‘Lega’ means wood or meadow or possibly camp – lee, lea, ley all meaning the same in Anglo-Saxon. A Saxon hermitage or small chapel was built at ‘lega’ perhaps on a Celtic burial ground or holy place. This became the basis of the chancel of an enlarged church.
There is evidence that in Edward the Confessor’s reign, 1042-1066, there was a Prebendary of Lega. William the Conqueror gave Lega to one of his barons, Geoffrey de Mowbray, Bishop of Coutances and Lega became the Manor of Leigh. It was later owned by Robert Fitzharding, a Bristol merchant who in 1143 founded the Abbey of St Augustine which later became the Bristol Cathedral.
Within the upper churchyard is an ancient yew believed to be over 800 years old. Also in the churchyard, the octagonal stone steps supporting the War Memorial are thought originally to have been the base of an early Preaching Cross. There is an ancient font beside the South porch which may have been used for christenings from the earliest days of the church until replaced by the existing 19th-century one.
The church was open and it had a fabulous window depicting King Josiah holding a church and with a church with scaffolding behind it. There was also a lovely Millenium tapestry. It took us ages to find Hannah for the multi-cache and if it wasn’t for the lady in the churchyard we might never have found her. We walked to the final in the sunshine but could not recognise the hint. Finally, we saw it and there was the cache, it was easy after all and we gave the church micro a favourite for multiple challenges it gave us.
We had lunch before visiting the inside of the church as a reenactment play for Good Friday was taking place inside and outside. A lovely church had a most amazing reredos of Jesus and ten saints in gold and paint. Absolutely stunning! It also had lovely stained glass windows and I especially loved the one of St Francis of Assisi and St Andrew in the window above St Thomas Chapel altar. There are also two grisaille style windows with only a little colour, one of the lamb of God which was a Powell window and one depicting the fishers of men.
This churchyard features in several movies and also in Broadchurch. Broadchurch is an ITV detective series, starring Olivia Colman and David Tennant, filmed in Clevedon and West Bay in Dorset. A number of scenes are set around Marshalls Field where a cache called Broadchurch had been placed. We really had to grab that cache too. The coordinates for the church micro were a bit out but it could only be in one place and it was soon found. A family of other young geocachers came up the road just as I put it back. They were also having problems so we prompted then in the right direction. A favourite point for a great church, a lovely place for lunch with a view, a Good Friday play, special movie memories, a wonderful sunny day and a sneaky cache.
We headed into Clevedon and decided to visit the pier. But there was very limited car parking as it was a fine spring day so lots of people were about enjoying the sunshine, so we had to park right up the hill. On the way down we walked right past a traditional church micro but there was a couple sitting on the seat so we had to wait until our return before we were able to grab the cache.
The pier opened in 1869 and there was a ferry from the pier across to Wales until the Severn Tunnel opened in 1886. We paid a small entry price of £3 each to go onto the pier. In the pier gatehouse, there was a gift shop, a museum exhibition about the history of the pier and a cafe. we walked down the 1024 ft length of it to the pavilion at the pier head. Walking on the pier was slightly disconcerting as you could see the sea below the gaps between the planks. Many of the planks had names of people who gave money to the maintenance of the pier. Opposite the entranceway is a late 19th-century drinking fountain which is Grade II listed.
There has been a church on the site of St John the Evangelist in Kenn from pre-Norman times but most of the structure today dates from 1861 when it was rebuilt. Amongst the older items in the church are two old monuments which were rebuilt into the church wall in 1861. Over the South Door is a Cost of Arm in memory of Sir Nicolas Staling Knight, who died in 1605, and was an usher at the court of Queen Elizabeth I and on the West Wall above the tower door is a monument to Sir Christopher Kenn who died in 1593, whose family occupied the Manor of Kenn from about 1150 to the early 1600s.
In the tower is a small window depicting Bishop Thomas Ken who held the Seat of Bath and Wells from 1685 to 1690, during the troublesome time of the Monmouth Rebellion, which culminated in the ‘Battle of Sedgemoor’. We are familiar with Bishop Kenn as he was someone we learned about during our exhibition in Wells Cathedral too. He is buried in a crypt at St John the Baptist church in Frome.
A lovely little church and a relatively easy find of the geocache right where we thought it would be. We liked the parking policy which other churches should follow asking that people do not park there when there is a service on unless attending the service. It is frustrating to find perfectly good car parks that are padlocked except during services.
A lovely day exploring sites around North Somerset and then back home to see Raffy, Darcy and Rio.