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Gravestone at The Ridge House

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FloPenrice   Jan 27th 2017 16:16

Dear all, I'm researching the Sheppard family, who built the Ridge House, above Wotton. There's a footpath that goes past the Schoolhouse, down to where the Chapel stood, and to the left of the path there's a cross-shaped headstone, laid on the ground. Does anyone know what I'm talking about, and do they know the name on the stone? Also, was the chapel built by the Shepherds, at the same time as the house?
I'm in Bristol, so a bit far to come and see for myself, but would be grateful for any information on this.

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Chandrasekar   Feb 4th 2017 16:38

Hi there FloPenrice, welcome. Very quiet on here these days, more's the pity.

I'm always up for a Junior Discoverer's Challenge, and so I set off earlier this afternoon to find the cross that you mention. And I found it!

There's quite a detailed description written on the cross, which was laid down on the bank. The only words I could make out were George, a surname that looked a bit like Branch (I wish I'd brought my reading glasses) and a date of 1857. I took one photo, which I'll try to post here once I'm back at my PC, then my phone ran out of battery. But it was a lovely walk, one I've not done before, so thanks for the challenge. Incidentally, it's The Ridings isn't it, with The Ridge being a bit further along smile

I'm afraid I don't know the answer to any of your other questions; hope you get some answers.

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doublegloster   Feb 9th 2017 17:37

I remember the rambles we used to go on up to The Ridge with Redvers Reynolds of Synwell Chapel in the 1950s. The bread ovens were still in the walls although most of the walls were down by then. There was a Japanese garden with a bridge which is still strong in my memory all these years later. We visited the little chapel which still had doors, a bell and small pews in place at the time and there were several very small tombstones which I take it were for animals under the trees.The headstone would have to be for George Bengough died December 25, 1856 who was buried in the family vault on January 2,1857 aged 62 years. Details from St. Marys Burial Register. D.G.

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Sue1632   Mar 11th 2017 17:25

I am also interested in the Bengoughs as my relative was lady's maid at The Ridge for many years. If you have a photo I would love to see it too. I walked down a footpath just to the right of the entrance gate and under a small bridge. Is this part of the Japanese garden? Is the pile of rubble in the field from the house? I see a new house has been built now. Where is the school house and chapel? Which is the small building near the entrance? I found a stone at St Mary's which was relating to George Bengough. He had a vault uder the vestry but the vicar said it was now the boiler room. Love to discover more. We are only here on holiday for the weekend. Look forward to hearing from anyone. Sue

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FloPenrice   Mar 13th 2017 08:07

Dear all, thanks for your contributions. I remember being shown round the walled garden by Mike Chappell, and he introduced me to the family living in the stable block, and also showed me the two large specimen trees that had been planted either side of the house - both of which were flourishing.
The stone is to members of the Bengough family. Harriet d.1859, George d. 1857, and Harriette Caroline d. 1844.
There is a delightful essay by one of the Bengough sisters about her childhood at the Ridge. Unfortunately I can't put my hand on it at the moment.
I don't know of a Japanese Garden.
Apparently the organ from the chapel was bought by Mike Chappell.
Someone told me that children would be sent up from Wotton, and would queue up outside the lodge for a basin of dripping from the house.
Another story was that there was a flourishing cannabis field up near the Ridings at one time, that was only discovered when a helicopter flew over it.

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Judy1658   Oct 7th 2017 23:25

Without even realising that this post was here, I took a transcription (as best I could) from the cross in April. It says:

To the
Blessed Memory of
the Beloved Wife of
who died 15 July 1859
Aged 84 years
faithful unto death thee a
Rev II 10 (Br faithful to me, even if it means death, and I will give you life as your prize of victory)
In My Father's House are Many Mansions
so I would have told you I go to prepare a place for you that come
himself that where I am
also St John XIV 2.3.
Also of
his dear Father
who built this church
he died Xmas 1857
aged nearly 63 years
And of
his dear wife si...
she died 19 Feb 1844
aged 11 months

If you copy it out and centre-justify it, you can see how the words fill the shape of the cross. I'm not clever enough to do it on here.

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