In the depths of western Somerset, along country roads your SatNav smirks at taking you down, lies the pretty village of Lydeard St Lawrence.
The origins of the name is shrouded in a bit of mystery, but Lydeard may translate as “grey ridge”, while St Lawrence is the saint to whom the local church is dedicated. (It is likely that St Lawrence was added to the villae name, to distinguish it from the village of Bishop’s Lydeard, just four miles down the road.)
The village has a population of 500 people, and it is very easy to find yourself in open countryside within minutes of walking from the village centre.
The Church of St Lawrence is at the top end of the village and, as with may similar religious locations, is a calm and peaceful place to stop and rest.
A plaque on the gate into the churchyard pays tribute to Lance Corporal Alan Kennington, who was serving in Northern Ireland in 1973 when he was shot and killed while on foot patrol on the Crumlin Road, Belfast. He was just 20 years old.
The church also forms the last resting place for a number of other local men who passed away in the Great War – I’ll expand on these in later posts.
Lydeard St Lawrence, is certainly a peaceful village – on its own in the depths of the Somerset countryside and sheltered by the hills it is named after, it is somewhere to get away from it all. There are no immediate amenities – the post office has been closed long enough for the building to be converted into a house – but a village hall and school are there to support the community in all things secular.