St Andrews Church and The monument to Gwenllian of Wales both sit isolated at the end of a narrow track.
St Andrews Parish Church and Sempringham Abbey Church
The current church of St Andrews sits to the north of the site where St Mary’s Priory once stood and where Gwenllian of Wales was held captive after being abducted by King Edward I in 1283 until her death .
The priory of St Mary’s was founded by St Gilbert around 1139 and was an order of both Gilbertian monks and nuns, it was destroyed in 1158. The present church once was larger than it is today due to the fact that in 1788 the Norman chancel and transept were taken down because it had become dilapidated.St Andrews Church and The monument to Gwenllian of Wales both sit isolated at the end of a narrow track.
The monument you pass on the way to the church commemorates Gwenllian of Wales, daughter of Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, the last true Prince of Wales.
Monument Commemorates Gwenllian of Wales
Gwenllian was abducted by King Edward I in 1283 after the defeat of her father, because she was a threat to King Edward’s hold on power in Wales, rather than kill the infant Gwenllian was taken to Sempringham Priory and kept a captive in order that she remained childless. She spent the rest of her life at St Mary’s Priory Sempringham in Lincolnshire as a nun of The Gilbertian order where she died at 54 in 1337.
The separate Bell Tower of St Giles originally was part of the main building but it tumbled to the ground in the 18th century.
There has been two reasons given for this catastrophe, the first being that of strong winds combined with poor foundations. The second explanation which has such a gothic charm it makes you wish that it was true.
It is said that the peel and clammer of the bells so irritated Lucifer himself that he toppled the tower to the ground.
All credit must be given to Sir Gilbert Scott who undertook the rebuilding of the tower on it present site in 1880s, for his courage in putting right what Old Nick had destroyed.
Bourn village is situated in the county of Cambridgeshire just to the east of Ermine Street, the Roman Road between London and Lincoln also called the Old North Road.
Village Sign Bourn
It is home to the world-famous Bourn Hall clinic setup by Patrick Steptoe and Robert Edwards in 1980. Bourn Hall was built-in the early 1600 on the site of a Bourn castle.
The castle was a wooden structure erected in Norman times towards the end of the reign of Norman the Conquer, it was destroyed by fire during the reign of Henry III in the war of the Barons.
The Church of St Mary’s and Helena’s that we see today dates back to the twelfth century but there was a church built just after the Norman Conquest which was made of wood.
The Church of St Mary’s and Helena’s
The belfry has a peel of eight bells which have been added to over the years, in the 19th century Bourn was renowned for its good hunting land, the bells of the church would be rung to advise to meet at one of the inns for the hunt. In 1842 the parish could boost a total of five inns.
Soutra Aisle is situated halfway between Edinburgh and the Abbeys of the Scottish Borders, it is all that remains of a Hospital, Monastery and Church which was founded in 1164 and was run by Augustinian Monks.
Soutra Aisle, The Borders Scotland
The Hospital was known as the House of the Holy Trinity and is believed to have been the largest hospital in medieval Scotland. The founders intention was that it was a hospital for the poor as well as travellers and pilgrims visiting the shrines of The Scottish Borders.
The remote location reflects medieval society’s suspicion and fear of sickness, but its locality to one of the few major routes in southern Scotland at that time shows that it was an essential institution for the support of the sick.
Soutra Aisle, The Borders Scotland
The church was built at the top of a hill where there were often fierce winds and frequent cold spells.
The winds still below today but these are now harnessed by a 26 turbine wind farm on Dun Law.
Peakirk is a small village near Peterborough to the south and Stamford to the west, its name means Pega’s Church.
In the Eighth century St Pega had a hermitage here, she was the sister of St Guthlac who resided on the island of Clowland some 5 miles away. It is said that she lived in Clowland before being banished by him because he maintained that her form had been taken by the devil tempting him to break his vows and eat before the sun went down.
When her brother died in 714AD she attended his funeral traveling along the river Weland where tradition has it that she healed a blind man from the town of Wisbech on her way to Crowland.
A year later Pega set out on a Pilgrimage to Rome she never returned to Peakirk, she did in 719 and her mortal remains rest in a unknown church in the eternal city but legend has it that her heart was returned to the Peakrirk to be Interned in a shrine.