On Tuesday, 5th June we welcomed 18 American visitors all descended from the Howell family and now living in varying parts of America, on their Tour of Excellence. The Howell family descended from Margaret Hawten, the youngest sister of John Hawten whose memorial monument is in the church. She was born at Swalcliffe Lea, baptised in Swalcliffe Parish Church and married there in 1583. One of her descendants went to America and was associated with the early development of the Massachusetts colony. Cathy Stoertz gave them a guided tour of the church which included showing them copies of marriage and death certificates of their early family members. A lovely lunch was served by Victoria Taylor and they went on to view the Tythe Barn followed by a short coach drive to visit Jeff and Chris Demarr at Swalcliffe Lea whose home was once owned by the Howell family. They were overcome by the beautiful countryside and the hospitality shown by everyone they had met touring round England. In usual American fashion they were rushing between London, Oxford, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwick, Wales and on to Tintagel!