Saturday, June 17, 2017

Strawberry Tea and Noah Ody.

Why don't you treat dad to a strawberry tea at St Mary's Church, Lydiard Park on Father's Day and while you're there have a wander around the ancient churchyard where burials have taken place for more than 700 years?

The oldest burial on record at St Mary's is that of Rebekah Jacob the daughter of Charles Jacob who was buried on May 6, 1666.

The first member of the Ody family laid to rest in the churchyard is that of Richard Ody who was buried on February 21, 1749.

My interest in the Ody family began with Noah, the son of George Pike Ody and his wife Mary. Noah married Sarah Clark at Brinkworth parish church on November 25, 1811 and the couple went on to have twelve children. Their sons became farmers and their daughters married farmers and this large family populated many of the farms in the local parishes.

With his large family of sons, Noah worked three farms; Hayes Knoll in Purton and Purleys and Flaxlands in Lydiard Tregoze. At the time of the 1841 census Noah can be found at Hays Knoll while his sons George 25, Noah 22 and William 19 are in Lydiard Tregoze with their 17 year old sister Sarah and younger brother Walter aged 10.

By 1871 two of Noah's sons are established in the Lydiard Tregoze farming community. George, who took over Purleys on the death of his father, is now at Wickfield Farm, part of the neighbouring Meux estate. Walter is at Lord Bolingbroke's Flaxlands Farm while brothers Thomas and William are farming in Purton and John and Noah in Brinkworth.

At the beginning of the 20th century there were still plenty of Ody's farming in North Wiltshire. Trade directories list a George Ody at Herring Stream Farm, Purton in 1901 while George William Ody is at Wick Farm opposite the entrance to Lydiard Park; Nelson Ody is at Blagrove Farm and George Ody at Pry Farm, Purton in 1911.

Another of Noah's great grandsons, Charles Victor, born at Church's Hills Farm in 1888 was the tenant at Lower Snodshill Farm. Owned by the Westminster Church Commissioners, Charles farmed there in 1912. The 75 acre dairy farm in the parish of Chiseldon was one of the casualties of the 1970s eastern expansion of Swindon and now lies beneath the Post House Motel at Coate.

Here we have a headstone with the details of Noah and Sarah on it, although whether Noah actually lies here remains a mystery as there is no mention of his burial in the parish registers. His mother Mary and father George are buried close by.

Noah and Sarah's gravestone is badly weathered but thanks to transcriptions collated by the late Rev Brian Carne in the 1970s it is possible to read the details on this and many of the other gravestones in the churchyard at St. Mary's. The list is published in The Friends of Lydiard Tregoz Report No 12 published May 19, 1979. Copies are held in the Local Studies Collection at Swindon Central Library,

You might like to consider joining the Friends of Lydiard Park. Visit the website for more information.

Strawberry tea served every Sunday in June - the first one was a bit wet!






Photographs of Noah and George Ody's headstones are published courtesy of Duncan and Mandy Ball. 

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