stoke edith

10

Stoke Edith is a strange place. This Hereford village is perhaps best known for the grand Queen Anne house that burned down in 1927. The gardens were recorded in some wonderful tapestries that are now in the V&A, but all that really remains is the church of St Mary outside the gates to the house. The church dates back to the 14th century, but was given a radical 18th-century revamp, with an upper gallery, box pews and a colonnaded high altar. One of the most extraordinary things is the cadaverous medieval tomb effigy of a lady with eyes almost half-open and a high forehead that has been inscribed with graffiti. Outside in the graveyard is a one particular tomb that is overground with ivy. It recalls a green man and seems appropriate to the eery atmosphere of Stoke Edith - nature reclaiming man’s structures.