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crosses or stone coffin-lids, which were found during the repairs, and placed there for their preservation. The upper part of the old font had been removed from the church, and placed on the top of an ornamental erection in the churchyard, of about thirteenth-century date (according to Lysons), which was evidently intended for, and had no doubt been formerly used as, the base of a large churchyard cross, which according to tradition was erected over a deep well into which a man had fallen and been killed. This font has been restored to the church, the carving upon it having been judiciously renovated by a skilful amateur, who also carved a shaft for its support, and a cross which has been erected in the place which had been usurped by the bowl of the old font.
The visitor must not fail to notice the carved stone pulpit, with its tasteful ornamentation, on the south side of the nave, and the organ with its elegantly adorned pipes occupying the eastern end of the north aisle, where also the vestry is situated. In this beautiful church, so well fitted for Christian worship, the voice of prayer and praise ascends daily to the throne of grace, according to the directions in the Prayerbook. The church was re-opened for divine service, after its restoration, on July 2, 1862. The tall spire forms a beautiful object from many distant parts of the extensive parish of Bisley; it can hardly have failed to suggest to the Poet, while visiting his brother, the wish to have for his own church tower such an addition as he saw to be so great an ornament at Bisley.
Under a canopy outside the south wall of the church is a figure of a Crusader, supposed “to represent one of the Nottingham family.”
On descending a flight of stone steps at the south side of the churchyard, the visitor will find the Bisley wells, (see woodcut;) here is an abundant and continual supply of clear sparkling spring water, gushing forth from seven spouts, which have been judiciously and very
tastefully arranged around a picturesque and substantial building, erected for the purpose in 1863.
The following inscription is cut in bold characters in the stone near the upper part of the building :
“O YE WELLS, BLESS YE THE LORD: PRAISE HIM, AND MAGNIFY
HIM FOR EVER.”
The vicarage at Bisley, which was built by the Poet's brother, is on the north side of the church; the garden opens into the churchyard. To the west of the vicarage is an extensive block of ornamental buildings forming the parish schools.
The parish of Bisley is very extensive, and has undergone subdivision for ecclesiastical purposes; churches having been erected, through the Vicar's exertions, at the outlying hamlets of Bussage, Chalford, and Oakridge, and separate incumbents appointed for these places. Bussage Church was consecrated in 1846, and that at Oakridge in 1838. There is also a hamlet called France-Lynch, (which is a curacy attached to Bisley,) in which a chapel was built in 1857. The scenery of the whole district around Bisley is lovely, and we can well imagine that from it many thoughts may have arisen in the mind of the great Poet while visiting his brother, such as he has expressed in some of his later poems :
“Behold, athwart our woodland nest,
And down our misty vale,
Froin his own bright and quiet rest
“ True token of that brighter Day
Which hailed, this matin hour,
The holy women on their way.
(Lyra Innocentium, p. 252.)