Thursday, May 26, 2011

Bromham, Wiltshire

I found Bromham, Wiltshire, parked in the village car park and walked the two hundred metres (sorry, yards, it's the UK) and went into the churchyard to find Thomas Mooore's resting place. Unmissable, it's the tall Celtic Cross among all the box tombs and the small headstones. I took the photos and walked round to the front.

"You're the man from Cavan" the local gentleman said. "No", I replied, "My car is from Cavan but I'm from Meath". It could have been an Irish village where the news of a stranger in town spreads faster than walking pace. He showed me the Moore windows in the church, one to Thomas and one to his wife Bessie.

Bromham is twinned with Avoca, Co Wicklow and my guide has been among a group who were treated very well on a trip to Avoca. Moore and family settled nearby because his patron Lord Lansdowne lived in the area. Moore's five children predeceased him.

Martin Dyar who won the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award two years ago has a show about Moore - Tom Loves A Lord. We often read Moore's Oft in the Stilly Night at our Knightsbridge Poetry Readings for the residents of the home.

Then to Salisbury Cathedral and afterwards to the wonderful Sandham Memorial Chapel designed and painted by Stanley Spencer as a memorial to a World War 1 soldier victim. The pictures on the website don't prepare you for the effect of the work in such a small building.

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