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WYENOT NEWS - ROSS-ON-WYE
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Wyenot News - The weekly News Magazine for Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire
Issue No. 112 - 13th September 2006
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[Heritage Open Day at St. Mary's, Kempley - British Legion]
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St. Mary's, Kempley

Last week, Wyenot News covered the preparations being made at the Church of St. Edward, the Confessor in readiness for the English Heritage Open Days which took place over the weekend. St. Edward's is a relatively modern church and well worth a visit.

On Saturday, 9th September, I went along to the open day at the much older Kempley Church of St. Mary's. In its peaceful country location, St. Mary's is just fantastic to visit. The church contains 12th century water colour wall paintings of national importance, an early 16th century wooden parish chest and wooden roof beams, which are the oldest recorded in North West Europe.

Continued . . .


St. Mary's, Kempley. DSC_5836

The Chancel. DSC _5928

The Nave. DSC _5972

The early 16th century Parish Chest. DSC_5894

The Wheel of Life. DSC_5898
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The Martyrdom of St. Thomas a Becket.
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A wooden ceiling hides the 12th century roof.
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The barrel-vaulted chancel of St. Mary's, Kempley is painted throughout, including the ceiling. These beautiful ancient paintings depict biblical scenes.

The plaster in the chancel was probably put on the walls soon after the church was built in the early 12th century and the pigments added before it was fully dry, although, some detail was certainly added later. These may have included details in blue azurite pigment, which were discovered in 1989 and are visible in the haloes of the 'Evangelists' symbolic figures.

The 16th century Parish Chest, located in the tower, was made by hollowing out a large piece of solid oak. The tree used would have been about 250 years old.

Above the 17th century ceiling and unfortunately out of sight, is the oldest dated open roof, without tie beams in North Western Europe. This is made from trees felled after 1125, dating the church and the paintings to the late 1120s.

St. Mary's, Kempley is open to the public and is very well worth a visit!


Ross British Legion Remembrance Sunday

Members of the Ross-on-Wye Royal British Legion held their annual Remembrance Service at St. Mary's Parish Church, Ross on Sunday, 10th September. The service was preceded by a march from the Millennium Gate on the Prospect.


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