Another day, another crap photo.
Having transcribed the memorial of the previous two posts, I was strolling around the cemetery of South Wraxall church, waiting for H.I. to wrap up the final Summer School of 2012, when I came across this 19th century gravestone.
This inscription is on the side of the Forest of Dean sandstone slab, and the main inscription has sheared off the face in one thin piece, and is currently leaning up against the back.
It reads, 'Lloyd Bedwyn'. That is not the name of the deceased, it is the name of the maker - Lloyd of Great Bedwyn, whose memorial masonry business is still running from behind the wonderfully eccentric shop-front in the village of Great Bedwyn, set in the heart of the ancient Savernake Forest, about 35 miles from South Wraxall and just the other side of Marlborough.
Over the years, the various generations of Lloyds have bolted interesting bits and pieces to the brick front of their shop and created a sort of roadside museum. The only criteria for the collection is that the items are all made from stone, and include a massive slab which is the fossilised print of the foot of a huge dinosaur which stepped in the Jurassic mud of millions of years ago.
I was about to say that these rare set-ups are so English, but then I remembered having seen similarly eccentric establishments at the sides of roads in places like France, Eastern Europe and America in the past. We certainly don't have the monopoly on eccentricity.
What is definitely uniquely English though, is the countryside in which the churches are set, and the churches themselves. I can understand why the The Ragged Society of Antiquarian Ramblers spend most of their free time in them - I am always at peace and in a state of unhurried tranquility when wandering around the musty interior of a medieval church, despite having none of the convictions of a modern-day Christian, let alone the old, post Henry V111th, fire-breathing anti-Papist ones.
I have never quietly enjoyed myself at work so much as when I helped H.I. out with the Doom-Board restoration at Dauntsey, and we were both very sad when the work came to a close.
Even the architect commented that the work was very 'Month in the Country'.