I’ve blogged on Pembridge, St Mary before, but time ran out then before I could look into the massive free-standing bell-tower right next to the main building, looking like a cross between a teepee and a stave-church. Inside the timbers are truly massive, if decidedly “rustically” put together. But why did they come there in the first place? Herefordshire Past opines that the structure was “a bolt-hole of safety for the parishioners” but with so much wood it would only have taken a torch to smoke and burn the refugees out, so I’m not convinced. Nor does the idea that the bells were temporarily hung there while the main church was being built and then never got moved sound right. This is no temporary structure! No, I think it must have been the bell-tower from the beginning with perhaps a subsidiary purpose for storage or gatherings (though the church itself is not short of space.). Perhaps the lay of the ground didn’t offer good footings for a tower in the main structure. Or perhaps some noble lord came up with a wonderful gift of oaks from their forest at just the wong time … Answers on back of a postcard please.