Friday, 14 January 2011

The story of two Gloucestershire villages...Eastleach Martin and Eastleach Turville

In Gloucestershire, there are twin villages - Eastleach Martin and Eastleach Turville - flowing between them is the River Leach, but they are joined by a stone clapper bridge, which leads from one parish church to another.  They are just yards apart, facing each other across the river.

St Andrew's Church Eastleach Turville
 St Andrew's is mostly Norman, with a tower roof known as a "Saddleback", an octagonal font and Norman carving by the south door.

St Michael and St Martin's,  Eastleach Martin
 St Michael and St Martin's nave and south door are 12th Century but the base of the font is 15th Century.  Sadly it is no longer in use, but is preserved by the Churches Conservation Trust.
The Keble Bridge

The clapper bridge was named after the Victorian
curate, at Eastleach Martin John Keble, after
which Keble College, Oxford is named.


Inside St Andrews, a story unfolds:

This reads:

Mr Thomas Howes by will dated the second day of June, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Sixty (1760), gave the sum of twenty five pounds (invested in One Thousand Eight Hundred and Twenty Seven (1827)in the Provident Bank for savings at Cirencester) the interest thereof to be laid out in bread and distributed on Easter Sunday in every year in the church porch to TWENTY POOR PERSONS of this PARISH such as the Churchwardens and Overseers, shall in their discretion think fit.
Ben Boyes
and                           {  Churchwardens
Tho. Newport

Thomas Newport was my Great Great Grandfather.  He was born in Eastleach Turville in 1771 and was married  at St Andrew's on 3 November 1791, to Sarah Curtis.  They had many children including the youngest George born in 1831, four years after this plaque, born when Thomas was 60!!  Thomas died in 1850.  George went on to seek his fortune in London.

More to follow ...

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