Tuesday, 12 October 2010

East meets West -- a little meander!

Where East meets West - a little meander.
The weather has been so gorgeous here over the last few weeks. 
A true reward for a later return to Spain than usual!
I love West Ogwell and I love blogging -- It is teaching me so much!
I have learnt all these things--- How lazy, that I did not know them before, but no matter.
I know them now, or at least until I forget them!
The place name Ogwell (Wogganwylle in 956) Originally referred to Wogca's or Wogga's stream.
A lovely walk to our neighbouring village!
Can you see the wooden swing in the garden?
 There are only about 20 dwellings in this lovely hamlet?

Geese on guard!

Beautiful Barn Conversions.

Signs of the mixture of old and new!

I love this old post box tucked amongst the granite stone work.

The old boots waiting to be planted up for autumn.

We actually often wonder " Who does live in a house like this?"
It is enormous,imposing and posh!

A little way down the lane we come to my favourite part of the village . Fields on one side,
And a magnificent building on the other.


In 1589 Thomas Reynell built West Ogwell house next to the Church, supposedly with the labour of Spanish captives from the Armada!
He and his descendants lived at West Ogwell until the 18 century.
In 1925 the house was sold .
It became a diocesan centre for conferences and retreats.
From 1939 to 1942 the Anglican Community of the Companions of Jesus ran a school in the building but in 1943 it became the mother house of the order. 

When we first moved to our house in East Ogwell our neighbour introduced himself as the Chaplain to the Convent in West Ogwell.
The Convent closed, and in 1996 the house once again became a centre for meditation and retreat.
Renamed Gala House.

You can still see the old bell in the bellower which would have called the Nuns to prayer.

And right next door, the Chapel of West Ogwell.

The sister's burial ground is in the south-east corner of the churchyard.

There are 3 bells in the bell tower thought to be cast in Exeter c.1400.

What a view across the valley from the back of the little church.
It is of exceptional interest as it is essentially an unaltered building of c. 1300.

Concern at the small population of this rural parish ( only 50 in 1831)  limited the rector's income and led to a union of West and Ogwell Churches in 1846.
In 1981 West Ogwell became redundant and the building was vested in the Chrches Conservation Trust.

The Churches Conservation Trust is the National Charity that cares for and preserves English churches of historic,architectural or archaelogical importance that are no longer needed for regular worship.

In 1994 the plastered ceilings were removed  when the roofs underwent reconstruction.

The octagonal wooden pulpit is early 17th century.

The south transept formed a singular family pew with a fire included.
Fitting for the squire!

At the West End there are rows of tiered seats presumably for humbler parishioners.

Boxed pews.

There are hat pegs under the seats.

I can only imagine how many hymns would have been played through the ages!

A visitors book is full of comments from all over the world.
I read it every time I go and amazed how many "far flung" people have meandered like me to this special little hamlet of West Ogwell!


  1. I love history and especially graveyards - so many stories to tell - thanks for sharing the photos. Blogging certainly helps us learn more about where we live

  2. What an interesting and charming little church, right on your doorstep. Thank you for sharing.



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