November 2 – A geocaching day around Trowbridge

Edington Priory and a wonderful mosaic floor

Hello from 1066- A Medieval Mosaic

Today we had a list of churches to visit and to also collect the church micros from. It was quite a bizarre day as the first six churches we visited were closed. It seems that town churches are often closed while country churches are more often open.

The first church we went to was St Mary’s at Upton Scudamore where a house alarm in the small village was screaming. There were certain places you could stand in the churchyard where the noise was really deafening. Eventually, it went off which was a great relief. The numbers were quickly collected and the final was only a short walk away.

St Mary’s at Old Dilton is a conservation trust church and I walked back up the road to get the cache whose home was shared by a cluster of snails. There are so many snails and slugs in the UK and the geocaches containers are often covered in them. Holy Trinity church in Dilton was also closed so we were three for three. Then on to the Baptist Mission chapel in Dilton, at least we are finding the caches at each of them.

The tin mission church, dedicated to All Saints, was originally erected at Southwick near Trowbridge to replace the iron church there that had been destroyed by a fire in 1897. When a new stone church was built in its place in 1905 the tin church was taken down and reassembled at Brokerswood on land given by a Mr Asher of Wimborne. It has a stone and rubble foundation and a raised wooden floor, while the main structure is of wood with galvanised corrugated iron cladding. There is a small vestry annexe at the northeast corner and a high pitched bell over the main west entrance. There are no mains water, gas or electricity and heating is by portable gas heaters and lighting is by oil lamps. The church was restored in the 1990’s and is still used for services to this day. A lady with the key arrived just as we got there so we were able to go inside. I walked across the road to get the cache and there was only one place it could be however as I reached down for it I dropped it in the grass as it was a nano and very tiny. It completely disappeared into the grass and I could neither see nor feel it. Mike got our torch with its very powerful magnet from the car and the cache was soon recovered. I signed the log and very carefully replaced the cache.

At the Baptist church in Southwick, we had our only ‘Did not find’ for the day. Then off to St Thomas and we finally found a church open, our first out of seven visited so far today. It had a small painted organ and at the back of the church was a built-in immersion baptismal pool which is the first we have seen like this. There was also a wonderful stained glass window in blue colours of John baptising Jesus.

Off to St John’s at Upper Studely and another closed church. We were being a bit ditsy and missed the cache originally but once we got our act together it was actually easy to find.

At Trowbridge Baptist we walked the short distance to the cache and a guy in the house came over and we told him about geocaching. It might explain why people stop at his driveway. He was very interested but like so many people had never heard of geocaching. In Trowbridge, we also found another two church micros as well as a sidetracked at the railway station. St James church in Trowbridge looked very impressive from the outside but not only was it locked but it was padlocked. We walked around Trowbridge for a while.

On our way home we went to Steeple Ashton and lastly Eddington Priory. This was a big 15th-century church also called Church of St Mary, St Katherine and All Saints. It was open and had some wonderful wall monuments including one to John Smith from 1775. The Lewis monument was erected by Lady Anne Beauchamp to Sir Edward Lewis who died 1632.  Also, there was lovely white and grey marble monument by sculptor Sir Francis Chantrey to Sir Simon Taylor who died 1815 and 15th-century monuments to Cheney and Baynton families. It had a 15th-century octagonal stone font reset with a 19th-century marble bowl and plinth, a 17th-century cover and a beautiful 19th-century mosaic floor below the font. We were very pleased that after a day of very few churches being open that we saved the best one for last. The final for this cache looked like it was up the hill above the village and as we were unable to find somewhere to park the car we have left this one for another time.

When we arrived home in the evening after grabbing a Subway for tea we found that Tess, Jas and Mario were already home. For some reason, I thought they were coming home early the next morning. They were all a bit weary from their travels and Tess had tons of work to catch up on. We chatted with them about their week and then retired to finish packing our gear. We really enjoyed our house sit in Warminster.