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Relhan Collection : 265 Over church. SW view

Relhan, Richard, 1782-1844

Relhan Collection

<p style='text-align: justify;'><p>St Mary’s church with its tower and spire is part of village scene with cottages, barns, the village pond, a pig, ducks, and a woman who has collected water from the pond, on the road to Swavesey. She is talking to a man in a blue coat who is most probably Relhan’s father, the botanist Richard Relhan (1754-1823). He appears in several drawings, including (<b>266</b>), strengthening the case for our Relhan to be accompanying his father on botanising trips (see <i>Introduction</i>). Belonging to Ramsey abbey the church was built on a lavish scale and was liberally decorated with ball-flower ornament and crockets to the tower and spire; it was completed by 1338. The ornament can just be seen in the drawing. Angels in the hammer beam roof had to be replaced, probably thanks to Dowsing’s iconoclasm 1643/4.The clock is recorded in 1748 by Cole, set in a pedimented frame. Layer says ‘<i>the church of Over is very faire and wide and beautiful’</i>. It was restored 1840-64 and 1881; a C19 clock replaces the original one. The spire was badly damaged in a hurricane in 1987 and has been rebuilt. In 2020 the thatched cottage on the corner of the road survives and has been enlarged but there is a huge willow where the village pond, now dry, was sited. Victorian brick houses replaced the cottage and farm buildings NE of the road, and a brick wall now surrounds the churchyard beside the road. </p><p>Bell 2013; Bradley and Pevsner 2014; Palmer 1932; Davis EM pers comm; Taylor 1998; Saunders A pers comm; VCH 1989; Tudor-Craig and Cotton in Hicks 1997</p></p>

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