Surprisingly often, we find a churchwarden turns up during one of our church visits. Or maybe the local “neighbourhood watch” reports a couple of shifty-looking characters “casing the joint”? Anyway, Compton Martin was another church where we got lucky - not least because he showed us where the light switches are!
He also, however, pointed out the south west aisle window (left) which as - if you look closely - iron hinges to left and right from which shutters were hung. The explanation is that the local children used this corner of the churchyard for playing “fives”. For those of you not familiar with this arcane sport, it is similar to squash. The ball is played against a wall; but in the case of Fives a gloved hand is used rather than a racquet. I had previously believed that this sport was confined to the public schools at Eton and Rugby which both have published codes of rules, but apparently it used to be played more widely. Anyway, the boys of Comptom Martin played it...and I’m willing to bet that they had their own code of rules as well!
Our thanks, as always, to the churchwarden in question for his attentiveness and kindness.