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Adrian Fletcher & Dom Paradox D.O.C.G.

aka Paradox of Paradoxplace, and family website ciaofamiglia




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18 September 2012 - road trip starter - the Swan Coach and Royal Mail Inn, Thorowfare, Harleston.  Apart from the cars and sealed road, this friendly streetscape is essentially the same as it was in the 1850s when James Aldous' son William Poole Aldous was the licensee for 10 years, and other members of the Aldous and Whiting families lived and made their livings here in the first half of the 1800s, though they worshipped at Starston and Redenhall. 



The Parish Church of St Peter & St Paul, Fressingfield, Suffolk - William Aldous c1450-1531 (81),

Adrian's 12xgrt grandfather and the earliest Aldous we know of tracked down, was buried here in January 1531, having earlier been a church warden in the 1490s.



St Mary, Homersfield (aka South Elmham St Mary) (Suffolk) where Yeoman John Whiting (1688 - 1729), husband of Abigail below, was buried on 29 May 1729 aged just 40.  His father, Yeoman James (c1656  - 1728/29), was buried here on 9 February 1728/29 aged 72 , and his mother Anne (Neech) in January 1729/30 aged 63.  Looks like there was a serious bug going around Homersfield in 1729



The top of the St Margaret Starston grave of Abigail Whiting (Musk) (1698 - 1752 (54)), Adrian's 6xgrt grandmother, who was buried here on 7 April 1752 near the graves of her sons Charles and John, and beside the grand sarcophagus containing her grand-daughter Martha Aldous (Whiting).  Below is an extract from the well written and preserved Starston Parish Register of 260 years' ago, with Abigail's burial top right.




Two generations earlier Elizabeth Whiting, Adrian's 8xgrt grandmother and Yeoman James' mother, was buried in South Elmham St James, Suffolk, right at the end of the 1600s.  These little figures from a contemporary local vault slab illustrate how she and hubbie Yeoman William might have dressed.  Due to the kind helpfulness of the Norfolk Record Office, we have been able to photograph their original wills and probate inventories, and the original wills of their descendants.  Elizabeth did not write, but still had a way with sealing wax (though you would have thought that this was why proper seals were made!).




The round-tower parish church of St Andrew, Weybread (Suffolk), where Adrian's 4xgrt grandfather John Poole, draper of Mendham (Suffolk), was buried on 27 January 1812.  After this 2012 visit we solved the mystery of why Weybread? .... it was because John's first wife Elizabeth (Bond) was buried here on 13 August 1773.  Their church was the chapel of St John the Baptist in Harleston, but this had no graveyard and Weybread was a more accessible proposition than the "father church" of St Mary, Redenhall.  It is possible their grave / MI is still there - in fact we later discovered that its original location was a slab abutting the Chancel wall on the west side of the priest's door.  John eventually lived in Mendham (as stated on his burial record) and his 15ish children were christened there and earlier at Harleston.  His second wife Sarah Poole (Strutt) from Diss was buried in St Mary Redenhall in December 1836, followed by sons Thomas and Zachariah, and daughters Harriette Aldous and Martha Abel plus Harriette's husband James (Adrian's 3xGrt Grandfather) and several Aldouses.




And elsewhere in Norfolk, something completely different.  Adrian's grandfather Rex Fletcher sent his mum this postcard money appeal from Long Stratton in 1909 when he was 19 year old medical student at London Hospital.   Noone could have imagined the unbypassed nightmare that this street was to become 100 years' later when Rex's grandson popped over for a look !








Old Bell House, Somerton, for a few years in the late 1940s our childhood home







Barnstaple Guildhall - portraits painted by Thomas Hudson c1739.  Top row 3rd in from the left is Mayor Alexander Webber 1685-1739 (54), a pewterer of note and Adrian's 6xgrt grandfather (below).





Adam 'n Eve in the restored 1620 ceiling of the Spanish Merchants' Company guild house in Barnstaple (now a fun bistro)



And a little to the west in the church of St Brannock, Braunton, Major General Henry Webber (grandson of Mayor Alexander Webber above) never came clean about his early son (also Henry Webber and to be Adrian's 3xgrt grandfather) by a pre-Lucie Indian lady.  Henry jnr's adult (he was 30 years' old) christening record ("mother unknown") is so sad .... a couple of years' before this Henry Snr and new wife Lucie had made things worse by naming their first born Henry, and maybe this played a part in the real Henry Jnr's decision to go public about his father.  One wonders what the logistics of his upbringing were.










The centuries old font in the Bodmin church of St Petroc has been very successfully relocated to the centre west of the church.



Adam 'n Eve on the back of the ancient Bishop's Chair in Bodmin



Dr George Demountfryart (here spelled de Mountfryart) (Adrian's 7xgrt grandfather) was Mayor of Bodmin in 1691, 1694, 1700, 1712, & 1716 - in this original document he signs off with the rest of the Bodmin hierarchy on the poor rate records in 1713.  Wonderful to imagine him sitting there and executing this great flourishing signature 300 years' ago.



