I didn't go to Ditchley because of the fact that as you say, the house there now was built after his lifetime - though I was tempted any way, in case there was something of the original still there. Sometimes a bit of proper local knowledge or investigation is so much better. Do you know if there is anything of the original still there?
DIDHOT and lizabel
I have read on a website that he is buried in the graveyard, but in fact, he is definitely in the church. I checked with the vicar who told me he is in the vault. I'm afraid I baulked at asking the vicar precisely where though. The church has since produced a booklet about him because of the film being made. It includes a short account of his life and some of his poetry but also information about his coffin being opened:
"The first thing they saw was a small casket which, when opened, clearly revealed it had contained viscera and which gave off a strong scent of the herbs in which they had been packed more than three centuries before. There was no sign of treasure. Instead the searchers found themsleves gazing upon the mortal remains of one of the most complex, talented, wayward and controversial figures of the seventeenth century".
It also gives the date of burial as 9th August.
The booklet contains another tidbit too. It states that he fathered a daughter with a servant girl, before he kidnapped Elizabeth in 1665. I have not read about this in any of the bios I have read, though I am still ploughing through them. My own sig would seem to confirm it but I got that from an anthology of quotations. Does anyone know any more about this?
I think that you are right about the Celtic site. I seem to remember that the Saxons often did put burial grounds close by or add to existing ones, though I am not sure. I was struck by the number of yew trees there, so I looked them up. I knew nothing about the Celtic tradition and I hadn't realised that they have a spiritual symbolic significance. Something to do with their longevity, combined with the difficulty of being able to ascertain their real age because of the way they grow, symbolising the soul's immortality, if I remember right?
I don't often see these small country churchyards. Where I live there are municipally -owned cemeteries. I much prefer what I saw at Spelsbury, I must say.
Thank you for the translation. It makes sense to me
Thank you everyone for your very kind comments. What I saw at Spelsbury was very poignant, but my heart was gladdened too. It was worth going there. I got a tremendous amount from the tour overall, as I have tried to convey, but also from the process of recording and sharing it. I was rather daunted by that prospect, to be honest, so your lovely compliments mean that I can now give a big sigh of relief and
And I absolutely must thank DIDHOT and Liz for humouring me through me the flapping, not to mention ignoring deadlines that I had asked for
"Luck... inspiration... both only really happen to you when you empty your heart of ambition, purpose, and plan; when you give yourself, completely, to the golden, fate-filled moment."