St Peter's Church, Iver

My parents Pamela Channon and 'Tony' Chadwell were married in this church.  Several of the grave-stones to the right as one enters the churchyard through the lych-gate are Chadwells.  Peter Hinde and I planted a 'The Memorial Wildlife Garden' in a corner of the churchyard to the left of the lych-gate with shrubs of wildlife interest and biblical association - in memory of my parents and other locals (see photo of plaque below), though as is the way of things not many specimens remain.  In the early 1980s I supervised the recording of flowers in the churchyard for a Buckinghamshire-wide survey, undertaken by Lorna Atkinson and Althea Read (see the end of this page for the check-list).  

A number of Chadwell ancestors have been Parish clerks, so its seems in order for me to present here some images of the churchyard and church's exterior. 

My eldest son, Matthew, beside the Lych Gate (2011)

My youngest son, Joseph, beside the Lych Gate (2015)

(Photo: © Matthew Chadwell)

Shrubs were purchased from nearby TENDERCARE (Mature & Formal Hardy Plants), Southlands Road, Denham, Buckinghamshire: Cornus sanguinea 'Mid-Winter Fire'; Hippophae rhamnoides; Lavandula x intermedia 'Arabian Night'; Lavandula stoechas 'Wine red'; Lavandula 'Vera'; Lavandula stoechas subspecies pedunculata; Olearia X haastii; Ribes sanguineum 'Pulborough Scarlet'; Skimmia japonica 'Rubella'; Viburnum opulus 'Compactum'; Viburnum x bodnantense 'Charles Lamont'; Weigela florida  'Foliis Purpureus'.

I am pleased to find that TENDERCARE are still going stong, indeed appear to be flourishing (see: http://www.tendercare.co.uk/). 

Joseph Chadwell side Chadwell graves in churchyard (The Swan pub in background) 2015

Chris Chadwell pushing his bike through the churchyard (Photo: © Joseph Chadwell)

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‘This world’s a citty full of crooked streets,

Death is the market place where all men meets,

If  life were merchandise as men could buy,

The Rich would always live, the Poor must die’.


WRITTEN IN JOHN SPENCER'S CHURCH FEE-BOOK 

IVER PARISH CLERK - AND CHADWELL RELATIVE, 1729-1779


ACCORDING TO THE REV. F.W.COBB M.A., WITHIN 'AN OLD CHURCH FEE-BOOK, THE RECORDS OF AN IVER PARISH CLERK', THIS SMALL SQUARE VOLUME WAS DISCOVERED IN ST.PETER'S CHURCH.  JOHN SPENCER,  BORN IN 1701, BEGAN HIS DUTIES IN 1729 AND CONTINUED IN OFFICE UNTIL HIS DEATH IN 1779 (ATTAINING A RIPE OLD AGE FOR THOSE TIMES). SUCH THAT FOR HALF A CENTURY THE CLERK'S "AMENS" MUST HAVE SOUNDED OUT FROM THE LOWEST STORY OF THE PULPIT OF THE OLD THREE-DECKER PULPIT.  THE ENTRIES ARE DIVIDED INTO THE FEES RECEIVED FOR BAPTISMS, MARRIAGES AND BURIALS - BY FAR THE MOST INTERESTING BEING THE BURIALS!

WHEN A DEATH OCCURRED THROUGH 'MISADVENTURE' OR UNDER PECULIAR CIRCUMSTANCES, A SPECIAL MENTION IS MADE OF IT.  SOME OF THE MOST NOTEWORTHY ARE:

"HENRY BEASLY DYED DROWNED IN A HOG TUB"; RICHARD BUTLER DYED BY MISFORTUNE OF A PIECE OF TIMBER FALLING ON HIM IN HILLINGDON"; "SAMUEL GRANTUM... UNFORTUNATELY BY BEING SHOTT WITH A GUN IN ATTEMPTING TO KILL A SNAKE"; "JOHN SPENCER JUNIOR (THE CLERK'S SON, THEN AGED 15) SUDDENLY IN YE BELFRY"; "SARAH WATSON DROWNED IN A WELL AT SUTTON"; WILLIAM CARTER.. BY BEING STUNG BY BEES"; "JAMES PAIN BY EXCESSIVE DRINKING AND BLOWS BY W.F.".

THREE CASES OF SUICIDE WERE RECORDED IN THE YEAR 1777-8:

"ROBERT BATTING WILFULLY HANGED HIMSELF IN YE CAGE (PROBABLY THE VILLAGE POUND) BEING OVERCOME BY DRINK AND PASSION"; "THOS ASHLEY HANGED HIMSELF IN YE LITTLE LANE LEADING TO LADYFIELD GROVE, BEING IN A DISPAIRING WAY".

AT THE END OF THE BOOK, IS AN INTERESTING ASSORTMENT OF ODDS AND ENDS.  WITHIN THE 9 PAGES DEVOTED TO REMEDIES FOR AILMENTS OF MANY SORTS, IS, "A RECEIPT TO CURE FITS.  TAKE OF MISTLETOE BERRY AND LEAVES AND BOYL THEM IN ALE OR MAKE TEA OF THEM AND RINK HALF A PINT OF IT EVERY MORNING OR OFTENER IF NEED REQUIRE.  THAT WHICH GROWS UPON WHITE THORN IF POSSIBLE."

ON THE LAST PAGE OF THE OLD CLREK'S RECORDS SOME ONE HAS MADE A FINAL ENTRY, "THIS WORLD'S A CITY FOR OF CROOKED STREETS" (SEE ABOVE).  THESE LINES, WITH MINOR ALTERATIONS HAVE BEEN FOUND IN SEVERAL CHURCHYARDS (DEEPLY CUT INTO GRAVESTONES).  IT IS UNLIKELY THAT JOHN SPENCER WAS THE ORIGINAL AUTHOR OF THEM.  MOST LIKELY, HE MERELY APPROVED OF THEM AND THUS COPIED THEM.  I CERTAINLY ENDORSE THEM; THE WORLD HAS NOT CHANGED THAT MUCH SINCE.....






Chadwell gravestone  (Photo: © Matthew Chadwell)

The main entrance to the church

Chris Chadwell in a 13th Century stone coffin (being a six-footer, it illustrates that people were perhaps taller in those days than thought) - note the 'earth' connected to the lightening conductor on the top of the tower.  (Photo: © Matthew Chadwell)

Field Poppy

Blue Alkanet - common in churchyards

Holly Berries

Holly leaves

Greater Celandine

Older gravestones

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Old print of Iver dated 1817 - the Bull pub to the right; no lych gate or brick wall to the church


Published by Stella Rowlands (Syke Ings, Richings Park, Iver, 1999)


Painting of St. Peter's by H.Bullock which hung in Florence Chadwell's house in Iver


Parish Magazine 1943

Parish Magazine 1987

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