168. Pre-Norman Church

by Jarvo J June. 17, 2010 5251 views

The Battle of Ashingdon took place on this hill in 1016. Here, The Danish King, Cnut defeated the English King, Edmund Ironside. Despite losing, Edmund is celebrated in the name of the local school, “King Edmund”. The best tribute I have seen to the Danish King is a cartoon in which he is sitting on his throne on a beach trying to repel the tide. As he does this, one of his courtiers whispers to another, “Silly old Cnut”!

Just four years after the battle, this church was built. We have many Norman churches in England, but this is quite unusual in pre-dating the Norman invasion by 46 years. I expect when it was built it must have been the most impressive building for miles.

Lots of churches post lists of their past leaders in the porch. A number of things caught my eye with this one though:
Why have they noted that two of them resigned - what was going on then?
Was it a prerequisite of the job to be called John?
I presume the scratching out is the work of vandals, but why have they picked certain rectors to delete?

Someone must have had some money.

View from the bottom of the hill.

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There are 14 comments , add yours!
Marsha 9 years, 3 months ago

Totally mind-boggling! Here in the States we think it's really old if it's 1700s or early 1800s. Wish I'd have been more into history when we lived in England....older and wiser now. Love the post, Jon!

9 years, 3 months ago Edited
Helen Hooker 9 years, 3 months ago

What a charming church. As a Top Gear viewer I was fascinated to see this parish had a Stig as far back as 1038! ;-)

9 years, 3 months ago Edited
Eiram Marie 9 years, 3 months ago

Fantastic post! Love the church...the list of leaders is interesting too, never saw something like this around here. Were you able to go inside?

9 years, 3 months ago Edited
Larry Nelson 9 years, 3 months ago

Love old church buildings. Nicely done, Jon.

9 years, 3 months ago Edited
Nikoleta Mladenova 9 years, 3 months ago

Very interesting!!!

9 years, 3 months ago Edited
Sandra Vermeulen 9 years, 3 months ago

Informative post with nice shots.

9 years, 3 months ago Edited
Manuele 9 years, 3 months ago

great photo report!!

9 years, 3 months ago Edited
Jennye 9 years, 3 months ago

Great shots!.....beautiful church!.....and thanks for the info.

9 years, 3 months ago Edited
Paul 9 years, 3 months ago

#4 is a proper church!!! (and it`s call me Dave......)

9 years, 3 months ago Edited
Jet28 9 years, 3 months ago

Wow, that's old! Lovely set :-)

9 years, 3 months ago Edited
Stefan Fletcher 9 years, 3 months ago

A Gerd: I surmise that the Richards snuck in when no one was looking. They can be very wily, those Dicks.

9 years, 3 months ago Edited
Gerd Korts 9 years, 3 months ago

and why is there a gap of 200 years, fascinating post

9 years, 3 months ago Edited
Sara G 9 years, 3 months ago

Interesting post! I'm still impressed with the building :-)

9 years, 3 months ago Edited
Stefan Fletcher 9 years, 3 months ago

The Danish king beloved of all those suffering from dyslexia probably urged all wannabe priests called to David to deface those called John, Jon.

It's a little-known fact that in old Norse the name of Cnut's son Hardcnut actually translates as "total fanny".

I am curious why so many of the Johns didn't last more than a year. Must have been aggro from the Davids.

Being a rector at Ashingdon doesn't seem to have been a sinecure. The Williams must have found the Davids and the Johns a pain in the rector, in fact.

Thanks for this thought-provoking post and for the research comment in the forum.

9 years, 3 months ago Edited
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