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Kemble, Church of All Saints, 01285 770049

Thames Head, the spring named traditionally as the source of the Thames, is in the parish of Kemble in Gloucestershire.


All Saints, Kemble

682:  There was possibly a church here
1250: The tower was built.
1280:  The porch was added by Abbott William de Colerne.  This is a computer reconstruction to give  some idea of what it looked like in 1280 -


All Saints Kemble as it might have looked  in 1280

Except that in 1280 there would have been a Saint in the niche over the porch!

1350:  The font.
1450:  The spire was added.
1823: On 29th December the church and spire were severely damaged by lightning.
1824:  The spire was rebuilt.
1843:  A drawing of the church showed a massively distorted porch –

Over the years the porch arch began to buckle and massive buttresses were added to try to hold it up.  By 1843 it looked as if the architecture owed more to middle earth and the hobbits than to Early English!  This same distorted arch can be seen in the drawing of the whole church in 1843, probably by the same hand -

All Saints Kemble 1843

Notice the same distorted arch in 1843

1859:  Mr & Mrs Hall, The Book of the Thames -

The earliest mention of this parish is in the charters of the Anglo-Saxon kings;  it is also mentioned in that most venerable record of our country, the “Domesday Book” – the inventory of England made for William the Conqueror.  In both it is named Kemele – sufficiently close to the familiar pronunciation of its name adopted by the country-folks of the present day.  The monks of Malmesbury were possessed of this rich manor in the olden time, it being about six miles from their chief seat.  The church is a large structure, still preserving many features of remote antiquity, but they occur only in that fragmentary form which too frequently characterizes such relics.  The parts which first strike the eye are of early English architecture, the best portion being the large porch we have pictured, which, however, forms a case, or shrine, to the Norman door, with its chevron ornament decorating the arch.

All Saints Kemble 1859

By 1859 the porch had been rebuilt.  The massive buttresses remained but the arch has been restored almost as it would have been in 1280.  Note that the Victorian instinct in drawing is always to add the human touch.  The bonneted lady is staring intently at the door handle.

1872: A large part of All Saints, Kemble, was rebuilt in 1872-7
1952:  Kemble Church Plan -

1952:  Kemble Church Plan
All Saints, Kemble, 1952 plan

1964: The spire was restored.
2004: the porch, All Saints, Kemble, looked like this - with no buttresses -

Porch, All Saints Kemble, 2004
The Porch, All Saints Kemble, 2004

Kemble Church Millenium East Window, 2004
Kemble Church Millenium East Window, 2004

ALL SAINTS
It is hard for those who have never known persecution,
And who have never known a Christian,
To believe these tales of Christian persecution,
It is hard for those who live near a Bank
To doubt the security of their money.
It is hard for those who live near a Police Station
To believe in the triumph of violence.
Do you think that faith has conquered the World
And that lions no longer need keepers?
Do you need to be told that whatever has been, can still be?
Do you need to be told that even such modest attainments
As you can boast in the way of polite society
Will hardly survive the Faith to which they owe their significance?
Men!  Polish your teeth on rising and retiring;
Women!  Polish your fingernails:
You polish the tooth of the dog and the talon of the cat.
Why should men love the Church?  Why should they love her laws?
She tells them of Life and Death, and of all that they would forget.
She is tender where they would be hard,
and hard where they would like to be soft.
She tells them of Evil and Sin, and other unpleasant facts.
They constantly try to escape
From the darkness outside and within
By dreaming of systems so perfect that no one will need to be good.
But the man that is will shadow
The man that pretends to be.
And the Son of man was not crucified once for all,
The blood of martyrs not shed once for all,
The lives of the Saints not given once for all:
But the Son of Man is crucified always
And there shall be Martyrs and Saints.

