Historic church carvings found in garden wall

A couple discovered the remnants of a 13th Century church hidden in their garden wall after it was demolished by hay bales falling from a farm lorry.

The bales fell outside Sheila and Phil Cutcher’s house in Wiltshire, demolishing a pillar in the process.

County archaeologist Dorothy Treasure said stones in the wall of the house in Pinkney, near Sherston, came from a nearby church demolished in the 1640s.

It is believed the carvings show part of a religious blessing scene.

“We had piled the stones up ready for someone to come and repair them when Sheila pointed out some of them were engraved,” Mr Cutcher said.

“Buildings around here are built with dressed Cotswolds stone, so they must have survived inside.”

Driver inspects the scene of the hay bale accident
The farmer who damaged the wall has paid for it to be repaired. Image copyright: Phil Cutcher

“Our house was built in the 1900s, so the question is what happened to the stones after the church was demolished and our house was built,” Mr Cutcher added.

Stones from demolished buildings were often historically reused when materials were scarce.

Mr Cutcher said the couple had not decided what to do with the stones yet, but they would remain inside to prevent further erosion.

“I don’t think they’ll build the Pinkney museum out of them, but we’ll look after them,” he said.

Main image copyright: Sheila Cutcher

First published 16.08.19: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-49362607

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