CHURCH OF ST DENYS
Church Post Code NG32 1SL
There were five Vale of Belvoir Angel stones recorded here by the Heathcote's. The photographs on this page suffered due to the bright sunshine. It was early in the day and the sun was behind the stones! Apologies therefore for the quality of photos on this page.
The stone to James Johnson is battered and bruised. At one point 'Remember Death would have been carved across the top; along with the hourglass and crossed bones. All are passing on the same message to those looking on. Man is mortal and will die.
Damage at the top of this stone has left the word 'death' missing and the crossed bones damaged.
This one reads 'Here lies the body of James Johnson he died in the 53rd year of his age October the 27th 1718'
'He loved peace and quietness who here interr'd lies his reward is eternal bliss above the starry skies'
'Come Ye Blessed' is carved across the top of the stone to John Glean; a stone that is made hard to read due to some black algae pitting the surface.
The stone reads 'Here lies the body of John Glean who departed this life Jan the 31st 1728 in the 69th year of his age'
The inscription that follows I have struggled with. I have guessed at some of the wording on the top line and the final line is sunk in to the ground so I have used a line that I have seen used before
'It is better to leave all your care and time prepare for death if you'd in glory shine Work thy salvation out with care and fear that thou maist meet thy saviour dear'
The stone to Elizabeth Glen. who may have been the wife of John above, albeit with a slightly different spelling of the surname, is another which is hard to read.
This one is inscribed 'Here lies ye body of Eliz the wife of John Glen she died July ye 9th 1722 her age 57 years'
'Pale death will hardly find another so good a wife so kind a mother in all her actions she was kind these will not soon slip out of mind'
Again, this stone has sunk in to the ground and the last line of inscription is lost. I have used what I have seen used on other occasions.
'Pale Death' is likely to refer to one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse from Revelation. Death is said to have ridden a pale horse.
The stone to Thomas Blankley is propped up against a wall, with the Belvoir Angel design on the other side from the inscription.
It is always interesting to see an uprooted stone; to see how much of the stones went underground. The completed stones really were substantial pieces of work! This one has a hole at the bottom, and it was pointed out to me that this is a repurposed roofing slate.
In my mind, these Belvoir Angel stones would have been cheap to make and those who could afford them would not have been the poorest, who would have been buried without gravestones. Interesting therefore to think that someone wanted a stone like this but possibly had to cost cut to be able to afford it by providing their own stone.
This one reads 'Here lies ye body of Thomas Blankley who died September 20th 1712 aged 71 years'
The final stone here is another that is very badly damaged. This is a child's gravestone to Eliza Wright. The stone here is still standing but all that really remain is a small amount of lettering from which we can get the very basic details.
'Eliza Wright died 19th Jny in the 2nd year of her age' The date on this one looks to be 1714'
'Short was her race long is her rest God takes them soon who he loves best'