Finding the church using Google

Now that Salisbury Museum has an image storage room, all the image material has been collected together and carefully wrapped, labelled, scanned, boxed and details and image computerised.  The museum had, on last count 1,987 glass Lantern Slides (LS) and 2,790 Glass Negatives (GN).  The LSs are all much the same size but the GNs vary from several inches square to over A4 size.  All these have been scanned at high resolution.  It is easy to make a digital image smaller (less resolution) as, for example, for this blog.

Cameras, which took glass plates, were very heavy and thus were tripod mounted.  Lightweight hand held cameras are a new invention.  This means that glass plate images are usually of excellent quality and resolution.  The church image below is stored at 3819 by 2879 pixels.  At this resolution one can read the names on the tombstones.


One name is “Mabel Kate Priddle”.  Putting this into Google scored a hit at http://www.maryjane-sue.co.uk/isleabbotts/ia-p-r.htm   This webpage, belonging to maryjane2@btinternet.com, shows images of the gravestone names in this churchyard. Thus I discovered that the church is St Mary the Virgin at Isle Abbotts, Somerset, TA3 6RH. Up to now the only image reference for this photo  was image number GN00470 – view of a church and tower from the graveyard, size: 100mm by 120mm, origin: Potter & Hare architects collection,  photographer: unknown, date: unknown.

However the gravestone has three names on it.  The last is “Gordon Henry Priddle 1922-13th January 1939”.  Thus the image is post 13th January 1939.  It is possible that much more could be gained from a very detailed examination by an enthusiastic researcher.

Alan Clarke works with our images archive and writes of his fascinating observations…