Having spent much of my early childhood overseas with a father in the Armed Forces and then much of my own career abroad, Great Durnford (whose cricket team I played on and off for from the age of 11) which was where my parents lived for a time was as close as anywhere in the UK I could call home.

I'm in the process of finally sorting out the last of my late mother's possessions, which is where I came across some photos.

I also have a naive watercolour of an unidentified church which from what my mother told me she'd heard might have existed in the area.

I have attached a scanned copy, with what little provenance I have on it, should on the off chance that someone might be able to identify it, I'd be most happy to donate it for display in a suitable public place.

Salisbury Journal: Unknown church in watercolour Unknown church in watercolour (Image: Nick Gosse/Original artist)

My parents lived in Great Durnford twice, once when my father was in the Armed Forces in the early '60s and then again when he and my mother after his retirement ran the Manor House School which was owned by the Tryon family.

I do not know exactly how this watercolour came to be in my parent's possession, but my father was interested in local history and I suspect that this and some local notes may have been given to him by Colonel R.M Bruce, who lived in the village.

In around 1980 Col.Bruce had privately published 'Historical Notes on the Durnfords, Salterton and Netton' of which he'd given a copy and some other notes to my father.

My mother subsequently told me that Lady (Dreda) Tryon had told her that the watercolour was of a church in the area that had been demolished.

The only more recent opinion I have gleaned on the subject comes from two village residents that I am in touch with. One is that it might be of St Andrew's Church in Great Durnford prior to the extensive alterations made in the 1800s, of which there are photographs.

The second opinion I have was to point out that the church in Dykes Lane in Winterbourne was demolished.

As I said, I'd be very happy to donate the watercolour for public display, if someone can shed light on where it is! Contact me on nicholas.gosse@btinternet.com

Nick Gosse 


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