Welcome. Come inside and I will tell you about my journey to Chipping Warden, a hamlet located barely inside the Northamptonshire boundaries. It is a town with kind people, houses topped with thatched roofs, two charming pubs (but only one serves food on Mondays), a Norman church, and a bus that speeds through at quarter of the hour. According to Wikepedia, the Domesday Book records that in 1086 the manor of Chipping Warden was the caput of the estates of Guy de Raimbeaucourt, a baron from Raimbeaucourt in northern France. The Norman architectural elements of the parish church of St. Peter and St. Paul suggest that it may date from about 1200 with the stained glass above the altar added later . . . about 1300.
I have now returned from my grand trip with my teenage granddaughter. I am still shaking the cobwebs from my head, but thankfully my jet lag is not as severe as it was when I arrived in London. A bit of information for those who might not know, chips are french fries, crisps are chips, and a third floor room is really on the fourth floor. The last being the most important.
As planned, I spent one day traveling to the small hamlet of Chipping Warden to visit the town where my g-g-g-grandfather, James Bush Allen was born and baptized, where his parents were married and his youngest brother Samuel is buried. This journey required us to use the London Underground, a train, and finally a taxi. We gave up on using a bus when we couldn't figure out where to purchase a ticket and observed the numerous small towns that were stops on the route to Chipping Warden. So after a walk to the bus station, we returned to the train station and opted for the taxi driver who had estimated the ride would cost £12. It turned out to be £15. . . but what is a mere £3 to a dedicated genealogist?
After my arrival in London, I contacted the church warden, Barbara, and we arranged to meet at the church late Monday morning. Barbara is a lovely lady whose family lived in the area for generations. She asked the family names I was researching and told me that she would see if they had any records for my ancestors at the church. This was so exciting. When we arrived with true British hospitality we were offered tea or coffee upon our entrance. Because they had a funeral earlier that morning , Barbara had two other church members still at the church with her. I was immediately struck by the simple grandeur of the old stone church. There is such a difference between a living church and one that is merely a tourist destination.
|Notice the leper slit behind the pew.|
I am now going to flood you with images of the church.
|Looking away from the altar toward the back of the church|
|The altar and choir pews facing each other|
|The side exit to the cemetery surrounding the church|