Overbury Lynch Gate, copyright Historic England

Lych-gate, St Faith’s church, Overbury, Worcestershire. Unveiled 12 September 1921. Upgraded to Grade II*. The lych-gate was designed by Herbert Baker for the Holland-Martin family of Overbury Court. Their 19 year-old son, Geoffrey Holland-Martin, was killed in action in France, March 1918 and had no known grave. There are many lych-gate memorials in England, but this is an exceptionally fine example reflecting Baker’s interest in symbolism, with its carved angels and central coffin rest reminiscent of the empty tomb of a cenotaph. The heavy oak timberwork, carved with biblical quotes, evokes an ancient agricultural building. Tiles for the roof were reputedly recycled from old buildings in the village. The coffin rest carries a main inscription remembering the fallen of Overbury, along with their names. Its north side bears a quotation from William Blake’s poem ‘Jerusalem’, I WILL NOT CEASE/ FROM MENTAL FIGHT/ NOR SHALL MY SWORD/ SLEEP IN MY HAND/ TILL WE HAVE BUILT/ JERUSALEM/ IN ENGLANDS GREEN/ AND PLEASANT LAND.

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