Friday, 25 September 2009

Unfinished work?


Turkdean, Gloucestershire, originally uploaded by Vitrearum.

I came across this fascinating oddity at Turkdean in the Gloucestershire Cotswolds. When the parisioners decided to rebuild they modest two cell Norman church sometime in the fifteenth century. they decided to start by constructing the tower within the western bay of the Norman nave. They then built a new nave and chancel abutting the new tower. For some reason when the new nave, tower and chancel were completed the builders chose not to remove the remaining bits of Norman nave. So you have, in effect, two odd shallow Norman aisles, complete with half a door and corbel table, embracing the tower. Very strange.

Turkdean, Gloucestershire

A view of the church from the east.
Turkdean, Gloucestershire

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Eric Hardy's photography


Walpole St Peter, Norfolk,, originally uploaded by Eric Hardy.

Eric Hardy is a Flickr friend of mine. I went on quite a number of church crawls in his company when I lived in Oxfordshire. I was always impressed with his unbounding enthusiasm and the energy as he was photographing churches and beauty and quaility of his resulting photographs. Do have a look at his Flickrstream if you have a moment. This photo of a glorious boss depicting Our Lady being assumed into heaven, is from the porch of Walpole St Peter in Norfolk. It forms part of a lovely set of four hundred photos of Norfolk churches.

Monday, 14 September 2009

Medieval pulpits

Quite a good number of medieval pulpits survive in English parish churches. I suppose that is not surprising really given that this was an element of medieval church furnishing that wasn't controversial to the reformers. Here are just a selection of fifteenth century pulpits from as far separated as Norfolk, Gloucestershire and Somerset. They are all of the wineglass type, where the platform is supported on a coved central shaft. They are perhaps not the finest selection, but they represent the general type in both wood and stone.


South Creake, Norfolk

South Creake, Norfolk. A tracered pulpit, with significant remains of polychromy.

South Creake, Norfolk

North Cerney, Gloucestershire
North Cerney, Gloucestershire. There are a good number of stone wineglass pulpits in the Cotswolds. All are pretty similar, with traceried panels. The second example is at Chedworth, a few miles away from North Cerney.

Chedworth, Gloucestershire
Chedworth, Gloucestershire

East Hagbourne, Berkshire
East Hagbourne, Berkshire. This late example has been altered in the nineteenth century.

Long Sutton, Somerset
Long Sutton, Somerset. A magnificent tall pulpit, all of a piece with the rood and parclose screens. The sides of the pulpit are decorated with polychromed tabernacle work. The original figures have been lost and replaced with the present nineteenth century apostles.

Long Sutton, Somerset

Blakeney, Norfolk


Blakeney, Norfolk, originally uploaded by Vitrearum.

Blakeney church stands high above it's village, which was once a major port on the north Norfolk coast. The church is for the most part a fifteenth century building, with a broad clerestoried nave paid for by the wealthy mercantile class who benefitted from the port trade. The chancel, is a couple of centuries earlier than the rest of the building and is a lovely example of Early English architecture. The east window consists of seven lancets set under a single hoodmould, one step in architectural development before tracery came on the scene. Attached to the north side of the chancel is an interesting and unique feature, a slender bell turret, that rises almost as high as the west tower. Is it a sanctus bellcote? Very probably, but apparently it also doubled up as a lighthouse to guide ships into the harbour and the upper parts of the bell-openings are glazed rather than louvred.

Blakeney, Norfolk

Internally the church is rather interesting too. There is a fine chancel screen and rood group above. The nave is covered with a glorious fifteenth roof with angel hammerbeams.

Blakeney, Norfolk

Blakeney, Norfolk

Internally the chancel is vaulted and the east end has an 'English altar' set before an altar screen that divides an eastern sacristy from the sanctuary.

Blakeney, Norfolk

The quire stalls incorporate medieval benchends and misericords.

Blakeney, Norfolk

Blakeney, Norfolk

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Warham Guild vestments


I'm rather fond of the work of the Warham Guild, as previous posts on the subject demonstrate. In this picture the dalmatic and tunicle are rather fine examples of the Warham Guild's work, and they belong to St Mary the Virgin Primrose Hill. The chasuble is not part of the same set, but is part of a new low mass set. It is made of Watts oyster Bellini silk, with orphreys in Sarum red 'Gothic' silk designed by G F Bodley. The photo was taken by Gordon Plumb just after I had celebrated my first mass in St Michael and All Angels, Louth on July 5th 2009.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Bishop Edward King's chasuble


The Bishop of Lincoln John Saxbee is wearing a glorious chasuble that was made for his predecessor Edward King, who was Bishop of Lincoln between 1885 and 1910. Glorious cream damask powdered with neo-medieval motifs in coloured silk and velvet orphreys with goldwork. Who's it by? I'll hazard a guess that it's a Bodley design, embroidered by Watts. Bodley did some other work for King, including a succesful conversion of the buttery and pantry of the medieval bishops palace into a glorious chapel.

Bishop Edward King at Wold Newton

Incidentally that is me to the Bishop of Lincoln's right, shortly after I was ordained to the priesthood. Needless to say the chasuble was a tad distracting during the proceedings!

Monday, 7 September 2009

Comper glass from Burgh -le-Marsh


Manby, Lincolnshire, originally uploaded by Vitrearum.

Manby church is only a minute or two along the road for me and for some reason I have always put off paying the church a visit, I think I always imagined it would be locked. I had noted some time ago that Pevsner refers to some Comper glass here, so I should have made more effort. Anyway when I finally made the arduous journey of four miles I was not disappointed with what I found. The east window of this rather pedestrian Perpendicular church, is filled with a glorious Comper window dated 1929 which portrays the conversion of St Paul before the gates of Damascus. It is a dramatic and complex composition. St Paul, in Roman armour, lies startled on the ground before the risen Christ, who appears surrounded by angels, four holding instruments of the Passion. The figure of Christ is a youthful figure of the sort usually favoured by Comper. St Paul is surrounded by armoured companions, two of whom flee in terror taking their horse with them.

Manby, Lincolnshire

Manby, Lincolnshire

Manby, Lincolnshire

Manby, Lincolnshire

This lovely window has a rather interesting history. It was originally the east window of St Paul's missionary college in Burgh-le-Marsh in Lincolnshire. The chapel was Bucknall and Comper building built in the 1890s, which was furnished piecemeal by Comper over the next thirty years. The chapel was demolished in 1967 and the contents dispersed. The altar is now in Burgh-le-Marsh church, the stalls see below are in Sheffield Cathedral, while the glass ... well all that remains of the extensive glazing is this window transferred to Manby. Where is the rest?



There are more photos of the Manby window on my Flickr stream