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St Edmund, Fenny Bentley, Derbyshire

14/02/2015: There were few interesting headstones in the churchyard at Fenny Bentley, but one with a spelling error did catch my eye. This isn't from before the time when dictionaries helped formalise our language, this is a simple mistake. "IN LOVNIG REMEMBRANCE OF...". The letter carver didn't try to fix it and I wonder how many people have looked at that headstone and never spotted the error.

Outside on the south wall is a sundial, dated 1766 but apparently moved from elsewhere and again restored after 2006. The Latin inscription on the sides appears to be on pieces of stone added to the dial itself - though a good match, the joins are clear. The inscription translates as "Watch, pray, the hour passes".

Inside the church is a great pair of full size shrouded effigies. A reminder that whatever we are in life, in the end we come to the same thing - a body in a bag. The effigies are of members of the Beresford family who died in the 1470s but the alabaster figures may be later. Around the box tomb the figures of the couple's children are carved in outline and are shrouded too.

The church contains several other Beresford memorial plaques. One, in alabaster, records the details of members of the Beresford family from the 16th century. The lettering is not V cut but a shallow box cross section and was all originally filled with some dark material, flush with the surface of the alabaster. Some of the filling remains.

© Copyright Poor Frank Raw, 2016