European Open Doors

by david

On Friday 20th and Saturday 21st September, Chepstow Society participated in the European Open Doors at the Priory Church of St Mary's Chepstow

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Guiding visitors around the church informing them both of its historical past and architecture were Brother Thomas (Keith Underwood) in his Cistercian church robes, Puritan Gentleman (David Barber), Priest (Henry Hodges)

Amongst those visiting over the two days were some overseas visitors from Findland, Germany and the USA. Our overseas visitors found it intriguing that we were able to show and describe through records, drawing and plans who was responsible for the foundation of the priory (Prabably Roger of Breteuil, son of William Fitzosbern, Earl of Hereford) in around 1071 as an "alien" to Cormeilles in Normandy ( "alien"Until 1399 when a law was passed , only monks from the mother priory were allowed to belong to Cheptow Priory),but also taking them through the many stages if its use over the centuries to what they saw today 

 

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The Church Wardens (Alun Thompson shown here) co-operated in the project by providing the Births, Marriages and Deaths registers since 1632. For two visitors it provided differing benefits, one was able to trace his ancestors, thereby expanding  the family tree, and is to return and with Alun's permission to view the records again. Whilst another visitor living in Chepstow and wanting to know who might have lived in her house was again with the help of Alun was able to trace them

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As always there are suprise visitors. Here you see Keith with a local artist and puppeteer. The result being both are to contribute to Chepstow their particular talents

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Amongst the many fine features are the stain glass windows

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The Worcester Tomb

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Margaret Clayton Tomb

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 Illustrated floor tiles

The Society is to co-operate with the church in producing a new booklet about the priory church

 

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