Alterations on the cheap

Welwick, Holderness, Yorkshire

Sometimes the decisions medieval masons made, just make me chuckle. This fifteenth century alteration to a fourteenth century window in the chancel at Welwick in Holderness, Yorkshire, is just such an example. I suppose as a thrifty way of getting extra light on the high altar without spending a vast amount of money it was a success, but as a piece of architecture it is an abject failure.

Welwick is a super church, not as famous as its neighbour at Patrington, but well worth a visit if you like texture rather than grand architecture. The brick south porch incorporates a grand fifteenth century canopied image niche, which still shelters the headless figure of the Virgin and Child.

Welwick, Holderness, Yorkshire


Anonymous said…
The overlay of successive, eccentric modification is one of the glories of the English parish church, as your recent Inglesham post demonstrated. While this may have been done on the cheap, 600 years later it's still firmly in place, so the masonry work is sturdy enough. Incidentally, there's some pretty creative stone-work between the two windows.

One other point. The blog programme crops the scan of the two windows in such a manner as to trim the extension to the eastern window. Unless one clicks to get into Flickr the principle purpose of the post is lost.
Allan Barton said…
Roger, I can't agree more. I find it fascinating, given our contemporary obsession with the integrity of design, that our medieval forebears had no such scruples. Often functionalism overules visual integrity.

I had noticed the problem with the cropping of pictures, I've finally worked out how to resolve the problem.
Anonymous said…
Thanks for this amusing post, Alan, the extended tracery and glass is too charming for words.

Thanks also for the other excellent posts and wonderful photographs - this is a superb blog.
Is there any sentiment among the faithful that mutilated statues like the one shown should be restored? I think I know the artistic argument for not doing so, but is there a religious argument in favor?
Anonymous said…
Hmmm. Looks like my architect got holt of that arch. He didn't tell me he was moonlighting when not doing squinches in my domes.

--Lord Peter Wimsey

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