Historians have discovered a previously unrecorded poem in the belfry of one of Northamptonshire’s oldest church.
The poem is painted on a piece of slate hung high on the wall of the belfry on the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
Until now, its existences has never been recorded in any history of the church, which dates back to 1100AD and is Northampton’s oldest standing building.
John Kightley, of the church’s restoration trust, said: “We hope this discovery will bring in even more visitors to the church to learn what is actually on that plaque and to help us unravel the story behind the poem.”
Mr Kightley hopes the discovery, along with evidence from other plaques in the church which are dedicated to past Mayors and show it was once the town’s civic church, will draw visitors into the building as part of the national Heritage Open Day event this weekend.
Other historic buildings across Northampton which will also be open as part of the weekend include Delapre Abbey, The Guildhall, Church’s Shoe Factory and 78 Derngate, where tours will be given from September 12 until September 15.
There are also free heritage bus rides on classic double-decker buses, guided tours, river trips, walks, talks and exhibitions. Heritage Open Days are organised by Northampton Borough Council and run by volunteers.
For more information visit the council’s website.
The text of the hidden poem
“Here bells Melodious move with Art Sublime And various numbers Beat in Mood and Time Let Clamour cease the cause of Dire Mischance, In Joyfull silence lead the Mystic Dance So Music raises her Majestic Strains Whilst Notes harmonious reach the distant Plaines.”
The dedication was only brough to light when the tower captain noticed a large plaque extremely high up in the church belfry, impossible to read at such a great distance and height.