Saturday, 9 February 2008

Spooky little church - Holy Rood at the Lawns

This little church is a constant source of fascination - it stands within a walled churchyard in the grounds of the Lawns. Thick hedges and old yew trees obscure it even further, giving it an air of secrecy. It was once the parish church for Old Town, Swindon - when it was just another little country town, before the expansion that Brunel brought with the Great Western Railway.
Thank you to Graham Carter for the historical information in the comment box. I knew some of the gravestones date back to the 1600s but didn't realise the little church was quite that old. Linking this with the sarsen stone item, I wonder whether the Lawns is an ancient 'sacred site'. Going back a few hundred years, I understand that there was a water mill on the slope leading down to the lakes - there is definitely a spring (now underground) that feeds the lakes. I have a very interesting little booklet by T. Elwyn Jones called the Celtic Triangle where he says that Swyn means 'enchanted, holy, charm, magic or blessed' - Swyndon could therefore mean Enchanted Hill. Wandering around there in the February sunshine with the profusion of snow-drops it would be easy to think so.
English Heritage has scheduled this site as an Ancient Monument.