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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Wed 14th Sept 2011 - St Swithin's Old Churchyard, Thorley.

Green Gym had somewhere new to work at this week - the "Old Church" site at Thorely. To call it the Old Church site is technically incorrect as the building is in fact a mortuary which was formed after the church that was on this site was moved closer to the village (please read Carrie's history lesson below). We had an excellent turnout - perhaps the promise of the 400th Green Gym birthday cake encouraged more people to attend...? The area was in need of a good makeover and soon there were working parties cutting and raking in all four corners of the site. As can be seen from the "before & after" photographs above - excellent progress was made around the majority of the area. The composting pile shown in the picture above was only one of two so you can judge how much was achieved. Even the couple of rain showers didn't dampen the spirits of the workforce and the excellent cake at tea break must have fuelled the second half of the session...!

Carrie's History Lesson.

This week we were working in Thorley at St Swithin's Mortuary Chapel, which is the remains of the former parish church. It has a 13th century porch with bellcote from a church built for the wife of Baldwin de Redvere Earl of Devon, which was demolished in 1871 when the modern church was built at Thorley Street, and the remains of the old church were converted into a mortunary chapel. It is built of stone rubble with a tiled roof, is gable ended and all corners have angled buttresses. The south front has a centred doorway over which is a tablet with the inscription "this mortuary chapel was built in May 1871". The ancient portion formed the bell turret of the old church of Thorley". The planked door is 19th century with a lancet window above, while the east and west sides have rectangular bell openings with dripmould below and louvred shutters. On the north side there was a double lancet window.

Many thanks to Carrie for the photographs and history lesson.

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