Hope Bagot Village
There is a very ancient Yew tree in the churchyard itself (or is the churchyard built around the yew?) There is a certificate hanging in the Vestry authenticating the tree as at least 1600 years old and signed by four people well known in their respective fields: David Bellamy, naturalist; Allen Meredith, Arboriculturist; Robert Hardy, Longbow enthusiast; and Robert Runcie, the then Archbishop of Canterbury. They appended a note on the back stating that "This is a minimum age, the tree is probably much older". Both the yew and "Holy Well' are strong indicators that the site was originally a pre-Christian place of worship and people still come to visit and venerate this ancient tree. Almost hidden in the wall of Hope Bagot Church is a stone face - it can be found in the main wall about halfway down the porch roof. In fact there is another head on the other side of the roof although it has been almost obliterated. The origin of the heads is unknown but they are thought to be of celtic origin and they occur in many church buildings across the British Isles and Ireland. There are similar heads at Temple Cronan in County Clare and at Hope Church in Derbyshire. There are some who consider these heads as part of a head cult and many can be found where there is water. The holy well at Hope Bagot Church (and the fact that there appears to be a spring under the floor of the church) lends credence to this.