A church has stood in this spot since before the Norman Conquest of 1066.
The painting in the middle, above the altar, is a seventeenth century piece called The Deposition, and there is controversy as to who the artist was who painted it. Some say it is Italian, others, Spanish. It could be Murillo or Guido. We may never know.
A lovely man named Adrian who works at this church spoke with me enthusiastically about the Monmouth Rebellion, and he offered to show me up the Tower. I was ever so pleased, and I went up behind him up the 90 steps to the top.
Monmouth, followed by Lord Grey, climbed these very steps up the Tower in the days leading up to the Battle of Sedgemoor of 1685. He used this door:
He saw this:
He probably leaned upon this ledge as he used his spy-glass to look into the distance:
Isn’t that amazing? I stood where he once stood.
I felt a certain unity with him at this point, which for a historian one of the reasons why we do this – it gave me such a thrill to be standing where he stood, looking upon the whole area spread out before me, a prospect similar to what he would have seen.
You see the Tudor-style house above with the To Let sign? Adrian told me that this building was used during the terrible Bloody Assizes. I took a closer snap of it when I was in front of it:
On my way back down the stairs, I noticed some Victorian graffiti:
And a old window, covered in cobwebs, making it look all the more interesting:
Adrian also told me that many churches were being closed, and so again I donated all I could (£10) because preserving these great historical buildings is so very important for our cultural identity.
Please join me in donating to St. Mary’s, so that the Monmouth Tower and all the wonderful, fascinating aspects of this church’s history can be maintained for future generations: https://sites.google.com/site/stmaryschurchbridgwater/