T.S.Eliot

(Back to Cricklade to Thames Head)





 







Introduction
Estuary
PLA
QEII Br
Barrier
Tower Br
Custom Ho
London Br
; Frost Fairs
Cannon St Rb
The Great Stink
Southwark Br
Millenium Br
Blackfriars Rb
Blackfriars Br
Waterloo Br
Charing Cross Rb
Westminster Br
Lambeth Br
Vauxhall Br
Victoria Rb
Chelsea Br
Albert Br
Battersea Br
Battersea Rb
Wandsworth Br
Fulham Rb
Putney Br
Hammersmith Br
Barnes Rb
Chiswick Br
Kew Rb
Kew Br
RICHMOND
Twickenham Br
Richmond Rb
Richmond Br
TEDDINGTON
Kingston Rb
Kingston Br
Ditton Slip
Hampton Br
MOLESEY
SUNBURY
Walton Br
Desborough Cut
SHEPPERTON
Chertsey Br
CHERTSEY
M3 Br
Laleham Slip
PENTON HOOK
Staines Rb
Staines Br
Runnymede Br
BELL WEIR
Magna Carta Is
OLD WINDSOR
Albert Br
Datchet
Victoria Br
Black Potts Rb
ROMNEY
Eton
Windsor Br
Windsor Rb
Windsor Slip
Elizabeth Br
BOVENEY
Dorney Lake
York Cut
Summerleaze Fb
MonkeyIsland
New Thames Br
BRAY
Bray Slip
Maidenhead Rb
Maidenhead Br
Below Boulters
BOULTERS
Cliveden
Hedsor
COOKHAM
Cookham Slip
Cookham Br
BourneEnd RFb
Quarry Woods
A404 Br
MARLOW
Marlow Br
Bisham
TEMPLE
HURLEY
Medmenham
Culham Ct
Aston Slip
HAMBLEDEN
Temple Is
Fawley Ct
Remenham
Regatta
Phyllis Ct
Henley Slip
Leander
Red Lion
Henley Br
Angel on Br
Landing
Hobbs Boatyard
Hobbs Slipway
MARSH
Hennerton
Bolney
Wargrave
Shiplake Rb
R.Loddon
SHIPLAKE
Sonning Br
SONNING
Dreadnought
K&A Canal
CAVERSHAM
Reading Br
Caversham Br
Reading Slip
Purley
MAPLEDURHAM
Hardwick Ho
Whitchurch Br
WHITCHURCH
Hartswood Reach
Gatehampton Rb
Goring Gap
Goring Br
GORING
Swan
CLEEVE
Moulsford
Moulsford Rb
Papist Way Slip
Winterbrook Br
Wallingford Br
BENSON
Shillingford Br
R.Thame
DAYS
Burcot
Clifton Hampden
Clifton Church
Clifton H Br
Barley Mow
Long Wittenham
CLIFTON
Appleford Rb
Sutton Courtenay
Sutton Br
CULHAM
Culham Cut Fb
Abingdon Slip
Abingdon
Abingdon Br
ABINGDON
Nuneham Rb
Nuneham
Nuneham Park
Radley Boats
SANDFORD
Rose Island
Kennington Rb
Isis Br
Iffley Mill
IFFLEY
Oxford Rowing
Isis
Donnington Br
Riverside Slip
Boathouses
Punting
Lower Cherwell
Upper Cherwell
Islip
Head of River
Salters Steamers
Folly Br
Bacons Folly
Oxford Fb
Osney Fb
Weir stream
Osney Rb
Bullstake Stream
Osney Marina
OSNEY
Osney Br
Four Rivers
OLD RIVER
CANAL
Medley Weir Site
Medley Fb
Bossoms
Perch
Trout
GODSTOW
Godstow Nunnery
Godstow Br
Thames Br
KINGS
River Evenlode
EYNSHAM
Swinford Br
Oxford Cruisers
PINKHILL
Farmoor
Stanton Harcourt
Bablock Slip
Arks Weir Site
NORTHMOOR
Harts Fb
Rose Revived
Newbridge
Maybush
River Windrush
below Shifford
SHIFFORD
Shifford Fb
Tenfoot Fb
Trout Inn
Tadpole Br
RUSHEY
Old Mans Fb
RADCOT
Radcot Cradle Fb
Swan Inn
Radcot New Br
Radcot Old Br
GRAFTON
Eaton Hastings
Kelmscott
Eaton Fb
BUSCOT
Bloomers Hole Fb
Trout Inn
St Johns Br
ST JOHNS
Halfpenny Br
Marina Slip
LIMIT
Inglesham
Hannington Br
Kempsford
Castle Eaton Br
Marston Meysey
A419 Br
Cricklade
SOURCE?
THAMES HEAD
SEVEN SPRINGS