February 13 – A bit of geocaching around Holme Lacy

Our 1066th Church Micro

Hi from Gillian and Michael

Today we set off to finish the DJF series that we began yesterday. This time we did it in reverse order to the original plan. At Little Dewhurst, we stopped and took a walk with Pema and Pinga and found a village Hall cache and A Fine Pair multi where we had to tiptoe around a very muddy patch. Wlee Mike and I did, the dogs just walked straight through. LOL

We worked our way up to Holme Lacy where we took a detour to find a church micro and we were very glad we did. This church is down a dead end road with only one house and a church at the end. St Cuthberts was our 1066th church micro which is a special milestone for us since 1066 is our name and our subject. We were so lucky that this church turned out to be so auspicious as the land on which St Cuthbert’s was built on was given after the Norman conquest by William the Conqueror to Walter de Lacy. What a treat this church was when we entered it. The Domesday Book records a priest at Holme Lacy, which implies that a church was present in 1087. The church is now in an isolated position, but earthworks in its vicinity suggest that a village existed nearby, which subsequently became deserted.

The fabric of the present church originates from the 13th century. The tower was added in the 14th century, and a north chapel and south porch followed in the 16th century. In 1833 a gallery was built and an organ given to the church. By 1924 the gallery had been removed and the old organ replaced by a new one. During that same year extensive repairs to the roof, arcade and floors.

The Scudamore family were patrons of the church from Medieval times until the twentieth century, and their monuments are a spectacular treasure. John Scudamore, who died in 1571 lies beside his wife on a tomb chest, decked out in full armour. James Scudamore, who died in 1668, wears a Roman costume in a great wedding cake of a wall monument – possibly by Grinling Gibbons. There is also a Victorian monument to a naval captain shows a fleet of fully rigged ships. There are even some twentieth-century monuments – in the churchyard is a memorial to Edwyn Scudamore Stanhope, who died in 1933, pictured as a heroic knight in armour.

Beautiful stained glass also delights the eye. Most of it is 19th and 20th century, though the chancel north window is made up of fragments of medieval glass. In the nave is a striking window showing two of King Arthur’s knights, given in memory of Archibald Lucas-Tooth, who died in World War I. His father, Sir Robert, is commemorated in the wonderful glass in the great East window, showing St Michael weighing souls.

Other treasures include the unusual 17th-century font, with its elegant stem and richly decorated bowl, and the carvings on the medieval misericords, showing angels, men, a horned demon and a dog. The five misericords and the lovely East window were my favourite parts of the church. I completed the multi with the dogs while Mike went inside to take photographs. What a wonderful statue and gate to the Scudamore churchyard. The cache was easy to find although my coordinates seemed a little out, however, the hint was very helpful.

What a wonderful 1066th church micro!! A favourite point for the church and the milestone.

Up the hill, we saw a wonderful building so we went to see what it was and it turned out to be Holme Lacy House – a Warner Hotel Leisure Club Hotel. We looked for the Mum’s Rock cache but we couldn’t find it. Also, there was heaps of traffic going in and out including a bus which made it difficult to look.

We then continued on finding the DJF caches. The only cache we did not get was no 2 as it had been disabled and also no 35 as it was placed at the gateway of a farm where there was a huge tractor and three men talking when we went past in the morning. When we returned in the evening the coast was clear and we found the cache before returning home for a nice cup of tea.

We had a great day and had 27 finds and only one cache that we didn’t find. Plus we found our 1066th church micros and are now 157th on the church micro list. A great day had by all!