23 May 2008


Returning from Oxford the other day, Teresa noticed signs to a herb and spice nursery at Farmcote, and we decided to explore during the Bank Holiday weekend. The nursery was closed, but we came upon the most interesting chapel of St Faith, which almost certainly dates from Saxon times, though additions and alterations have since been made in the Norman and Early English periods.



The chapel is set on a hill near Hailes Abbey, in a settlement of only a handful of houses. There are splendid views over the Vale of Evesham, and to the Malverns on a clear day.




The chapel is used nowadays on a rota basis with neighbouring churches the notices outside were several weeks out-of-date.






Roger prepares to enter through the south door. The irregular stonework of the walls would be consistent with Saxon construction.





The interior of the nave looking west.

The west window and font are apparently among the earliest features.

The east end of the nave serves as the chancel apparently the original separate chancel was demolished in the 19th Century.




Many of the other internal fixtures and fittings would have been provided in the 16th and 17th Centuries by the Stratford family, the lords of the manor at that time.






These effigies in the chancel are believed to be of the 16th Century couple William Stratford and his second wife, Anne Walwyn, the later tablet on the wall identifying them as Henry and Mary Stratford apparently being at variance with the original armorial inscriptions.







These birds had evidently flown in and been trapped, their corpses still lying on the window ledge.







The west window is enhanced outside with this fearsome face.





Back outside in the churchyard, we found this lamb happily grazing, separated from his flock in the next field.


He appears to be checking out his ancestry on the headstone.




A history of the Stratford family giving a lot of further detail on Farmcote and its chapel may be found by clicking on the link below.


The Stratford Family at Farmcote


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