An unusual small memorial situated on the north side of Gretton Road between Harringworth and Gretton is set back from the road and sits amongst the vegetation. For many years the memorial was hidden from view but in recent years Villagers from Harringworth and Gretton have tended the area and want to see the memorial preserved.
People who see the memorial often ask “Is it an animal’s grave”? “Is someone buried there”? The answer to both questions is no, it is a memorial to Fanny Maria Blaydes who died in an accident on 21st August 1884.
The memorial was placed there by her husband, the Rev. Frederick H. M. Blaydes the vicar of Harringworth between 1843 and 1886.
A new public information board has been designed by Sarah Chambers and Richard Nixon, who also recently designed the Welland Viaduct public information boards.
The board briefly describes the following :
Fanny Maria Blaydes (nee Page Turner) was the wife of Frederick M Blaydes, the Vicar of Harringworth between 1843 and 1886.
In August 1884 Fanny was returning home from Gretton with friends when her horse and carriage ran out of control. Fanny was thrown out of the carriage and died instantly, her two friends escaped without injury.
Fanny Bladdes is buried in Harringworth Churchyard. The memorial was placed here by her husband and there is a further memorial to her in the Chancel of Harringworth Church.
The inscription reads ‘HIC OBIT (here remembered in death) F.M.B August 21st 1884. Sudden Death Sudden Glory.
The following article is from the Grantham Journal dated 30th August 1884 :
Fatal Accident to Mrs Blaydes of Harringworth :
A sad carriage accident occurred on the 21st inst. At Gretton, resulting in the death oif Mrs F.M Blaydes, wife of the Rev. F.H.M. BLaydes M.A. vicar of Harringworth. The deceased lady was returning from paying some visits, when the horse took fright and started off. Mrs Blaydes jumped out, and fell on the back of her head causing instant death. The other occupants of the carriage, escaped without injury. The deceased was sister of the late Sir Edward Page Turner, Bart. The inquest on the body was held at the Swan Inn, Harringworth before Mr. J. T. Parker, Evelyn Holmes, daughter of the Rev. Edward Holmes, rector of Wakerley, deposed that in company with the deceased and Mrs Bouts they were out for a drive in a pony phaeton, from Gretton to Harringworth. Witness was driving, and while descending a hill near Harringworth the shafts went up as high as the pony’s head, and the animal started off in a gallop. He went about 40 yards; ran the carriage into some railings and then stopped. Witness did not notice that Mrs Blaydes had gone out of the carriage till it stopped. She and Mrs Bouts then got out of the carriage, and ran back and found the deceased lying on the grass, by the road, about 10 yards from the place where the pony first started. Witness did not know how deceased got out of the carriage. Found she was seriously injured and unconscious. Witness had driven several miles before the accident happened. The harness seemed to be all right when they started, and it was not altered. The pony and carriage belonged to the witness’s father, Mrs Jane Theresa Bouts, of Brixton, said at the time of the accident, she was staying at Harringworth Vicarage. She saw the deceased get up; Miss Holmes told them both to keep their seats. She did not know how the deceased left the carriage, but it was over the back. She did not step out. She stopped by the deceased while Miss Holmes went for assistance, and during the time Mrs Blaydes died. Mr Tomlinson, surgeon of Barrowden, deposed to being called to the vicarage. He examined the deceased and found that her neck was dislocated. A verdict of “Accidental Death” was returned.