The Churchyard

Churchyard                                                                                  The Churchyard

 

                                                                                                                                     You enter the churchyard by a wicket gate which was remade to an old pattern in 2000. On passing through the gate there is a tombstone on the left in memory of the Misses Green who were drowned in the River Stour at Redhill in a dense fog on the 24 January 1908. Their Mother was the school mistress at East Parley.

 Sun Dial                                                                                                                      As you walk-up the pathway there is a sundial on the right between the yew trees. This sundial stands on an old wooden post which was part of a gallows which stood on Gibbet Firs at East Parley. On December 5 1803 William Harbin, farmer of Parley Green, was buried at Christchurch Priory. He had been murdered by his son and John Guppy. There are variations of the story but it would seen that the son was persuaded by his mother to murder his father before he changed his will. John Guppy, friend, agreed to help for half a crown (12.5p). They were both tried at Winchester and brought back to Gibbet Firs (the place nearest the crime) for execution. The bodies were gibbeted in chains and left to hang for some time. Later, the mother became insane and spent days and nights scaring away the birds and trying to feed the bodies by throwing potatoes into their mouths. The owner of the land, disgusted with the habits of sightseers, cut down the gibbet and gave part of the post to the Rector of West Parley.

He set it up where it is now and put a sun dial on it. Because of its dreadful history it is said the sundial never gives the right time.

 


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