Jo’s Monday Walk: Backtrackin’

This is a story of how one thing leads to another………….Today, for Jo’s Walk I am taking you to the village of Kinlet (population roughly 650) in the UK. Why here you ask? I have traced my ManyGreatsGrandmother, Elizabeth Corbin and the Roger Mortimer family (also my relation) back to this village and I wanted to come here because there is history of the family to be found in a manor house and church here. But, after driving down narrow country lanes, when I got to the location on the map, (that I was given before I left the US) the only place that was there was the Eagle & Serpent PUB…………Not one to be deterred, especially after coming from so far away, my hubby, my sister and I went in and ate a great cheeseburger with fries and asked, “oh, by the way, do you know where the church and Manor Hall of Kinlet is?” Their reply, “never heard of it.” But, they did give us directions to the Park House Care Home, just down the road and they said there would probably be an old person there, who would remember “stuff” we were looking for! So, we moved on to the Care Home…..

The Serpent and Eagle Pub

The next few photos are the countryside around the village of Kinlet…..on the way to the Care Home…….The Park House Care Home was a magnificent old building that had been updated to a home for the elderly…. I am sorry I do not have a photo of Park House, I was so nervous about going in and asking if I might speak to one of the older residents about the village, a person I did not know….. ……..But, we were given permission from one of the staff and introduced to a lovely elderly woman. AND she knew exactly what I was talking about and gave me the location!

The Country Around Kinlet
The Country Around Kinlet

She told us to go back to the PUB and across from the pub, I would find a big gate there on a gravel road. She said never mind the closed gate, just open it and drive about a mile up that road and I would find Kinlet Hall and the Church ………. So, we did as she instructed…….and went past this little out building……….

In the Field

and past a lot of sheep……..

The Sheep

and more sheep that scurried out of our way……..somewhat…..

More Sheep

and found Kinlet Hall, which is now a private school……… we went in………and talked to the head mistress……and she knew exactly what we were looking for.  Her husband had written a history of Kinlet and the villagers, back to the beginning, and she offered me a copy and told us to go on over to the church next door…..

Kinlet Hall is an 18th-century, English country house. It is a Grade I listed building inspired by Villa Pisani, Montagnana. The manor was held by the Brampton and Cornwall families until it passed via his maternal ancestors to Humphrey Blount (my relative) of the Sodington Hall family. Humphrey Blount was the Sheriff of Shropshire, in 1461! It eventually passed to the daughter and heiress, who married  Sir William Childe. The manor house was replaced in 1727 by William Lacon Childe, who created the Palladian style mansion. The east-facing, brick built, three-story building is flanked by two smaller detached, two-story blocks….the block to the north originally housed the stables and the block to the south the kitchens….. The Childe family were residents of Kinlet Hall until the 20th century. During WWII the house was occupied by the US Army and the family never returned.

Kinlet Hall, Kinlet, UK

To get to the church…………We had to go through this gate first…….I don’t know what you call it…….it allows one person to pass…at a time.  The name Kinlet, is a combination of Kin (royal) and Lett (district) It comes from the time of Queen Edith of Wessex, wife of Edward the Confessor, who held the knoll at Kinlet. At the time of the writings of the Doomsday Book, Queen Edith had inherited Kinlet and Cleobury Mortimer. Kinlet then was given to Ranulph de Mortimer, who passed it to his son, Hugh de Mortimer. I am related to Hugh de Mortimer and one other person  noted in this church. The Mortimers were passionate about hunting and used this area as their private hunting ground. That could also be why the Care Home is named the Park House….this area was at one time the estate of the King. The Mortimers gave the estate to Bryan de Brampton in 1176! So, my people have been here a long, long, long time…..The De Brampton’s gave the land to Wigmore Abbey.  Today, the Moffats School (a private school for children 4-13) has been in Kinlet Hall since the end of WWII. No wonder the young people in the pub had no idea what I was talking about……. So way before Kinlet Manor was the fine country estate of the Childe family, my kin were here!

