Saturday, April 26, 2014

Ross on Wye, Herefordshire

Kyrle’s green shoots, or, Odd things in churches (4)

Although one is used to seeing creepers and climbing plants of all sorts growing up the outer walls of buildings, it’s unusual to find them inside, but that’s what happens near the window at the east end of the north aisle in the parish church at Ross. These indoor creepers owe their presence to an ancient tradition.

In 1684, John Kyrle, who, known as the ‘Man of Ross’ had made numerous benefactions to his town, planted some elm trees in the churchyard. Some time later, after Kyrle had died, some shoots from one of the trees grew up through the floor of the north aisle and the parishioners, thinking it a good omen that a tree planted by the great man should be entering the church, let them be. They remained until the parent tree died and was felled in 1878.

These creepers were planted as replacements for Kyrle’s shoots and as a symbol of his good works in the town. Ross should need little reminder of their benefactor, though. Evidence of his works – a plaque in the town, his monument in the church, and enduring benefits such as the public garden known as the Prospect – survive as indications of his achievements.


bazza said...

That is a lovely story Philip. I enjoy indoor trees and the like. I think there is something like that in the Broadgate Development in London. Mind you it can't beat the interior of O’Faolain’s in Kilkenny, Ireland where they have rebuilt a 16th century Welsh church through three floors inside the pub!
CLICK HERE to come and help Bazza celebrate his 200th fabulous post at ‘To Discover Ice’!!

Philip Wilkinson said...

Thanks Bazza.

Good to read your 200th post – and to know that Sonny has recovered and is clearly doing well.