All Saints Church, Bisley, Gloucestershire

The magnificent spire of Bisley church is a beacon visible from miles around. In the churchyard there is 12th century wellhead that commemorates a long ago tragedy.

One night the parish priest was summoned to administer the last rites to a dying parishioner.

When he failed to arrive, a search was launched and his body was found at the bottom of the well. He had evidently lost his way in the dark and plunged to his death.

To avert such a tragedy happening again, this cover was built over the deep drop.

In the 19th century, workmen excavating the site for a new school, adjacent to nearby Over Court, found a medieval stone coffin containing the bones of a young girl.

They were, no doubt, those of a forgotten daughter of the village. But the then Vicar, Thomas Keble, used the find to create one of the regions more colourful legends.

As a girl Queen Elizabeth 1st had once stayed at Over Court and, according to Keble, had died during her visit.

Fearing the wrath of Henry V111, the frightened villagers replaced her with a child of the same age. But the nearest likeness they could find was a young boy, whom they dressed in the Elizabeth’s clothes and sent back to the Royal Court.

When the "Bisley Boy" grew up and became monarch of England, he could never marry for fear of revealing the deception, which is why he reigned from 1558 to 1603 as "The Virgin Queen."