This was the home of Dorothy L Sayers writer and creator of the aristocratic detective Lord Peter Wimsey.
Her father was rector of St Marys Church Bluntisham between 1897 and 1917 before moving to the Parish Church in Christchurch.
He was responsible for the partial restoration and expansion to a ring of eight bells in 1910 which was only completed in 2004 when the bells were rehung in a new iron frame. This made a full circle ringing possible for the first time for 160 years. Perhaps an inspiration for his daughter’s novel The Nine Tailors.
It is said that the names of some of her characters in The Nine Taylors were inspired by the stone masons inscriptions in Bluntisham Churchyard a walk through the long grass failed to discover a H. Gotobed or an Ezra Wilderspin, but when all hope was almost lost we stumbled on a Thoday, a pity that it was not a William or James or even a Mary.
Henry and Helen Sayers moved from Bluntisham to Christchurch in 1917 and was rector there until his death in 1928.
Dorothy L Sayers it is said preferred Bluntisham, but was a frequent visitor to her parents home in Christchurch. She is said to have stated; “Christchurch is the last place God made, and when He’d finished he found He’d Forgotten the staircase!”
Henry Sayers photograph can still be seen in the vestry, the commemorative tablet to the couple was placed by parishioners at on the west end of the nave. They are buried in a grave on the north east side of the churchyard which was originally unmarked but their last resting place is now celebrated by a marble stone bearing their names.
St Wendra Church is situated on the outskirts of the fenland market town of March. Now surrounded by housing mainly of the modern variety, but this does not detract from the experience of crossing the threshold and encountering the heavenly angles suspended in all their glory.
They are justifiably world famous and have been admired by many, notably Sir John Betjeman and Dorothy L Sayers .
Miss Sayers has Mrs Venables the rectors wife in The Lord Peter Wimsey novel The Nine Tailors compare the hummer beamed angle roof in Fenchurch St Pauls with those of Needham Market and March
“of course the angel roof is our great showpiece, I think myself it is lovelier than the ones in March and Needham Market”.
We did try to make our own comparison by visiting the church in Needham Market, Suffolk but found it locked with no indication who held a key, perhaps we may try an other day.?
I am the great grandson of the Landlord of the Wheatsheaf pub in Christchurch and my mother remembered talking with Dorothy L Sayers in the village I have some photographs of Maypole dancing at the local school
The Nine Taylors was based around The Wheatsheaf pub
Thank you for visiting my site.
I was very interested to hear of your family connection to Christchurch and Dorothy L Sayers, I would love to see the photos, if I email you perhaps you could sent me a copy.
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Sorry have just come across your reply to my email
Unfortunately i my wife passed away last year
and having moved my collection of family photos has been put in unmarked boxes not helped by the current virus situation .!
My mobile number is 07580326096 perhaps you could send me a text tomorrow and we can make contact as i have many stories about the local area