25 July 2018
Forty five years ago a seedling from an evergreen oak in the nearby Old Vicarage Garden gained a foothold in a grave, and grew until it touched the brick wall of St Mary's church in Sisland.
As a result the wall became damp, which damaged the brickwork and the rare plaster panels of the Ten Commandments in the Chancel.
In 2017 the tree was felled and others trimmed, and light once again came flooding through the East Window, particularly welcome at Holy Communion on wintry mornings. The wall was repaired and stabilised and is slowly drying out. The work involved a cost of over £6,000, mostly because of a seedling tree!
We can now read the handsome headstone that the tree obscured, and find that it was the last resting place of Henry Page Blunderfield, a direct descendant through 25 generations of Richard de Blunville of Calvados in Normandy, and one of William the Conqueror’s Barons listed in Domesday (1086) as a war lord. He held lands in Suffolk, Essex and Norfolk.
His descendant, who died in 1918, farmed at Hales Hall in Loddon and The White House Farm in Sisland.
A case of swords into ploughshares.
Thanks to Terry Read for writing to us to let us know.