.

Edwin Lambert
Title: Re: Eastwell Church
Post by: Longpockets on October 23, 2017, 20:12:18

I thought this had been answered in your post "Genealogy Requests / Re: Eastwell Church". please check that.