A guided walk around & about Great Brington

History…Scandal…Gossip…Fascinating Facts…More History…

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A guided walk around & about Great Brington

for Rotarians, partners and friends

Monday, 20th August, 6.30 for 7.00pm.

(History…Scandal…Gossip…Fascinating Facts…More History…)

Foregather in the Parish Church of St Mary for a glass of wine/etc. and a look at the Church

followed by a stroll through the village…

concluding in plenty of time for an 8.00pm pub supper, for which you should  make your own arrangements, and reservations are suggested...

...in Great (Althorp Coaching Inn/Fox & Hounds) or Little (The Saracen’s Head) Brington..


Gary Shaeffer

A Report on the Evening's Activities

On a beautiful Monday evening 27 Rotarians, partners and guests assembled at the Church of St Mary the Virgin at Great Brington for a guided tour of the village.

Having been to many churches at many times over the years this is the first time I have been offered a choice of wine… red or white!

The renowned local tour guide, wit and raconteur, Rtn. Gary Shaeffer, then assembled the throng in the chancel. It has to be said that the occupants of the choir stalls have, probably, never had such a high average age.

Gary then told us of the history of the church from its early Saxon origins, through its additions over the ages and it’s connections with both the Washington and Spencer families. The Spencer family chapel, which contains 19 members of the family, but definitely not Diana, also has many fine effigies and memorials. However, we could only look through the bars in awe as the chapel is rarely open to the public. We also saw the memorial to Lawrence Washington, a direct ancestor of George. Gary pointed out the stars and stripes in the Washington family crest….. Wouldn’t that be a good idea for a flag! The stained-glass windows in the church are also magnificent.

The gathered masses than moved outside to the preaching cross and Gary then took us on a walk through the village. He pointed out houses and architecture of this lovely village. As the whole village is a conservation area it has not suffered from unappealing infill or new estates of housing. The village still has a pub and a shop/post office. We learnt of people of renown who have lived here, like Mary Bordon, the American WW1 poet and suffragette, Jo Whiley the Radio 2 presenter and of course Gary Shaeffer!

Afterwards most people retired to the Saracens Head in Little Brington (or should that be Lesser Brington? I am sure Peter Swallow and John Lawrence have views on that!), where we enjoyed an excellent repast.

Thanks to Gary, John and helpers for an excellent and informative evening. We all drive through and visit beautiful English villages but rarely get to learn of the people and their history as we have with Great Brington.