May. 12th, 2012

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Well, since I've finally worked out how to get Photobucket to save modified images, so it's back to business as usual.  Okay, so I'm working backwards, as I was keen to introduce you to the Church of Saint Vincent before I turned to the Cathedral of Saint Michael, but never mind.  Can't be helped, I suppose.

I featured the exterior of this particular building a few nights back, so I'm now going to turn to the interior.  I think it's quite typical of the local style: the east end's apsidal, there are no aisles, but the nave is flanked on both sides with a series of side-chapels.  The roof's vaulted, and of quite a simple form, and the windows are also rather small which makes the interior seem quite gloomy and dark.  This is alleviated nicely by the internal decoration, which is lavish by our puritanical British standards...

A view of the nave and the apsidal choir first of all, which shows the character of the place nicely.  And it's a style you're going to get very accustomed to over the next few weeks, because it was repeated in a similar form across the region:-




I've just noticed from this photograph that something very odd is going on here, with a squashed-up little arch at the right hand side.  Unfortunately, I can't get back to see what the exterior of the building looks like in this location and I've got a horrible feeling this part of it was shrouded in scaffolding and sheet polythene and wouldn't have been visible anyway:-




Unfortunately, most of these 'pedestrian' working churches didn't have much information available to guide the curious onlooker in their interpretation of the site, but then I suppose that's true of British churches, too.  While we were visiting this place, we met an awfully nice lady who, when I explained that I was very keen on churches and that I found hers very interesting, took us aside and showed us the floral arrangements in the choir.  They were her own work and she was clearly very proud of them (not surprisingly), but sadly that didn't illuminate our understanding of the place any better.

But then, that's one of the things that I love about churches.  They may be historical monuments, but in many cases they're still performing exactly the same function that they were intended for eight hundred years ago (or even more) and that's always something that makes the hairs go up on the back of my neck!

The organ at the west end of the church is a later insertion into the building, but it has been very nicely placed within the existing fabric.  And I like the tiny lancet window to the right which I'd guess illuminates the stair up to the tower. You can also see the little doorway allowing access to the tower below:-




A closer view of the paintwork around the arched recess at the west end, which emphasises the shape of the vaulting beautifully:-



And tomorrow, I'll finally be able to introduce you to the Church of Saint Vincent!  Unless I decide to give the architecture a break for another day and do a garden blog instead.  If so, I'd better go and take the photos now because the weather tomorrow is supposed to be atrocious.  Just as well we got out on the bikes today, then - I'm up to seventeen miles now, hoorah!!
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It's that time of year again - we're starting to plan our British holiday for later in the year.

At the moment, it's a toss-up between Wantage, Abingdon and Cirencester...

With the focus on Uffington, Wayland's Smithy and various other things.  Yeah, there's going to be a bit of a prehistoric theme here, for once...

Thanks, [livejournal.com profile] inzilbeth_liz, for giving me the inspiration to actually start progressing this one...

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