Tuesday, 24 February 2015

An Old Church

Especially for John Ford, who loves history and beauty!

These are some recent photos I took of a particularly lovely old church in our town. It is dedicated to St John the Baptist and is definitely of 12th century Norman foundation, possibly earlier. The first priest of whom there are records was one Glou, acting as witness to a document in 1189.

The heavily battlemented tower was used as the base for a wooden platform
 which would have jutted out to act as a defensive
 and lookout post for invaders from the sea or from the nearby duneland.

The preaching cross base in the churchyard is ancient but the cross itself is more modern.

The South Porch, used as the normal entrance into the church.
This was used as the schoolroom of the parish. 
The large stone on the left is a memorial stone; 
on the right is the 14th century Holy Water stoup.

This is  the view from the altar, 
looking back to the tower and the West Door.

And this is the incredibly rare, original mediaeval solid stone altar slab. 
King Edward VI's henchmen were meticulous 
in following his orders to destroy every stone altar slab 
in  every church in England and Wales, but seem to have missed this one :-)

The East window above the altar, designed by Edward Burne-Jones, the Pre-Raphaelite artist.
 If you look closely, the central figure of Christ is beardless. 
The reason for this is.....

...as a tribute to the beardless figure of Christ on the unique
 15th century Grotesque school pulpit which depicts the Flagellation of Christ.
The stairs lead to the pulpit on the left and to the right they lead
 to the platform which would have enabled the choir to stand by the Rood Loft. 
The Loft  and platform are sadly long gone, thanks to the iconoclastic Reformation, 
but the two squints which would allow the choir to follow 
the progress of the Mass still remain. 

One of them is shown above.

Part of the mediaeval wall painting depicting
 the beheading of John the Baptist, 
and a very modern icon of the saint.

On the South wall is another painting, 
which is believed to be the Archangel Gabriel.

The sanctuary roof

The 1914-1918 Memorial window  is by Halliday, 
an 80 year old former pupil of Burne-Jones, 
who also chose to depict Christ as beardless.

A view of the south of the church and the churchyard.

Monday, 16 February 2015


I am currently reading Penelope Wilcock's wonderful book "The Hawk and the Dove". This quotation, right at the beginning, stopped me dead in my tracks with my mouth agape:

"I went to church every Sunday, and I listened to
what they said about Jesus, and I believed it all, I really did; but
was there anyone anywhere who cared about it enough to behave
as if it were true? "

Straight to the heart of the matter.......

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Royal Visit

Her Royal Highness Princess Anne visited our town yesterday, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of our lifeboat station on one of the most treacherous stretches of coast in Britain.

I walked down, camera in hand, hoping to get some photos of the event.....

Some of the crowd waiting to see her.

Entering the RNLI lifeboat station. 

I took some random shots while the Princess was inside
 the station talking to lifeboat crew members.
 If you look closely, there is a dot on the sea.....

...which is this fishing boat  when viewed through my telephoto lens :-)

The lifeboat preparing to be launched by tractor, 
as the tide was quite far out.

The Princess about to walk down the slipway.

I did like her sunglasses :-)

The tractor goes very deep into the sea.

And our brave lifeboat crew showing the boat's paces.

It is nice to see the incredible courage of the lifeboat crew volunteers 
being recognised and appreciated!

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

A Winter's Walk

It was a gloriously sunny day, so I wrapped up warmly
 and set off for a brisk walk with Basil.
It was ironically too sunny to be able to take some of the shots
 I was planning, but I was pleased to be able to capture this
 old barn on the top of the hill, using my telephoto lens to its fullest extent.
 I have not cropped the image yet.

I love walking to this field when the sheep are in residence.
 No lambs yet.

They do have a spectacular view....

And a closer shot.

I could have stayed there all day watching the sheep,
but the need for a warming cup of tea lured me home.

A brave little daisy making an appearance in a sheltered spot...

And a Herring Gull on a neighbour's rooftop!

Reading Heap

  My current "To Read" heap is quite large.....
or rather, my "To Read" heaps :-)

The above books were hugely appreciated
 Christmas and birthday gifts.

Six of these were second-hand bargains.
I am very happy to own pre-loved books.

Two of these are on loan from a friend.

The two Peter May detective books are also on loan.
 I really do need  to crack on with these so I can return them in a timely fashion,
 though I must say I have lent this person three books too :-)