WHATTON IN THE VALE
CHURCH OF ST JOHN OF BEVERLEY
Church Post Code NG13 9EL
There were ten Vale of Belvoir Angels recorded by the Heathcote's in their study. Apologies that I am one missing. I found nine, with these being as follows...
The gravestone to Anna Carlile is battered and bruised with much of the top of the grave having been damaged.
The inscription lower down the stone is crudely carved.
It reads 'Here lies ye body of Anna ye wife of Thomas Carlile deceased Febr 23 1706 her age 39'.
The inscription at the foot of the grave says 'Many are ye afflictions of the righteous but ye Lord delivereth him out of them all'.
This is Psalm 34 verse 19 in the old King James translation which is what would have been used in their day.
The Carpendale family had several Belvoir Angel stones made up as memorials for their family; these being found together to the west of the church.
'Here lies the body of Mary Carpendale the wife of Thos Carpendale she departed this life November 12th 1710 in the 42nd year of her age'.
The inscription at the foot of this stone is partially lost, the stone having sunk in to the ground a little over the years. The first two lines are readable and it is a standard rhyme so, with a word or two different possibly it reads
'Pale death will hardly find another so good a wife so kind a mother In all her actions so discreet as she who here lies at your feet'
Pale death could refer to disease or, more likely perhaps, it is a refernce to the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse from Revelation where Death rode a Pale Horse.
The gravestone to Thomas Carpendale is another to have suffered damage over the years. The angel itself is undamaged with the exception of one wing being clipped.
It reads 'Here lies the body of Thomas Carpendale who departed this life February 12th 1718 aged 58 years'
The inscription which follows describes a husband and wife who have each passed away. It looks as if his wife was Mary just mentioned who passed away eight years before.
'A loving husband and a virtuous wife here lies confined both to leave this life and tho their bodys are turn'd to dust their souls Ihope are dwelling with the just'
The gravestone to John Carpendale Senior has the hourglass and the crossed bones at their traditional places; a warning to those looking on that Man is mortal and will die.
Again the top of the stone is damaged with part of the angel's face gone.
It reads 'Here lyeth the body of John Carpendale Senior he died Febr ye 14th 1721 aged 59 years'
The inscription which follows is readable but I struggled with it a little. In typical style, spacing issues mean that some words are completed in small case above their intended line. Hard to make out sometimes! I think that it says
'Work thy salvation out on earth and fear that thou in in the joy mayst meet thy saviour dear'
The stone to John Carpendale Junior is in probably the best condition of the lot here. I hope that the mole who decided that this was a good place to dig doesn't do this regularly or this one is liable to sink a little in coming years!
The stone reads 'Here lyeth the body of John Carpdedale Junior he died Decr the 24th 1725 aged 26 years.
The molehill obscures some of the script lower down on the gravestone, however I shot this one a few years before and it says
'Death crops the flower the blossom and the bud happy in youth and age are they whose lives are gone'
The final stone to the Carpendale family is a basic affair compared to some. This one just has the angel across the top; no symbolism in the top corners and inscription further down, if there ever was any is now lost below ground level.
This one says 'Here lies the body of Anne the daughter of Thos Carpendale by Anne his wife she died March ye 17th day 1719 in ye 2nd year of her age'
The gravestone to John Oliver is, to my knowledge, unique in one small respect amongst Belvoir Angel stones. The stone reads 'Here lyeth ye body of Mr John Oliver he departed this life October ye 30th day 1723 in the 50th year of his age'
Further down it says 'O sad and crewell death that would not spare a loving husband and a tender father dear great is the loss to those he has left behind but he no doubt eternal joy will find let I never more delay divide us from thy glorious grace but let thy kingdom come'.
The unique aspect to this stone is to be found in the top right hand corner as well look at it, to the right of a wonderfully carved but very depressed looking angel. The hour glass is in its usual position top left; but where you expect the crossed bones to be there is instead a skeleton. The skeleton is holding an arrow in one hand and what looks to be a candle snuffer in the other. The skeleton is a traditional symbol of death and when holding an arrow or dart in the other it signifies sudden death.
A good example of this kind of symbolism is from the church grounds at Teigh. in Rutland. A beautifully carved scene shows the luckless soon to be deceased going about her business in her house. Death, in the form of the skeleton and holding the arrow is seen peering around a curtain, partially hidden and preparing to throw the arrow.
I think that this is a candle snuffer; my original though was that it was a trumpet. A candle snuffer, which is probably more likely, signifies the snuffing out of a life. A trumpet is a symbol of the resurrection, which also would work!
By the standards of many of her day, Mary Musson lived to be a fair age. Interesting to think of the times that she lived through. Born at the end of the English Civil War she would have been a teenager when the Bubonic Plague hit vast areas of the country.
This stone reads 'Here lies the body of Mary Musson widow who departed this life April ye 9th 1721 in the 71st year of her age'
'All flesh is like the withering hay it springs and grows and fades away'
The final stone that I recorded is to Elizabeth Upton. It reads 'Here lies the body of Elizabeth the wife of Samuel Upton who died May ye 16th 1732 aged 47 yr'
'Grieve not for me my glass is run it is the Lord his will be done'.
The stone that I missed, that the Heathcote's recorded states
'George the son of George and Mary Carlile died Decr ye 24 1733 in ye 9th year of his age
Also Hannah dautr of Geo and Mary aforesaid died ye 8th day of Septr 1732 aged 6 year also Mary dautr of Geo and Mary died an infant'.
The two photographs above were kindly provided by Stephen, and they are of a gravestone that I didn't see, and which wasn't recorded in the Heathcote study. This is a double angel stone, with the finely detailed angels depicted at an angle with heart symbolism surrounding them.
I had difficulty in picking out the name of the deceased on this one as the script is so elaborate that I found it hard to read. With the exception of the name though, the rest of the stone reads ' Here lyeth the body of ?? ?? he died August the 1st 1758 aged 61 years'
The epitaph below reads ' Afflictions fore long time I bore physicians was in vain till death gave ease as God did please to cure me of my pain Tho long I lay it was for my gain that I a heavenly kingdom might obtain' The last of the script disappears in to the ground so I have guessed a little; using what I have seen on a few other stones with similar text!
A lovely piece of work.,amy thanks for sending the photos over Stephen.