Hi Richard,

The name has most likely has been corrupted just a little. The word is Lytchgate and this is the small covered structure present at the entrance to most church grounds. Its like a little open timber framed building but don't confuse this with a church porch which is attached to the church.

The word Lytch means "corpse" and thus this gated structure was used to obviate the need for a vicar to allow the body of a plague victim or other excummunicado individuals being brought onto hallowed ground for a burial blessing.

A village close to where I live in North Hampshire is called Lytchpit and it doesn't take too much imagination to figure out that this is where all of the thousands of plague victims were unceremoniously damped into a huge open grave with some shovels of lime then being thrown over the lytch to help the body quickly break down. The other close equivalent as mentioned by Will is Litchfield and this means the same thing only maybe the Lytches weren't buried or cast into a pit.

Nice topic that you have chosen for your 100K post !

I will try and get a picture and post this for your delectation.


Ken Hume

Last edited by Ken Hume; 03/24/09 09:17 AM.

Looking back to see the way ahead !