Sunday, May 24, 2015


Bank Holiday Sunday afternoon, warm and damp (from twenty minutes of light rain).

I drove across the county to look at medieval architecture.  Hopelessly lost in a network of lanes.  Several times I concluded that the Ordnance Survey map was wrong, only to eventually find a way through.

At the first village the thirteenth-century tower rose above the hawthorn blossom (note the broad buttress which contains a winding staircase lit by tiny slit windows; note the bell openings with ogee hood moulds; note the battlements with ornate pinnacles).

Inside were fragments of a medieval scheme of wall paintings.  Also some 15th century monastic benches (from a long-gone local priory).  Also interesting capital of flat leaves to one of the columns in the nave.

Second village the twelfth-century tower was an attractive mix of ashlar, limestone, ironstone rubble and blue lias.

Inside was this fabulous Norman arch.  Note the church seems to rely entirely on candles for lighting.  Remnants of Tudor panelling in the chancel.

Third village where the manor house garden was open (proceeds to church funds).  I was the 97th visitor of the day.  Close to closing, at 5pm.

The gardens were sophisticated, shades of green, the plants about to burst into summer colour.

Summerhouse-gazebo slightly tumbledown.

Inside were murals by Barbara Jones in a decaying state.

On the back lawn teas were being served.  I sat at one of the tables - cups of tea and Victoria sponge cake and coffee gateau.  The air very still and one of the most beautiful views in England.

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