The Church Gate

Here is St John’s Anglican Church……..located next to Kinlet Hall. The church is a stone structure built by the Normans and is listed Grade I, by the English Heritage folks. In the church are standing monuments to Sir George Blount and his wife, Constantia , dated 1581. There are also tombs for Sir Humphrey Blount and his wife, Elizabeth and Sir John Blount and his wife, Catherine. The church was restored in 1892 by John Oldrid Scott, who also designed the Memorial to Major Charles Balwyn Childe, who was killed in the Boar War in 1900. Let’s go in and see my relatives!

St John’s Anglican Church,  Kinlet, UK

I thought I was looking for old, old, old graves in the graveyard when I came here……..but no……

St John’s Church, Kinlet, UK

There is always a clock…………

The Clock at St John’s Church

and something I had never seen before, a wagon casket carrier…….

The Casket Wagon

I was surprised the church is still being used…….but only for marriages, I understand…….there were workmen there, the day we were there, working to repair the Rose window……There were also bouquets of fresh flowers…….they must have known we were coming! Ha ha!

Inside St John’s Church, Kinlet, UK

Here are my relatives……….nice his and hers…….The Blounts… of the first knights, William…. who had at least four sons, all named William……and one daughter (well maybe more, but only Maria counted, because she married her cousin Sir Stephen Blount…….who went on …….

My People

to more Blounts…….

My People

and more Blounts……

My People

and in the recorded history……Raoul le Blound, the Third Count of Guisne, had three sons, who came with William the Conqueror to take back England…..

Raoul La Blound

and eventually………my MANY GGrandmother was Catherine Corbet, who married Sir John Blount, son of William, then Stephen, then Walter, then one of the three more John’s (the one that died in 1478)……..and that is why I came here………..

The Family
The Blount’s

This is the family tree all the way down to the Childes…… My family went on down the Sodington family side…. Sir Walter de Sodington, the 7th Bart, and eventually the Mortimer family. One of the Mortimer girls married  Sir John de La Leigh in Shropshire.  John De La Leigh II was not the oldest son and did not inherit any property, so in the 1700’s came to the US, when we were a colony of the English. Eventually the name De La Leigh was changed to Lee. My grandmother was a Lee……..descended from all these folks…….which means I am as well! What a memorable visit and find this was…….and I documented it all!

I hope you have enjoyed the walk-through today and a little history as well! I may do another walk for you with my research finds through a scary forest in the UK! It was conducted on this same trip!

PS Kinlet Hall was placed for sale in 2020, probably due to COVID in some way.  It was listed for £3.5 million.   I wish I could have bought it! 

Jo’s Monday Walk

If you would like to see where other folks are walking this week look for Jo’s Monday Walk

23 Comments Add yours

  1. Must be exciting to delve into your family history and come up with these fabulous finds. Great story.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Dr B says:

    Great story and a very interesting and thorough piece of research. Your trip to England was clearly very fruitful for you and you’ve gone back a long way in your ancestry searching. I went back to the 1600s with my own family before my interest faded. I’d found a lot about my kin who were tin and copper miners in Cornwall and agricultural workers in Kent during and after the Industrial Revolution that interested me a lot. I was very interested in that period, especially social conditions, politics and laws, and the specific aspects, science especially of that period. But the further back I went although I could find an ancestor I couldn’t find much about them. You’ve really done well to go so far back 👏👏

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Most of my family were farmers up until WWI. Then some went into industry, but not many……I have researched three different families and their backgrounds extensively……my mothers family from the UK. My father’s paternal family from the Alsace region……and my father’s maternal family from Scotland/Ireland.I have received most of my genes from the Scottish/Irish bunch according to my DNA! It is so very interesting when you really delve into it! And one tip leads to another, so it is never ending. When you’re young you never think about where you came from or want to hear any of the family stories…….told or untold……..but once my parents passed I felt I had missed out and went looking for answers…..some were very sad and then I knew why they had never been discussed with us…..It was an eye opener……
      I have saved everything for my children and grandchildren, who are not interested in it right now either…….but will be some day when they are ready and the work will have been done for them, making it easier to sort out!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Dr B says:

