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Did you know that the lych gate at St George’s Church Beckenham is reputed to be the oldest in England and dates from the 13th Century? A lych gate with its little pitched roof adds a definite tone to a churchyard, but it was not originally for decoration – lych is from the Saxon word for corpse: bodies for burial would be brought in their shrouds to shelter beneath the gate’s roof, from which point the priest would take control of the rest of the funeral.

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Magna Carta Signed - 1215, The Peasants' Revolt ends - 1381, First Botanic Garden in Britain - 1621, Alcock and Brown complete 1st non stop flight across the Atlantic - 1919
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