Sunday, 17 June 2018

Research Trip 2018 (6)

Today's the day I start to make my way home; I'm heading back southwards and eastwards to Lincolnshire (I came northwards and westwards) so I'm taking the A44 towards Leominster to start. This will take me very near to New Radnor.

Why New Radnor? Well, I've been aware that Sarah Mantle Lewis, my great grandmother, while she lived in Llandewi Ystradenny, had an illegitimate child, Ethel. Ethel's birth certifcate doesn't name the father but the birth took place at the Smith Shop where Richard Jones was the blacksmith. Known alternatively as Ethel Lewis and later, Ethel Jones, she spent much of her life 'in service'. As I knew her birth date, I was able to find her in the 1939 Register in New Radnor. I've also obtained a copy of her will. I'd checked the MIs for New Radnor at Powys Archives and so I was able to 'visit'.

St Mary's Church in New Radnor looks rather forlorn - I wonder how large the current congregation is as it doesn't look very used. Still, it's kept open for visitors and that's a good thing.

Great Aunt Ethel's grave is quite a long way  from the church itself but a rose has been planted on it and it does look cared for. Her will has given me some clues as to other relatives as she bequeathed sums to three sets of great nieces and nephews. Robert Jones and John Jones (who I believe to be the sons of her brother Walter Jones, the younger brother of my grandfather Pryce), Bryan Thomas and Janet Thomas (the son and daughter of Florence Mantle - the daughter of Edward Davies Mantle, the child of my great great grandmother, Eliza Rees - I'm not exactly sure of the relationship here but Edward Davies Mantle was the half brother of Sarah Mantle Lewis) and Mervyn Hart and Christine Hart (I've yet to work out the relationship for this set). 

So, having paid my respects to Great Aunt Ethel I continued my journey; through Leominster and off towards Ludlow to stop at Berrington Hall, a National Trust property. I thoroughly enjoyed this stop; the house is unprepossessing on the outside but well proportioned on the inside. 

There was a fascinating 'event' taking place: . In brief, an 18th century dress belonging to the mistress of Berrington had been found at auction and it was being studied and preserved when I visited. The conservator was on the premises and came to talk to a few us visitors about the dress and how it had been made, the material etc etc. It was fascinating - silk fabric (probably produced in Spitalfields) with gold thread (not silver gilt and so still as bright as when it was made). They hope to preserve the original and make a plain duplicate to have more understanding of how court mantuas were made and worn. 

I ended the day at Hinckley, Leicestershire. Onward to Bosworth Field tomorrow!

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