        You’ve clearly spent a lot of time on it and therefore achieved a lot in the process. I agree about leaving something for children which is what motivated me to do it for my daughter. In 2019 I was diagnosed with prostate cancer, not a big deal because it was small and slow growing and an operation just removed everything. But it focuses the mind and spurred me on to do two things in that year. The ancestry search was one, and the other was to write my “life stages story” using the final stage of Ego Integrity as a catalyst from the psychological theory of Erik Erikson. I posted it on the blog quite openly and if you search it under Ego Integrity you will find a series of posts. They only make sense if you read them in order. I turned those posts into a book/journal which I had printed and bound for my daughter. It was all downhill from there as I wrote two books in 2020. I hope you’re getting something from the wine book?


  3. Sheree says:

    How exciting to find all those relatives going back through time.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. margaret21 says:

    What a fascinating account, both the history itself and your adventures in quest of your family story. The gate you describe is a ‘kissing gate’, so called because if a couple go through, there’s the ideal opportunity to steal a kiss as one has passed through and the other has yet to do so.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, I like the idea of that Kissing Gate!


      1. margaret21 says:

        I thought you would. It’s a charming idea.


  5. restlessjo says:

    A mixture of serendipity and perseverance, Cady! And what very grand relatives you have 🙂 🙂 As I’ve said to Janet, I’m overflowing with walks this week and if there are too many I’m worried people won’t visit each other. I’ve already included one so you’ll get the footfall already. Have a great week!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh OK! I’ll add my new one in the comments! I forgot to add your logo to my post so I will go back and do that as well! Thank you!


      1. restlessjo says:

        No worries about the logo. Not necessary hon 😍


    2. Yes, I’m finding I spend as much time reading posts (or more) than I do writing them!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Sue says:

    Oh, interesting…you did well!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Toonsarah says:

    Wow, you come from rather grand stock! And to be able to trace your family back to the time of William the Conqueror is amazing 😀

    That gate is called a Kissing Gate, because if a couple are walking through, the girl goes first and can demand a kiss from her partner as the price to be paid in order to be allowed to follow her through. They are very common on country walks all over England, both metal like this and, more often, wooden.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. This was the first gate of this type that I have seen…..I think I am descended from a hardy bunch on the English side….a stubborn and talkative bunch from my Scottish/Irish ancestors and and an organizational/stubborn/hardy bunch from my French/German ancestors……

      Liked by 1 person

  8. maristravels says:

    What a brilliant find and what a great walk you’ve taken us on today, a walk with a real history.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Mari! I may write some more about my families……like most families, I have some characters!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. maristravels says:

    I’m loathe to bring my family into my blog as I know none of them would approve – even of me mentioning those long gone. It’s just a ‘reserved’ feel we’ve all got about laying out our lives for public view. I’d love to sometimes, as I have some great tales about some unbelievable characters, but …. one must live by family rules, whether laid down or not.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I know what you mean…….I think it was a shocker to see how hard life was for my ancestors…….we think we have it bad……Are you kidding me? And I am glad I know something, even if it is something small, because I can’t imagine a life and not one person knowing anything about it, after you’re dead…..In my grandmother’s time we had big family reunions and you could meet up with family members from near and far at least every five years or so……so you knew some of your relatives…….but not any more. We are all so scattered and I guess busy too, that I haven’t even seen most of my cousins in years! I’ve never seen their children or even know their names…..they don’t know mine either…..One day, I realized my grandchildren did not even know my parents names…….That would be their GreatGrandparents…..they were born after my parents passed! Isn’t that sad? Well I remedied that! I want all my ancestors to remember me! Ha Ha!


  11. How exciting and what fun to find the places and all this information!


    Liked by 2 people

  12. Joyce says:

    What a interesting bit of detective work to get to the Manor and church. It’s good there were some people who knew the directions and could help. This is so fascinating and I agree that things were much tougher in old times! Thanks for sharing such an interesting trek and family history!!


  13. What a great walk through history! It was a very interesting read.

    Liked by 1 person

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