Thursday, 6 May 2010

Beware the Ides of March

Glympton, Oxfordshire

The Norman chancel arch at Glympton in Oxfordshire has the following interesting and tantalising inscription carved on its jamb: 'Dedicatio hujus templi Idus Martii' i.e. 'this temple was dedicated on the Ides (15th) of March'. Sadly the stone with the rest of the date has been replaced, but presumably the dedication took place on a 15th of March sometime towards the end of the 12th century, if the style of the arch is anything to go by. 

Glympton, Oxfordshire

Glympton church, with its perfectly preened churchyard stands in the middle of a north Oxfordshire estate owned by a Saudi prince.

2 comments:

Minnie said...

Unless the stone with the inscription was from the Romano-British era? Might that be a possibility? Well, whatever the truth of the matter, it's a beautiful building.

Allan Barton said...

Thanks Minnie. Yes this had crossed my mind too, except that the stone it is carved upon is clearly from the same source as the rest of the arch and the lettering is typical of the late 12th century. It is a curious thing. It isn't unknown for the Roman calendar to be used in the Middle Ages, but is strange in an ecclesiastical context.