July 2013 Trip to Chipping Norton
I had wanted to travel to Chipping Norton ever since I read the Averill Books at my Grandparents' house, as a child. As it turns out, my wife was born a few miles from Oxford and Chipping Norton, when her father was stationed at RAF Brize Norton in the early 50’s. Last spring, I learned that my son was enrolling in a summer semester at Oxford University. The timing coincided with a major WWII Air Show at Duxford, UK. All of a sudden we had several great reasons to plan our trip to the Cotswold area of England.
In the months before the trip, we exchanged multiple emails, concerning our Averill ancestors from the 1630s, with Chipping Norton Museum with volunteer, Dave, and local historian, Alan. Both are very familiar with Clara Avery and subsequent Averill | Averell research. We met at the Museum, followed by lunch and a walking tour of town, then on to St. Mary's
The center of the town retains much of what would have been there in 1635. The word “Chipping” means ‘market’, and “Norton” means ‘north’, hence, Chipping Norton was the northern market of the region.
Aerial Photo #1 http://goo.gl/maps/VsZnj
Aerial Photo #2 http://goo.gl/maps/hEXdx
Aerial Photo #3 http://goo.gl/maps/t7mf9
St. Mary The Virgin - Church History
We spent over an hour in St. Mary The Virgin Church. We saw the plaque on the wall, which we assume, Clara Avery arranged to be placed in the church in 1928. From a document we received, it appears that Clara made a sizeable donation for the restoration for a portion of the churce, and the placement of a new altar. Immigration records show that Clara made several trips to England and other places in Europe. It is clear that she had the financial where with all to make this type of generous donation.
From the Averills' wills, we know that they were buried in the church yard, however, no monuments remain. Just as we know that William was buried in the "Old Burying Ground" in Ipswich, no momument has survived there either.
During our time in The Cotswolds, we visited numerous church yards. One thing which was apparent, is that headstones made from the local limestone, very seldom survived more than 150 years. Another interesting fact is that during the religious upheaval that coincided with William's departure, most of the churches were stripped of stained glass windows and other ornate religious items, believed by the Puritans to be counter to the
Our family looks forward to a return trip!
Links of interest relating to Chippy and to St Mary's
Additional photos of Chipping Norton and Broadway, are located on our Shutterfly Share Site: https://averillproject.shutterfly.com/