Meet the lords of the manor at Landkey

Parishioners Michael Gee and Wendy Steggel at Landkey Parish Church with the newly restored stone effigies of Sir Robert and Lady de Beaupel. Parishioners Michael Gee and Wendy Steggel at Landkey Parish Church with the newly restored stone effigies of Sir Robert and Lady de Beaupel.

Sunday, August 3, 2014
10:51 AM

New Tuesday open afternoons and guided tours at St Paul’s Church to meet a crusader knight and his lady plus find out more about its hidden historical treasures.

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Landkey Parish Church.Landkey Parish Church.

THERE is a rare chance to meet the original lords of the manor at Landkey as the Parish Church opens its doors for historical tours.

Crusader knight Sir Robert de Beaupel, his wife Lady Elizabeth and their daughter-in-law Lady Joan have been restored to a place of honour at St Paul’s after centuries of being buried, lying on the floor and generally getting in the way.

Weekly Tuesday open afternoons and free informal tours are now underway with a rare opportunity to see the 13th century stone burial effigies and other intriguing bits of history.

They will be held from 2-5pm, guided by Michael Gee and fellow parishioners, with quizzes for children plus refreshments.

The 17th century memorial in the Ackland - now Lady - Chapel at Landkey Parish Church.The 17th century memorial in the Ackland - now Lady - Chapel at Landkey Parish Church.

The liveliness of the statues – with Sir Robert playfully turned towards his wife – is thought to be very rare, with few examples in the UK.

They were apparently discarded when the church was rebuilt in the 14th century and it is thought they were buried up to Victorian times, then forgotten in a corner until a £15,000 fundraising appeal saw them restored to new stone plinths last year.

“They had been woefully neglected,” said Michael.

“The church is closed most of the time for security, so most won’t have seen them, even those who live in the village. It would be nice if someone turned up who knew more, perhaps even those with Beaupel ancestry.”

There has been a church at Landkey since St Kea arrived in the fifth century and there is plenty to see, including carved medieval roof bosses, the Ackland Chapel with its elaborate monument and many other hidden treasures.

The de Beapel family is thought to have arrived with the Norman Conquest and became lords of the manor at Knowstone and Landkey, giving their name to Beaple Moor.

Anyone who wishes to view the church outside of opening hours can call 01271 831534.

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