……..having walked to the beach and climbed the cliffs we went back through the woods to the village, now mostly in ruins (the story of Tyneham) here is the old Rectory with its abandoned gardens – croquet on the lawn anyone?We could imagine the vicar walking to church past his ponds, and wondering if he and his wife planted the snowdrops.The church still stands with poignant reminders of ancient families uprooted
and loss and then this oh so cute kneeler. I came to Tyneham about 20 years ago with my Mum, we used to love reading epitaphs in graveyards and found a grave stone here on which was written ‘she did what she could’ – at least this is how I remembered it. My Mum and I had had a good chuckle about this, we did not know what she had done, or not done, but she did what she could. I remembered it was behind the church and to the left ….. had I remembered correctly would I find it? …….. YES! Here it is! Priscilla Styles, died in 1903, aged 44. The inscription actually says “She hath done what she could”. I was so pleased to find her again! (With the wonders of the internet I have since been able to find out a bit more about what she did – more of that another day).The School has been preserved with charming examples of pupils work on the desks a page from the teacher’s diary and empty coat pegs in the entrance. Such a strong mix of thoughts and emotions, mingling with ghosts and memories of a small, fairly isolated, busy seaside community. It is a peaceful setting on a sunny day, surrounded by beauty, a really fabulous place for a walk or a picnic – but for us a delicious pub lunch at the Weld Arms in East Lulworth, sitting out in the sunshine on a Sunday in February …………….. and home to watch a wonderful sundown from my bedroom window, feeling full of gratitude for where I live.
If you are as interested in Epitaphs as me and my Mum (and her Dad) there are a few more on my Dec 2012 post of a Winter Solstice Walk
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