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).
"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,
Just visible on the extreme left exterior wall of the church is a
heavily weathered plaque commemorating the Hobbis family.
||Near this Place
lieth the Body of
who departed this Life Jany. 12 1768
Aged ?6 Years [possibly 56?]
Likewise the body of
who departed this life Decr. 13 1801
Aged 71 Years
Likewise the Body of
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.
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
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.
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:
Hucknall entry in "Derbyshire's Parishes, 1811" mentions
garlands in Matlock church - Not to do with Oxfordshire, but an