Gravestones at the St. Marien Church in Wienhausen

Wienhausen

    - Silent witnesses on the outer wall of the church-
    The Church of St. Marien in the parish of Wienhausen is essentially the product of three different construction periods: a Romanesque, a Gothic and a Baroque one.

    The beginnings of the church date back to the first millennium. Documents from 1051 and 1057 prove this.

    Funerals were still held in the church in the 17th and 18th centuries. The grave slabs, some of which have been worn down beyond recognition, are located in the corridors between the rows of seats. Only a few gravestones remain to be deciphered. If someone wanted to have a relative buried in the church, one had to ask the permission of the church commission, the pastor and the church jurors beforehand. A very high fee was paid for the place that had been ordered.

    Two tombstones are attached to the southern outer wall of the church (to the right and left of the main entrance). These are also difficult to identify. At this point, the inscription of the large gravestone, which stands to the left of the main entrance to the church, is explained.
    The gravestone is 208 cm high and 119 cm wide, broken in the middle and heavily worn in the lower part. It is the gravestone of a Mrs. von Meltzing, wife of a Mr. von Mahrenholtz. She died on Sept. 14, 1599. A cross is clearly visible in the inner field. A married couple kneeling below.
    In the four corners there are coats of arms, whereby only the upper right is reasonably well recognizable in outlines. Below it is the name "Meltzing". On the left there is the coat of arms of Mahrenholtz with the seven peacock feathers. Between the two upper coats of arms there is the text: "Christ is given for the sake of our sin and raised up for the sake of our righteousness".
    The inscription at the top and on the sides can only be reproduced incompletely: "Anno 1599 den 14 Septembris den Abendt zwischen 4 bis 5..... Eltzin ....Holt ....Elich .... Entslafen .... Meltzing."
    Remark: "The inscription can be interpreted in this way": In the year 1599, September 14, the evening between four and five beatified sleep." According to the coats of arms, the deceased must have been a daughter of the Heinrich von Meltzing and Clara von Weckstern and an aunt of the Ebstorf abbess Lucia von Appel. The death of 1599 cannot be proven in the local church books, since these begin only in the middle of the 17th century.

    Note:
    The parish council was an elected or appointed representative of the parish who carried out the following tasks together with the parish priest:
    Supervision of the assets of the parish; management of the
    Directories of possession; collection of revenue, defraying of expenditure, and
    Accounting about it (so Wikipedia).

    The gender "von Mahrenholtz" was also represented in Flotwedel in Bockelskamp. There they owned a farm and three fiefdoms. In Wathlingen and Klein-Eicklingen (today Gutshof Pröve) they had noble estates. And in the chapter hall in the monastery Wienhausen some coat of arms discs bear the name (Moritz von Marnholte, Hans von Marnholte). An Olgard von Mahrenholz was abbess in Wienhausen from 1405- 1422. The monastery chronicle names more than 15 maids with surnames Mahrenholtz, Mahrenholte and Marenholt. But also in the villages Boye or Ahnsbeck one finds the name "von Mahrenholtz".

    (Sources: "Die Kunstdenkmal des Landes Niedersachsen"; Volume 34, Part II: S.
    12 and 76 - "Heimathskunde der Kirchengemeinde Wienhausen" from 1901 by
    W. Bettinghaus; III. part, p. 41. - Leaflet of the "Evangelisch-lutherischen St.
    Church of St. Mary in Wienhausen". - Catalogue of inscriptions of Lüneburg monasteries" by
    Dr. Sabine Wehking. - "Wathlingen - Story of a nieders. Village" by
    Heinrich Pröve from 1985. - A "Kote" was the house of a Kötner. In
    As a rule, they had less than one "hoof"; is an old land measure, about 15 - 20 acres, so H. G. Röhrbe in in "Quellenbegriffe des 16. bis 19. Jahrhunderts").

    Research and author of the text is Bernhard Meissner, Wienhausen.