e called into Runwell on our way home from a trip to Suffolk. Someone had visited our website and noticed we had Kemble relatives and had taken the time to write to tell us about a Thomas Kemble and family who were from Runwell - thanks John. This Thomas Kemble is the fourth cousin 6 generations back to Mandy. As we were so near we went to the church as we were informed there are memorials inside it and Thomas and family are buried in the churchyard, and a local restaurant was formerly the family home.
'The Thomas Kemble,' formerly Runwell Hall, had obviously been updated and extended, probably the inside had changed completely, but it was satisfying to note there was a a mention of Thomas on a list of owners of the house (even though Mandy spotted a mistake). Thomas was Lord of the Manor of Runwell, Alderman, J. P. (for Herts and Essex), High Sheriff of Essex, 1872, and elected chairman of quarter sessions, 1872.
Our trip proved exciting in more than one way. Overnight deep snow had fallen (well, deep for England anyway) and we were anxious to get home before becoming trapped; reports of traffic accidents littered the local news reports; in fact one happened on the road outside 'The Thomas Kemble' where we were lunching and the victims were brought in to shelter them from the cold whilst the ambulance arrived.
We braved the cold to stop at the church. We mananaged to find the snow covered gravestones with the help of the church minister - he was on his way somewhere but took the time to show us the stones and unlocked the church for a few minutes whilst we took a couple of photographs. (As usual people's hospitality proved generous to complete strangers.)
A very satisfying trip, albeit only too brief.
The church of St. Mary is a Grade I listed building - more information about the listing can be found at the British Listed Buildings