Mount St Michael, near Penzance






descriptions from the menu



Hot Shellfish with Parsley, Chilli, Olive Oil, Garlic and Lenon Juice

Langoustines, oysters, clams, razor clam, scallops, winkles, mussels, whelks, cockles and crab claws

Outstanding, says Adriano, and would have been perfect if the olive oil had been a bit more Tuscan zingy.



Followed by - Newlyn Fish Pie

With lobster, prawns, monkfish and scallop in a seafood velouté with truffle oil

and, Adriano has to say, the best hot fish thing he has ever tasted!



Brekkers - Adriano has nothing to add!



Padstow Harbour after breakfast







A double diocese bishop parades two croziers on the font of St Faith (aka Santa Fe / Sainte Foy), Overbury (Gloucestershire)




"Medieval" yokel Dragons, a huntin scene and a watchful Owl in the "Chapel des Penitants" opposite the entry to Hailes Abbey (Cistercian of course), Gloucestershire.







Hailes Abbey itself was bankrolled by King John's son Richard, Earl of Cornwall (1209 - 1272 (63)), who was inter alia the only Englishman to make it to the double eagle position of King of the Romans.



A brace of fishes survive on the floor of the church.




Whilst in Aston Somerville (Gloucestershire) the real dragon thing breathes fire from the tower of the church of St Mary, and a well fed cornerman (below) keeps a 24/7 loookout.







St Peter, Hook Norton (Oxfordshire) - no prizes for recognizing Sagittarius on the right, but who is on the left, and what's going on?







The White Swan at Pickering, Yorkshire - a favourite road trip overnighter for team Paradox.



The medieval Scarborough Castle overlooks the medieval church of St Mary (tower on the far right and originally a Cistercian nunnery), and the cemeteries where Fletcher and Procter great great grandparents and other ancestors were laid to rest.



In 2011 we located Great Grandparents John & Maria Fletcher in the Manor Road Cemetery, but failed to find Joseph & Elizabeth Procter - though it turned out they were resting here - near where the car was parked!



Joseph's uncle Harrison spent a lot of his life in Scarborough, and he and wife Fanny are buried  in the adjacent Dean Road Cemetery.

In 1881 Fanny was probably staying with her son Harrison, who was a vet with pony & trap in Newark.








Raby Castle, owner of most things round Staindrop and wider afield, and in 1730 the property of Gilbert Vane, 2nd Baron Barnard (1678–1753).


Owners of Raby Castle



Staindrop Parish Register:  Record of the christening of Robert Procter - Son to Robert & Ann Procter- Staindrop Moorside - 21 July 1730.




The Brignall (near Barnard Castle) 1700s Accounts Book shows 5xgrt grandfather Robert Procter as 1745 Village Constable 250 years' ago.



Barnard Castle - with full-on sun provided for once!  To the right of the tower can be found the grave of Adrian's 4xgrt grandmother Mary Procter (Harrison) - 1763-1797 (34).







The two ends of the St Mary chancel arch are anchored by the heads of Edward IV (1442 -1483 (41)) (left) and his brother Richard III.  Richard III (1452-1483-1485 (32)) was a big benefactor of Barnard Castle and its church.  The King hit the headlines in September 2012 when a Leicester University team claimed a body they had dug up under a local car park was probably his.  Up till now Richard has been the only crowned English King whose burial place (after he was hacked to death at the Battle of Bosworth) was not known - though there is also doubt about others including who the body parts that went into Harold's grave belonged to.


Elsewhere in the church, a partially obscured stone bas-relief propped up against the north wall displays the double headed eagle of a "King of the Romans".  King John's son Richard, Earl of Cornwall, 1209 - 1272 (63), was inter alia the only Englishman to make it to be elected as King of the Romans.



Whilst alongside a couple of medieval boars battle it out (or dance) in front of St Anthony








Border Country - Ford, Northumberland







Lincoln - White Hart bedroom view ....... wow!



And inside, the little caricature head of one of the Cathedral's Master Masons has not let up on shouting orders .....







Holy Cross Church, Ilam, Staffordshire Peak District








Late Autumn in Little Ryton, Shropshire







Spring morning over Sydney 2012 - a rare combination of the right sun and seat, plus remembering the camera .... home again!






Adrian Fletcher's main website



Paradoxplace, a place full of  the buildings (especially abbeys cathedrals and churches), art, books, history and stories of the movers and shakers of Medieval and Early Modern Europe / Renaissance Italy and Western Europe plus lots of foodie stuff. 



Paradoxplace photo pages about Britain






Bellatrovata is the original "on the road" site for Adrian (aka Adriano and Dom Paradox) Fletcher's European explorations.  Material relating to explorations in Italy (including Tuscany, Rome and Venice), Spain, France and Britain between 2004 and 2006 has now been transferred to Adrian's main web site - Paradoxplace - and Bellatrovata contains photos and stories from the Autumn 2009, 2011 and 2012 road trips in England.   The website Ciao Adriano has illustrated accounts of extensive travels in France, Italy and England over 6 months in 2007.


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Material in this site is © Adrian Fletcher 2000-2015 unless otherwise stated - the contents may not be hotlinked or reproduced except as explained in the Paradoxplace copyright policy.

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