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The Andrews Pages Picture Gallery : Oxfordshire
A selection of photographs, prints and postcards. Some have personal or family connections
 
Holy Trinity Church, Ardington - four photographs
Ardington Parish Church


Ardington near Wantage is a pretty Oxfordshire village, lying in the Vale of the White Horse. The village was formerly in Berkshire. The parish church of Holy Trinity, above, was where many of Andy's Hobbis, Wells and Mallam ancestors were christened, married and buried.

"Ardington, a parish in the Hundred and Union of Wantage, about 2 miles east from Wantage; the Great Western railway crosses the Berks and Wilts Canal in this parish. The living is a vicarage, in the diocese of Oxford ; the present incumbent is the Rev. Ralph Barnes, M.A. The church, which is dedicated to the Holy Trinity, is in the early English style, with nave, chancel, and square tower, surmounted by a neat spire, and containing four bells ...The parish comprises about 1,300 acres of good soil, and a population of 405" (Kelly's, 1848[1]).

"The church of the Holy Trinity, is a building of stone, chiefly in the early English style, with portions of Norman and Decorated work, and consists of chancel, nave of four bays, south aisle, north porch and a low tower on the south side, with an octagonal broach spire, and containing 6 bells. The interior is enriched by some fine carved work in wood and stone, beside several stained windows and a monument to Mr. Vernon, who died in London, May 22, 1849, and is buried in the church : the church was restored and enlarged in 1887 at a cost of £3,500, defrayed by Lord Wantage amd by the present vicar and his wife, who decorated the chancel and presented the carved font cover. ... The population in 1881 was 387 and, in 1891, was 496 in the civil and 432 in the ecclesiastical parish" (Kelly's, 1899[2]).

Just visible on the extreme left exterior wall of the church is a heavily weathered plaque commemorating the Hobbis family.

Monument Inscription to Hobbis family, Ardington
  Near this Place
lieth the Body of
TOBY HOBBIS,
who departed this Life Jany. 12 1768
Aged ?6 Years [possibly 56?]
Likewise the body of
WILLIAM HOBBIS
who departed this life Decr. 13 1801
Aged 71 Years
Likewise the Body of
BENJAMIN HOBBIS
who departed this Life Jany. 24th 1806
Aged 74 Years
Our Redeemer Liveth in Him we trust
At last the day will rise our sleeping dust
Also of JOHN HOBBIS, who
died July 1st 1841 aged 81 years.

There are slight differences between the dates of death for William and John shown on the plaque and those shown in the parish records and on John's death certificate.

Interior of Ardington Church

 


The picture on the left, taken inside the church, looks towards the altar and shows on the top right, and just above the arch, one of the dramatic gargoyles that form the base of the roof timbers.

The word gargoyle comes from a French word meaning to gargle and it was originally applied to the often hideous spouts attached to guttering to direct rainwater away from the stonework of the building. Later the word evolved to include all forms of grotesque or monster whether inside or out.

The gargoyle below, of a woman with her tongue sticking out, is one of a number high up on the walls of the nave of Holy Trinity Church.

Gargoyle of a woman, Ardington Church
 
Some gargoyles were stonemasons' jokes but most were designed either to frighten away evil spirits or to remind the congregation of the perils of life and of their mortality.

The following may be of interest:
Our Genealogy
The Hault Hucknall entry in "Derbyshire's Parishes, 1811" mentions Thomas Hobbes
Funeral garlands in Matlock church - Not to do with Oxfordshire, but an interesting custom


Images © Andy Andrews whom you should contact if you are interested in Hobbis genealogy
All other information provided by and © Ann Andrews
Images rescanned 2007. Intended for personal use only

References and notes on the text:

[1] "Kelly's Berkshire Directory " (1848), Kelly and Co., London,

[2] "Kelly's Directory of Berkshire", (1899), Kelly's Directories Limited, London - High Holborn, WC




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