Gatcombe Church

The family of William Fitz Stur
had land on the isle called Wight.
His descendent Edward Estur
became a Crusader knight.

To help the King of Cyprus
Edward went to the holy land.
Taking with him a local girl.
Lucy Lightfoot gave him her hand.

But in battle, he had a head injury—
and Lucy in Cyprus alone.
Edward was shipped back to England,
dying—with his memory gone.

For three years she waited for Edward.
Cut off, Lucy had no plan.
When her love never showed up
she married a local fisherman.

Within the church at Gatcombe
the bereaved Estur family
decided to blazon his name
with an oaken life-sized effigy.

In grief the family viewed it.
The carver was told it wasn’t complete.
And so he gave the final touch—
Edward’s faithful dog curled at his feet.

The local legend says—
that this dog, Flacon-Caprice,
once every hundred years
decides to come out of his crease.

At Midsummer Eve
by the full moon’s light
the dog takes leave
and dances all night.

In Gatcombe Church in 1831
a girl from Bowcombe saw the knight.
She thought he was the one.
It was a case of love at first sight.

We must say a mass,
for Lucy Lightfoot is also the name
of the local lass
who went south with her swain.

Each day to the church
she went with her flowers.
Her mission to stay
with the knight for some hours.

Her compulsive visits went on
as her worried parents called the priest.
”Lucy, our daughter, is ill
and she is forgetting to feast.”

Miss Lightfoot grew pale—
dark shadows her eyes.
Her visits would fail
to make the grave rise.

Farmer’s daughter Lucy Lightfoot
in the fated year 1834
found her unfortunate way
through the dreaded church door.

To add to this fable
of some fascination
there is a tale
of possible reconciliation.

On rainy June 13th
she dragged herself in,
smiled at the small dog
and she saw him grin.

Flashes of lightning
lit up the knight’s face,
wild flowers from her hair
were laid in his place.

The atmosphere swirled
the loud thunder groaned
the bedraggled young girl
collapsed as she moaned.

Her cheek to his heart
her hand to his hand,
she cried while she begged
to go to his land.

Above the black storm
an eclipse of the sun,
and down by the knight—
Lucy had gone !

Her father was hoarse
from calling her name.
The villagers searched
and everyone came.

Alone in the church,
her mother in dread.
Trembling with grief—
knew her daughter was dead.

A sudden shocked moment
attacked her with fear
when she saw that the knight
had an angel at his ear !