Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Kingborrow Martin

All Saints - Newton by Castle Acre

© Godric Godricson
This picture isn’t the best in the world and I have no real excuse for showing it other than the marvellous name of “Kingborrow” which I have never heard of before. It sounds like a man’s name although in this context it is the name of a woman in Newton by Castle Acre in Norfolk. This is an ‘in Church burial’ and the headstone is in the East End of the Church near to the altar. I’m guessing from the geographical location that the Martin clan were quite well off financially and probably had links to the local landowners if they weren’t the landowners themselves. Snug and cosy in the small East End, Kingborrow  Martin rests along with other Martin relatives. This parish, with its Saxon roots, means that the East End is confined and cosy a sort of private area for the clergy and I’m sure that’s how the Saxon ancestors liked it. What they would have made of the Martin’s muscling in is any ones guess.

The memorial set into the floor is an intrusion and Kingborrow should really have been buried outside. The memorials here form the contemporary floor although the 19th Century memorials get in the way of the calm and cool interior which would be better left in the Saxon past. I know that people will say that Kingborrow is part of the heritage of the Church and is now part of the story although I would argue that the Martin’s crept into the Church and placed themselves into the history of the building without any request. Perhaps they should now be cleared away as part of a formal and planned archaeological examination of the building?

For now Kingborrow rests in her grave safe and sound although they are a sign of burials in Churches that turned the house of God into a charnel house.

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