For many years, curiosity and concern have been expressed by contributors to Audlem Online and elsewhere at the frequent and unexplained appearance of helicopters over the village, apparently circling the Church. It has been assumed that these flights related to training operations from a nearby RAF station.
Perhaps, we thought, they might have something to do with the theory that has emerged at odd times over the last couple of centuries that the "Au" element in "Audlem" somehow relates to there being gold in the vicinity
#The placename evidence
So we commissioned a local Medieval historian and expert on the history of placenames to investigate for us – as you can read in the accompanying article (click on the link below the photo), his findings are dramatic and far-reaching, so he prefers to remain anonynous.
We approached the presumed modern day descendents of the two names mentioned in the article, Ric le Fyrbre and Avrille de Benyon, for reaction to the suggestion that their Medieval ancestors might have been involved in a bit of illicit treasure-hunting.
In both cases we were met with an enigmatic "no comment".
It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the helicopter flights are in some way connected with the search for 'le gylden churche-horde de Audeline' in the church mound. Have the authorities perhaps discovered its potential existence, and are now trying to locate it using modern ground-penetrating radar techniques?
And if something of value is found, will it be used to benefit the people of Audlem? Or perhaps the Church may be tempted by the preaching of John Paul Getty: "The meek shall inherit the Earth, but fortunately not its mineral rights."
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