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St Peter and St Blaise, Somersal Herbert, Derbyshire

28/01/2016: This small church has been much 'refurbished' over the years. The roof timbers look like something from a 1900s village hall and the quarry tiled floor something from a 1950s abattoir but the walls and the beautiful Norman tub font give it away.

The traditionally hand-dressed tower was built in 1912 in memory of Thomas Fitzherbert who drowned aged 24 in 1911 and in thanks for the recovery of his sister Harriet Marjorie.

In the porch, the lintel over the door carries an inscription from Revelations, but inside the door on the underside of the same lintel is an inscription regarding the rebuilding of the church in 1836. The north side of the chancel has an effigy of a priest, name and date unknown.

In the churchyard, two adjacent stones, related to the intertwined Yates and Cope families, mention two sets of twins, none living more than 13 months, but dying 33 years apart. One of the sets of twins had different surnames, neither being the same as their parents: Anne Jane Cope and John Thomas Yates, children of George and Esther Whitaker. The twins died five months apart. Were they farmed out for adoption to different families?

© Copyright Poor Frank Raw, 2016